The Older Man's Guide to Aftershaves

Updated on November 18, 2019
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I have worked hard to stay fit and understand the complex relationship between aging, nutrition, and exercise.

What Makes a Good Aftershave for an Older Man?

Older men have older skin—and it needs special treatment. The aftershave that a teenage boy who is just learning how to shave splashes on his face is fine for kids and rookies, but us older men deserve better. We have come a long way, and the experience and wisdom that comes with age shows in on our skin.

In this article, I have gathered together aftershave options for men who are a little older but are still focused on looking and feeling good. I don't just talk about older men—I am one myself. Here are my personal best choices for the best aftershave options for older men like me.

1. Onsen Ultimate Anti-Aging Aftershave Balm

Onsen makes some really great skin products, and in my experience, they seem to have older men like me in mind. Their focus on health and healing is just right for skin that isn't quite as smooth and elastic as it once was. Collagen, the essential component of skin that keeps it smooth and supple, is naturally depleted as we age. Skincare products that support collagen-depleted skin are exactly what older men need.

Onsen's excellent Anti-Aging Aftershave Balm is my first choice for an aftershave balm that wakes me up but doesn't smack me in the face the way alcohol-based aftershaves do. There are no parabens, coloring agents, alcohol, or fragrances to irritate my skin, which is already a little irritated just by being on this planet for so long.

Here's a quick check of the ingredients in Onsen's product, from the company's website:

  • Argireline® peptide mimics the N-terminal end competes with the natural protein and prevent release of neurotransmitters efficiently and therefore muscle contraction is attenuated, preventing the formation of lines and wrinkles
  • Peptides complex amino acids with multi-functional capacity to signal enzymes, promote collagen and relax muscle fibers and iron out wrinkles.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: allows the skin to increase moisture retention, helping to improve skin elasticity as we age
  • Vitamin C eases and prevents redness and dark circles while energizing the skin
  • Swiss Apple Stem Cell: protects the longevity of the skin's stem cells, helping to combat the aging process while improving skin renewal
  • Organic Japanese Green Tea: delivers tannins to the skin, effectively tightening skin and reducing fine lines and swelling
  • Vitamin E Oil-soluble antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Helps protect the epidermis from early stages of sun damage, reduce moisture loss and improve rough, dry or damaged skin.
  • Organic Acai A potent provider of antioxidants, Vitamin C, B vitamins and several minerals.
  • Organic Aloe Vera leaves are filled with moisturizing, soothing, mineral and amino acid-rich gel. Beneficial for sensitive, irritated skin, supplies moisture directly to the tissue for moisture regulation.
  • Pure Lavender Oil antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, eczema and other inflammatory conditions.

As you can see, this stuff has a little bit of just about everything. All I know is it speaks to my skin.

2. Brickell Men's Instant Relief Aftershave for Men

This aftershave from Brickell isn't quite the powerhouse of ingredients that Onsen's is, but it's close. The company is a fairly new one, especially in the field of men's fragrances—it was started in 2014, in the garage of one of the founders—but has quickly become one of the fasted growing men's skincare and grooming companies in the world, per the Brickell website.

Brickell makes a premium aftershave that is lighter and less lotion-like than many others. It also has a fragrance, which I quite like—I want to have a little scent in my aura when I'm meeting and connecting with people. Aftershave fragrance, in my experience, is a more subtle presence than a straight-up cologne or perfume, so I prefer to get my scent that way.

Here are some of the ingredients that are in Brickell's aftershave.

  • Aloe Vera: Soothes and repairs the skin after your shave, helping to reduce irritation. Penetrates the skin to supply moisture and antioxidants to your skin tissue.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Rejuvenates your skin with fullness and volume
  • Coconut Oil: Strengthens the underlying skin tissue after the carnage your razor did to it and provides deep moisturizing.
  • A proprietary blend of other powerful, natural ingredients, including peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.
  • No alcohol, sulfates, parabens, glycol, or synthetics.
  • Vegan; no animal testing, 100% organic ingredients when possible.

One of the features of this aftershave that I like is the attention to skin health. The idea behind Brickell's is hydration and pure ingredients. My skin has seen enough BS and harsh treatment—it may be getting older, but it still needs to be babied now and then.

I won't bother with a run-down of ingredients in English Leather aftershave -- it sets your face on fire and it smells like the back room of an Elk's Club. Enough said!

3. English Leather Classic Aftershave

To be honest, I almost didn't include this bottle here. I splashed my dad's English Leather on my just-shaved face when I was a squeaky-voiced adolescent back in the 1970s, and I still remember the burn. This is an old-school manly aftershave if there ever was one—it's designed to sting! For some of us, that's the whole point of aftershave, which is why I ended up including English Leather in this article.

For those men who are accustomed to conclude their shave with a brisk slap in the face from a 100-proof concoction of whiskey and tobacco fragrance, then there's really no substitute for English Leather. It's a true classic, and you can't argue with a classic.

I won't bother with a run-down of ingredients—it sets your face on fire and it smells like the back room of an Elk's Club. Enough said!

4. Truefitt & Hill Aftershave Balm

One the truly great men's grooming houses, Truefitt & Hill have been helping men look and feel great for more than 200 years. Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the oldest barbershop in the world," they have taken care of the grooming needs for Prime Ministers and Kings. In my book, that means that they are probably capable of taking care of you and me.

Trafalgar is one of Truefitt and Hill's signature fragrances, and it gives their aftershave balm a kind of dignity and power that other brands can only envy. Their aftershave is made with lanolin and aloe vera, two reliable old-school standbys in the world of skincare, so it's a good choice for older skin.

But don't take my word for it—check out this list of men who have trusted their grooming to Truefitt and Hill: Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Beau Brummell, Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Danny Kaye, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Stewart Granger, Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.

Did we miss anyone? Oh yes—Winston Churchill. Mic drop.

Winston Churchill, Truefitt and Hill fan.
Winston Churchill, Truefitt and Hill fan. | Source

Check out this list of men who have trusted their grooming to Truefitt and Hill: Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Beau Brummell, Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Danny Kaye, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Stewart Granger, Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.

A modern classic -- Vera Wang for Men aftershave
A modern classic -- Vera Wang for Men aftershave

5. Vera Wang For Men Aftershave

This is a more modern aftershave option that may appeal to the more fashion-forward older men among us. There's no substitute for quality, and Vera Wang has been a leading perfume house for years. Their aftershave gets high marks from reviewers and fragrance sites like, who offers this take on Vera Wang's aftershave:

"A lovely, elegant masculine in the same lane as Guerlain's L'Instant Pour Homme EDT, which released the same year. While it doesn't offer any single note quite as arresting as L'Instant EDT's gorgeous floating cacao, Vera Wang for Men is nevertheless an impressive expression of tasteful balance that is just as immaculately blended as the Guerlain...It's refreshing and decadent without being oppressive or heavy, and the lift from the citrus keeps it feeling youthful and vibrant."

As counter-intuitive as it may seem to choose an aftershave from a fashion house known for couture as much as for fragrance, this is an affordable, top-quality, fragrance-based aftershave that I could see working for men who already know their scents, and know what they like.

Make every shave count, my friends
Make every shave count, my friends | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • profile image

      Mike White 

      9 months ago

      I'm looking forward to Vera Wang its look amazing, thanks for sharing :)

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 

      10 months ago from Tualatin, OR

      I am 73 and I've been disappointed with many of the after-shave products that have offended my nostrils in the recent past. I thank you for these recommendations, and I will seek them out.


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