An aftershave provides a pleasant scent, disinfects any accidental cuts from shaving, closes the pores after showering, prevents skin irritation and removes oil from the skin. Some aftershaves contain moisturizers that soften the skin.
Aftershaves can come in the form of gels, balms, powders, lotions or liquids. There are two main kinds of moisturizers in aftershaves: lipids and humectants. Lipids prevent moisture from leaving the skin, and humectants act as a barrier that attracts moisture to the skin. Aftershaves that contain lipids, such as petroleum jelly and lanolin, tend to feel oily, and aftershaves with humectants, such as glycerin and alpha-hydroxy, absorb into the skin.