Aftershave vs cologne

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Aftershave. Cologne. Aren’t they both things that make a man smell nice? Well, yes. And no. They each have different properties and different purposes. BeautySA investigates the difference…

Aftershave vs Cologne


As the name suggests, aftershave is used after shaving. While running that shiny silver blade down your face, your skin goes through a bit of trauma. Because your skin on that part of your body is delicate, an aftershave helps minimise damage as well as soothes your skin.

Some contain mild antiseptics, which numb your skin while the healing agents work their magic. Most aftershaves also contain an astringent, which helps close your pores and prevents infections. If you feel a sting after you’ve applied it, this is because some astringents contain alcohol. Shaving creams and foams could have a dehydrating effect on your skin, and a dry-shave should never be an option. A few after shaves work as a moisturiser too and may even have a fragrant smell to them. Aftershaves are available in gels, balms (lotion) and liquids.

We recommend: Nivea For Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm, R80, Yardley Gold for Men Aftershave, R149.95, Neutrogena Post Shave Lotion, R74.99.


Originally produced in the German city of Cologne (and short for the word Eau de Cologne), this great smelling guy is another fancy word for a fragrance. A cologne is known to have a lesser concentration of ingredients than an EDP and an EDT, and consists of essential oils – originally based on citrus, tangy scents. These were made to appeal more to the male market (so a lady can wear them). With a cologne, you can also layer your scents but be sure to keep it in the same family and remember that a cologne does not have healing properties. It is merely used to make you smell nice.

We recommend: Gravity by Coty, R149.99 or East.West Horizon, R199

Written by

Zoe has a bachelor’s degree in motion picture medium. She loves all things beauty and fashion. When she is not writing articles for the latest issue of Clicks Club Card magazine or, she is obsessed with gel nails, lengthening mascaras and healthy glowing skin! Zoe on Google+

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  1. Williams-Pozyn

    Thanks for the explanation – great to know.

    6 years ago •

  1. Glamorous Glitter

    My boyfriend is a cologne snob, but a good to know read nevertheless…

    7 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    I think aftershave is a winner! Most men smell like they”ve thrown a whole bottle of cologne on themselves when they apply it..clearly too much used…

    7 years ago •

  1. mahomed

    lol! i finally know the difference

    7 years ago •

  1. beautilicious

    wow my hubby needs to read this. thanks for the advice

    7 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Well i know it and its correct yeah… Great information.

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    Going to share this one with all my peeps!

    7 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    I Love both after shave or cologne on my Man… :) Smells Awesome!

    7 years ago •

  1. Dragoness

    Glad to have affirmation of what I’ve been telling my boys

    7 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I think my hubby needs some aftershave for healing properties more that cologne.

    7 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    good to know, I like a man that smells nice

    7 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    Great post. I’m glad I knew the difference already :)

    7 years ago •

  1. van Heerden

    Very informative for a single mom raising two teens. Thanks

    7 years ago •

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