Aftershave suggestions?
June 14, 2006 5:48 AM   Subscribe

Please help me replace my dearly beloved discontinued aftershave.

For some time I have used Burt's Bees Bay Rum Aftershave. It is an alcohol-based balm which is highly moisturizing and scented with essential oils. Apparently, I didn't buy enough of it while it was available and now the manufacturer has discontinued it. I know that it is still possible to find a few bottles still in stock (i.e. here) or on eBay with rapidly escalating prices. This would serve for only as long as it would take to drain the next bottle, and then I find myself in the same situation again.
So, I am soliciting suggestions from the shaving public here. For reference purposes, I have fair skin and an extremely tough dark beard. I shave daily with a double-edged safety razor using Trumper's sandalwood shaving cream. I am looking for an alcohol based balm aftershave which will not turn sticky, dry my skin out, or make matters worse than they already are. I have tried many drugstore brands, but find them lacking. I have no problem with buying a more exotic variety (hence Trumper's) but I am hesitant to spend $30 on a bottle of something obscure and continental just to find it smells like Old Spice and doesn't work right.
Your assistance is appreciated.
posted by leapfrog to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The best stuff I've found, after years of similar problems, is Nivea for Men Sensitive Balm aftershave. You can get this in any drugstore.

I'll be watching this thread with interest.
posted by BackwardsCity at 6:20 AM on June 14, 2006

Dammit. It's my daily aftershave too. Someone help us out.
posted by MasonDixon at 6:25 AM on June 14, 2006

I really think manufacturers should warn us when they are going to kill a product, so we can stock up. I know it's a pain, but I recommend you keep trolling ebay. A year after they stopped making the only foundation I ever really loved, I can still pick up a bottle now and again there, though yes, it's twice the price it had been.

That said, it seems to still be available here.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:31 AM on June 14, 2006

Crud, never mind, sorry.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:31 AM on June 14, 2006

You could always make your own. Seriously. From

Resinous bay leaves infused in the mellow woody smell of rum that has been aged and matured for months in wooden kegs makes for a very masculine aftershave that you can easily make yourself. This recipe makes a great gift for men. Truly, the smell of this product is divine (and it is, well, virtually good enough to drink).

2-4 cups dried bay leaves
A few sprigs of dried rosemary (optional)
Rum, to cover

Break the dried bay leaves in half. Fill a quart or pint mason jar with as many leaves as will fit to about 3 inches from the top. Add a few sprigs of dried rosemary, if desired. Add enough rum to come a good 2 inches above the leaves. Screw on the cover, and let set for 1 month; strain.

Variation: Add a bit of grated organic orange peel, cloves, and ginger root, as desired.

Shelf life: Indefinite.
posted by empyrean at 6:35 AM on June 14, 2006 [5 favorites]

By the way, if you have already dry skin, any alcohol-based product will dry it out further, so definitely recommended to use a moisturizer after applying the aftershave.
posted by empyrean at 6:36 AM on June 14, 2006

Have you tried plain old Witch Hazel? I've always found that very soothing after a shave. It's dirt cheap too.
posted by any major dude at 6:41 AM on June 14, 2006

Ditto on the Witch Hazel, which I've been using for over a dozen years. I have extremely sensitive skin which gets angry after shaving, and the Witch Hazel calms it right down. Probably doesn't smell as good as the stuff you're using now, but I bet you could add some essential oils to it to make it perfect.
posted by dbiedny at 6:49 AM on June 14, 2006

J Peterman makes a Bay Rum aftershave.
posted by hsoltz at 7:03 AM on June 14, 2006

I use Agera Conditioning Mist. It works perfectly because it's like water. I spray it on right after I shave (after my shower), slather it a bit, let it dry, and then follow up with a moisturizing face cream with sunscreen. This combination allows for extra moisture in the skin while protecting it during the day.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:07 AM on June 14, 2006

While we're at it, I'd just like to send a big Fuck You to the folks at Degree deodorant who keep switching the flavors on me every six months. Just when I get settled, having sifted through Arctic Freeze Ray, Extreme Danger, Alpha Male Sport Aggression, and whatever other loony flavors there are in the latest crop and arrive at one I can live with, suddenly they're gone, everything is a new size/shape/color/physical state, and now it's Ultra Zoom FaceSmack, Volcanic Blast Furnace, and Viper Strike Ubermusk and I have to start over. Yaaaaagh! Whatever happened to "original scent" for crying out loud?

Sorry. Just had to get that out. Hmm... how to make this relevant to this thread. Oh, there was a good shaving thread at Lifehacker the other day. The thread, its comments, the sites it led to, and their comments were chock full of product advice, including aftershave. As of 6/14/06 10:00am, Lifehacker was down for some reason, but it'll be back.
posted by kookoobirdz at 7:07 AM on June 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

I am currently using the Nivea product as a stopgap and find it to be a nice moisturizer, but may face seems to want the astringent qualities of an alcohol first. Since I ran out of my preferred product, I've noticed a lot more irritation, ingrown hairs, and the dreaded itching has returned. Burt's gave me a gentle burn but didn't dry out the skin like most alcohol based products. My skin is midline on the dry/oily continuum, and changing to the Nivea has pushed it towards the oily.

I look forward to more suggestions!
posted by leapfrog at 7:12 AM on June 14, 2006

My boyfriend was also a Burt's Bees Bay Rum user. He is really happy with the following recipe:

fill mason jar 3/4 with broken bay leaves
1-2 cinnamon sticks
8-12 cloves
3inch section of ginger root (I scrape the skin a bit to get the juices going)
orange zest
1 cup Thayer's medicated witch hazel (I wouldn't skimp and get cheap witch hazel - this seems to be a key ingredient)
then fill the jar to the top with spiced rum.

let sit for 1 month then strain with cheese cloth

The bay leaves and the cloves you can get for next to nothing in the bulk section of Whole Foods.
posted by a22lamia at 7:35 AM on June 14, 2006 [2 favorites]

Don't spend too much time hunting down old product. Shelf life for most beauty items is three years or so unopened, sometimes less. After a while you'll be getting diminishing returns for your premium purchases.

I have been using my employer's Clarinsmen Moisture Gel for a little over a year and am pleased with the results. It's a good all-around moisturizer as well as an aftershave, which is an excellent benefit. (It comes in both gel and balm with the same active ingredients.)

Product discontinuations are tough but unavoidable. Despite one's devotion, it sometimes becomes impossible for a manufacturer to justify continued production if something just doesn't sell. Right now my mother is going through fragrance withdrawal, as Ralph Lauren discontinued her personal scent; but a colleague in the industry tells me Lauren's lines are long overdue for consolidation, so here we are.
posted by werty at 7:52 AM on June 14, 2006

My husband has troubled skin, easily irritated. He started using Clinques Mens skincare line and loves the shaving cream and post-shave treatment as he finds them both moisturizing and non-irritating. I find his cheeks nice to cuddle up to and it's good not to see a red face.
posted by verveonica at 8:05 AM on June 14, 2006

Do you live near a Sephora store? They carry a range of upper end men's brands like Jack Black, and have a lenient return policy. Anything you don't like, you can return with a receipt for a full refund.
posted by junkbox at 8:40 AM on June 14, 2006

Alcohol-based is not the best for your skin (and, ouch!). I'll double-ditto witch hazel. I get an unscented "gel" from here (item #mn-fbt). They also have scented versions as well, I believe (#mn-as). The aftershave balm (#mn-ss) is a great mositurizer when as well. (Nivea is my back-up.)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:49 AM on June 14, 2006

Crabtree&Evelyn sandalwood shaving balm
posted by hortense at 10:15 AM on June 14, 2006

Whoa, I thought J. Peterman was out of business. I've used their Dominica Bay Rum and it's really nice. Brooks Bros. also sells a spray bottle of Bay Rum that's OK.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:55 PM on June 14, 2006

check out Body Shop's JAVARI aftershave balm. It's light, spicy and has a very soothing fragrance.

that said, the aftershave recipes are making me restless. but where the heck am I gonna find Thayer's medicated witch hazel in Singapore?
posted by mordecai at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2006

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