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Can Aftershave Be Used as Cologne? Differences, Benefits, and Tips Explained (2024)

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can aftershave be used as cologneBring your grooming to the next level by discovering the possibility of using aftershave as cologne.

Find out how these two products differ and how each plays a role in your everyday routine.

We will walk you through various subjects, from understanding fragrance concentrations to using aftershave for skincare, making it an effective cologne.

Learn to take control with our professional tips and information on using aftershave beyond shaving regarding scent and skincare effects.

Key Takeaways

  • Gentlemen, your aftershave can step up its game! It’s not just for post-shave relief; it can be a secret weapon for a subtle, refreshing scent.
  • Aftershave vs. cologne: Think of aftershave as the soothing balm that keeps your skin happy, while cologne is the charming rogue that steals the show with its bold fragrance.
  • DIY cologne: Unleash your inner alchemist! Blend your favorite aftershave with a touch of eau de toilette for a personalized scent that’s uniquely you.
  • Shave or no shave: Aftershave isn’t just for freshly shaved faces. Spritz it on for a quick pick-me-up or a touch of fragrance on those days when your razor takes a break.

Can Aftershave Be Used as Cologne?

Yes, aftershave can be used as cologne, but there are some differences to keep in mind. Aftershave typically has a lower fragrance concentration (1-3%) compared to cologne (2-5%), making it subtler and less long-lasting. It focuses on skincare, with ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, and glycerin that soothe and moisturize your skin.

To use aftershave for a stronger scent, mix it with a few sprays of eau de toilette with similar notes. This way, you get the best of both worlds: a pleasant fragrance and nourished skin.

Curious about how to turn aftershave into cologne? Keep on to discover more.

Can Aftershave Replace Cologne?

Can Aftershave Replace Cologne
While aftershave does provide a pleasant fragrance, it can’t completely replace cologne. The primary function of aftershave is to soothe and protect your skin after shaving, minimizing irritation, razor burns, and bumps (Source).

It’s applied directly to freshly shaved skin and typically contains skincare ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, and glycerin (Source).

Cologne, on the other hand, mainly serves as a long-lasting scent enhancer, designed to leave a stronger aroma throughout the day. While you might enjoy the scent of your aftershave, it generally has a lighter fragrance concentration compared to cologne and won’t provide the same lasting power (Source).

Differences in Fragrance Concentration

Differences in Fragrance Concentration
Knowing the differences in concentration between aftershave and cologne is essential. Most aftershaves contain a low perfume concentration of about 1-3%, making their scent mild and fleeting. Compared to aftershaves, colognes are usually considered weaker fragrances, though they typically have a higher concentration than aftershaves at around 2-5%. Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum boast stronger scent strengths and longevity because they contain more aromatic compounds.

While aftershave splashes focus on soothing your skin with components like alcohol, witch hazel, and essential oils, colognes, and perfumes place the priority on long-lasting fragrance. Application method mirrors these different goals as well—from application to soothe using aftershave versus application to perfume and intrigue with colognes and perfumes.

Using Aftershave for Scent & Skincare

"As you know the difference in concentration here is guiding you on how to use the aftershave for scent and skin care benefits— the aftershave is never a watery cologne: it has significant skincare benefits of containing potent ingredients to protect from irritation, razor burn—and a refreshing scent.".

Below are three significant reasons to use aftershave, both for fragrance and skincare.

  1. Cooling Sensation: Aftershave splash, lotion, or balm refreshes your skin. It completely cures post-shave irritation.
  2. Hydration Boost: Ingredients like glycerin in aftershave balm and lotion moisturize the skin and prevent dryness.
  3. Subtle Smell: The essential oils that go into aftershave provide a faint refreshing fragrance and don’t hit hard on the senses.

How to Turn Aftershave Into Cologne

How to Turn Aftershave Into Cologne
Turning aftershave into a cologne is quite simple and lets you enjoy extended fragrance benefits. To achieve this, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Your Scent Mix: Pick an aftershave with a scent you love. Consider aftershave milk or balm for added skincare benefits. Choose aromatic compounds that blend well with your aftershave.
  2. Enhance Fragrance: Add a few sprays of an eau de toilette (EDT) with similar notes to intensify the scent. Mix well.
  3. Adjust Strength: Test the mix on your skin. If needed, add more EDT until the fragrance is strong enough.

This homemade option offers scented skin care, letting you use your favorite aftershave as a cologne substitute. Enjoy the liberation of personalized men’s fragrances!

Aftershave Without Shaving: Acceptable Uses

Aftershave Without Shaving: Acceptable Uses
Absolutely, you can use aftershave without shaving, and it comes with its own perks. Here’s how aftershave can serve you:

Use Case Benefit
Post-Workout Refreshes and reinvigorates your skin after a sweaty session.
Daily Fragrance Offers a light, subtle scent, perfect for everyday activities.
Hydration Boost Moisturizes and soothes your skin, combating dryness.
Razor Bumps Helps prevent and soothe existing razor bumps and irritation.
Skin Cooling Cools and calms skin after exposure to heat or sun.

Using aftershave without shaving can add an extra layer of fragrance and skincare maintenance to your daily routine. It’s a multipurpose solution that keeps your skin in top shape while subtly enhancing your scent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can aftershave replace cologne?

Aftershave can’t fully replace cologne due to its lower concentration of aromatic compounds. While it provides a pleasant scent and skin benefits, it won’t last as long or be as potent as a cologne.

Is aftershave better than cologne?

Aftershave isn’t better than cologne; it’s different. Aftershave soothes and protects your skin with a light scent, while cologne offers a stronger, more lasting fragrance. Each has unique benefits based on your needs.

Can you turn aftershave into cologne?

You can turn aftershave into cologne by adding a higher concentration of essential oils or mixing it with Eau de Toilette. However, remember that aftershave’s primary function is skincare, not offering a long-lasting fragrance.

Is it okay to use aftershave without shaving?

You can, of course, use aftershave when you haven’t shaved. On a hot day, apply a splash like No89 by Floris for that refreshing, soothing hit and a light, gentlemanly scent to keep you cool and collected.

What are the main ingredients in aftershave?

Aftershave typically contains witch hazel for anti-inflammation, alcohol as a disinfectant, essential oils for fragrance, glycerin that moisturizes, and aloe vera for a calming effect. These ingredients refresh and prevent post-shaving irritations.

How long does aftershave scent last?

While aftershave might offer a fleeting scent due to its lower concentration of aromatic compounds, typically lasting only a few hours. It’s designed primarily for skincare, soothing post-shave irritation rather than providing long-lasting fragrance.

Can cologne be used as aftershave?

This isn’t advisable since cologne doesn’t contain soothing, disinfecting, and moisturizing ingredients that the skin requires after shaving. You should, therefore, stick to aftershaves and avoid potential irritation or inadequate treatment of your skin.

Are there unscented aftershaves?

Over 60% of men experience skin irritation from fragranced products. Yes, you can find unscented aftershaves. They offer Essential benefits like moisturizing and soothing without the added fragrance, perfect for sensitive skin or layering with your preferred cologne.

Does aftershave help with acne?

Yes, aftershave can help with acne. Its antiseptic properties can reduce bacteria on your skin, while ingredients like witch hazel and aloe vera soothe inflammation, making it an effective, dual-purpose product for calming irritated skin.


Mastering your grooming means that you have to learn about product versatility.

While aftershave and cologne differ in fragrance concentration, it’s pretty well known that aftershave may be used as cologne and provide both scent and skincare benefits.

You can turn aftershave into cologne using the proper methods, making it versatile and effectively working with techniques in your routine.

Using it correctly, you’ll find an elevation of capabilities in your grooming game that ensures you’re ready and smelling nice, whether you have shaved or not.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.