Aftershave is a lotion, gel, balm, powder, or liquid used mainly by men after they have finished shaving. It may contain an antiseptic agent such as alcohol to prevent infection from cuts as well as to numb damaged skin, a perfume to enhance scent, and a moisturizer to soften the skin. An alcohol-based, fragrance-free astringent can be used as an aftershave. It is said that the alcohol (usually SD Alcohol 40-B) in the aftershave closes pores in the skin and prevents irritation .
Many fashion designer houses lend their names to brands of aftershave, and thus aftershave is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Eau de Cologne.
The original aftershaves were Witchhazel and Bay Rum, and have been documented in shaving guides. Bay rum is still sold as an aftershave from many distributors, made by many manufacturers; it is also a common shave soap, aftershave, and eau de toilet fragrance.