Being a man comes with its share of issues, some of which have become more political than others. While I generally try to avoid discussing those issues, for the most part, there are times when I feel the impact of those issues personally. Most of it is minor. Little of it is political. By and large, most of the issues that come with being a man comes down to basic logistics and how we deal with it.
This brings me to the world of aftershave, something I suspect many men have experience with. Not every man uses it, but enough do to make it a billion-dollar industry. While it’s easy to bemoan how it’s no different than any segment of the beauty market that caters to peoples’ insecurities, I think this is one instance where the logistics complement the business.
That’s because, like it or not, men sweat a lot more than women. There’s nothing political about that. It’s just a biological fact. I feel it more than most. I work out almost every day. Depending on the time of year, I sweat a lot. With that sweat comes odor and not all that odor is pleasant. While I’ve always used deodorant, even before I started working out, I didn’t start using aftershave until recently.
Some of that was due to supplementing basic skin care. As I’ve noted before, I had a terrible acne problem when I was a teenager. In treating it, I’ve learned how to better care for my skin. Aftershave is part of that.
For a time, I avoided using it, mostly because it burned like hell after I shaved my face. However, I started using it more regularly after noticing that deodorant wasn’t enough to keep all those sweaty man smells from seeping through.
How did I realize this? That’s a bit of a long story. All you need to know is that I fell asleep on my bed for a while after I hadn’t showered for a while. When I woke up, the smells on my bedsheets were a bit too noticeable. I’ll leave it at that.
Also, after having gotten on a plane for the first time since the pandemic, I realized that it really does to make sure you smell nice to those around you. When you don’t, then you’re just another asshole making an overbooked flight more miserable than it needs to be.
After realizing this, I went through a bit of a phase where I was testing out all sorts of aftershave products. It was nothing too fancy. I didn’t splurge on the kind of aftershave that rich people or celebrities use. I just tried out whatever I could, using everything from the best brands I could find at a department store to the cheap stuff I found at Walmart.
Over the past several years, I’ve tried plenty of fragrances and brands. I’ve put them to the test, which includes post-workout routines, parties, dates, family gatherings, and traveling. I’m no scientist or product expert, nor do I claim to be a baseline comparison for most men. However, after all this testing and rigor, I’ve come to a clear conclusion that I’d like to share with my fellow men.
Expensive aftershave isn’t worth it.
Again, that’s just my opinion, informed by my own experience. Other men may feel differently, but through my own personal experience, the same story has played out time and again.
One day, I’ll use the expensive stuff. I’ll even use extra, knowing what it costs. I like how it smells, but few really compliment me for it.
The next day, I’ll use the less expensive stuff I bought at Walmart. I’ll use just as much. It smells plenty nice. Just as many people will compliment me for it, if any.
Both seem to hold up equally well after my workouts. Both serve my needs with respect to skin care. The expensive stuff burns just as much as the cheap stuff. It’s at a point where I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two.
Having come to that conclusion, I haven’t bought expensive aftershave in quite some time. Most of what I get comes from a grocery store or Walmart. I rarely spend more than $25 on it and it suits my needs just fine.
It helps me smell better. It makes me more pleasant to be around. It doesn’t claim to use quack science to attract women. Those are all scams, by the way. It just makes me smell better in public and supplements my manly musk. That doesn’t need to cost much. It just needs to get the job done.
So, to my fellow men, do yourself a favor. Don’t waste money one expensive aftershave. You can make yourself smell great for a reasonable price. Spend your money elsewhere and you’ll be a better many because of it.