Can you use Cologne as Aftershave? (Yes, but…)

can you use cologne as aftershave

Have you ever wondered if cologne makes a suitable aftershave? If it’s what you have to hand, this might seem like an easy solution, rather than buying two products.

Cologne is not the same as aftershave and it won’t soothe your skin in the same way as aftershave does, but you can use cologne instead of aftershave if you choose to. It will create a pleasant scent, but use it sparingly as it tends to be stronger.

Can You Use Cologne As Aftershave?

You can use cologne on your face after shaving and this will create the pleasant scent that most people are looking for when they apply aftershave. However, it is worth noting that aftershave is used for more than just making your skin smell nice.

Aftershave is used to soothe the skin, which is often irritated by the use of a razor. Aftershave usually contains some astringent products, and these reduce inflammation and itchiness. They might be witch hazel, alcohol, or something else.

This helps to reduce any soreness that appears on your skin as a result of being scraped with a razor, and can make it feel fresher and softer. It may also stop bleeding and serves as a disinfectant for any minor nicks that have been caused by the razor. It also clears bacteria from the pores and reduces the risk of infections.

Aftershave is therefore playing a useful role in your shaving routine, and if you drop it, you may notice some small issues. It is unlikely that these will be significant enough to annoy you, but it’s worth being aware of them.

Cologne often lacks the astringent products, so it will only serve one purpose: making your skin smell nice. If you apply cologne after nicking yourself with shaving, you may find that the cut doesn’t stop bleeding as quickly, and that it feels sorer and more inflamed.

However, you can use cologne as aftershave if you are only interested in the pleasant scent.

Is Cologne Better Than Aftershave?

Cologne is not better than aftershave at soothing your skin, but it does generally have a stronger smell than aftershave. Many aftershave products are not designed to be scented, and they are instead used with Eau De Toilette or cologne, rather than having a strong scent themselves. Your aftershave will probably have some smell, but this will fade after an hour or so in most cases.

You might therefore find that cologne works better for providing a pleasant, fresh aroma, because this is its whole purpose. If you are trying to get a good smell from your morning routine, cologne is often the better option, but this does depend on what you want to use it for.

Cologne will not provide the advantages offered by aftershave, and it won’t help to reduce irritation or bacterial infections. It is therefore not better if shaving tends to irritate your skin and leave it sore.

If you want to swap your aftershave for cologne, it’s worth testing this for a few days before you stop buying aftershave. This should give you time to see how your skin fares without the astringent ingredients, and whether the cologne irritates any nicks you have.

Can I Put Cologne On My Face After Shaving?

Most people put cologne on their bodies, rather than on their faces. Cologne is quite strong, and you may find that the scent is overwhelming if you apply it to your face instead of to your body. It might make your eyes water.

According to GentlemansGazette, cologne should be applied to the “pulse points” of your body, which are also particularly warm areas, where the blood is close to the surface of the skin. This is usually your neck or chest, rather than your face. Here, the cologne will be activated by the warmth of your skin, and will release its scent.

Many people will not have an issue with adding cologne to their faces, and will find that this is an effective way of ensuring they carry the scent that they want. However, it is important to be aware that cologne isn’t necessarily intended for use on your face. If you have sensitive skin, there is a risk that the cologne could cause irritation, dryness, or other issues.

You might therefore wish to avoid spraying cologne on your face.

Can I Apply Perfume On Skin?

Perfume is a mixture of alcohol and oil, and it should be completely safe to apply it to your skin in moderation. The oils provide the scent, while the alcohol preserves the oils and helps them to spread across your skin.

Putting perfume on your skin is very unlikely to be harmful, unless you have a specific reaction to a specific brand of perfume. On the whole, scents have been very thoroughly tested and should cause no irritation at all, especially when used in small quantities – as they are intended.

Like cologne, perfume should be applied to your “pulse points.” You might want to add it to your wrists or neck. However, you should avoid putting it on sensitive skin, such as the skin of your face, as it may cause dryness, soreness, and irritation.

A small amount is very unlikely to be harmful, but it also won’t produce much scent. You should therefore stick to putting perfume on your wrists and neck, just as you should with cologne.

Should I Put Cologne On My Clothes?

Cologne isn’t designed for use on clothing, no. You can apply cologne to your clothes if you want, but there’s a risk of making yourself smell too strong if you apply a lot. If you only apply a little, it may not activate properly, because it won’t be warmed by your blood temperature.

It’s therefore best to use cologne on your skin.


Cologne can be used as aftershave if you prefer, but be aware that it will not perform the same job. It is intended to bring scent to your skin, and it will not soothe the skin or disinfect any cuts that result from shaving.

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