Grooming

The After-Shave Balm That Finally Fixed My Razor Burn

After years spent avoiding a clean shave, I discovered L'Occitane's game-changing Cade moisturizer.
IMAGE TIMOTHY MULCARE
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My co-workers probably think I've been looking for a promotion for the last month. Since I've been capable of growing facial hair, I've always kept a little bit of stubble or the early workings of a beard. I never go full beard and I never go clean shaven. When I need to clean up for nice occasions, I set my trimmer to the lowest stubble setting and settle on a little bit of scruff. Shaving is out of the question. The reason: crippling razor burn.

Since I was a teen, my face has always broken out after shaving. One day, two days after I go clean shaven my entire neck will be covered in razor burn. In the last 15 years of being an eligible shaver, I haven't found any sort of lotion or serum or aftershave that could solve the problem. So, I never shaved. It was always a close trim—or if I really needed to look nice for a wedding or something, I'd tough it out and shave a few days prior and hope the razor burn cleared up in time.

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To say I've finally found a solution would be a lie, because technically my girlfriend discovered the solution. After years of me complaining about razor burn, she did some research and bought me a product to try for Christmas. It's the Cade Soothing After Shave Balm from L'Occitane, and it's fully solved my razor burn problem.

L’Occitane’s after-shave balm uses essential oils from cade, sandalwood, and rosemary to help sooth the skin.

Photo by TIMOTHY MULCARE.
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Razor burn is an issue of the past.

With a mixture of shea butter and birchwood sap—along with essential oils from cade, sandalwood, and rosemary—L'Occitane's Cade shaving lineup (yep, there's also a shaving cream) is loaded with ingredients intended to reduce redness and razor burn after shaving. I put the balm on directly after shaving and continue to use it after washing my face for the next few days, and I haven't seen any of my usual razor burn symptoms. Like I said, I've shaved once or twice a week for the last month, just to see if it was a fluke or if this stuff actually works. And so far, I haven't experienced any major razor burn any time I've shaved.

The balm relieves razor burn, plus that tight feeling in your skin post-shave.

Photo by TIMOTHY MULCARE.
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It genuinely feels amazing.

Along with helping relieve the razor burn, the ingredients above help reduce the feelings of tightness after shaving. When I put this on after shaving, my face feels comfortable, protected, and nourished. I used to hate the feeling after I shaved that I'd just taken a machete to my face. For once, shaving is an enjoyable experience. Hell, I even look forward to it now—with this balm making it something of a rejuvenating experience. "Refreshing" was never really a term I would use to describe shaving until now.

The lineup of products also includes a (very good) shaving cream.

Photo by TIMOTHY MULCARE .
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I want to use it every day.

I'm not 100 percent sure if it's advised to use this after shave balm every day, but I want to. Like I said, I continue to use it a few days after I shave while my face is recovering. And along with it feeling amazing and working well, it smells fantastic, too—like you just got shaved at a nice barbershop. It's kind of the perfect balance of the rugged outdoors with salon-caliber pampering.

Prop styling by John Olso. Photography by Timothy Mulcare

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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