Nivea Post Shave Balm Review: The Safest Way To Shave?

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What did you think would happen when you literally wiped your face with that razor blade? Not surprisingly, shaving can lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin. That’s why a common feature in any man’s shaving regime should be an aftershave. Even if we might not necessarily see the damaging effects it’s important to realize that we are essentially removing a layer (if not more) of the epidermis every time we shave.

It’s essential to follow up your shave with a post-shave product to restore your skins moisture levels, as well as soothe chafed skin. Aftershave products have been used in the past to prevent infections from dull razors or open pores.

Thirty years ago, Nivea revolutionized the post-shave experience when they released their alcohol-free Post Shave Balm. Nowadays we’re accustomed to walking into any drugstore and going to the “Men’s Section” but less than a century ago this aisle didn’t exist. Nivea saw this gap in the market and decided that male skin care should consist of more than just soapy water.

That’s why one of their first men’s line products was shaving soap. From there they have expanded and refined their line to provide to your (little known) extensive skin care needs. With this in mind, Nivea’s Post Shave Balm is about to become a staple in your bathroom cabinet (if it isn’t already).

Nivea Post Shave Balm Ingredients Breakdown

Man smiling with eyes closed and pumping fists.

Be sure to check the ingredients in all of your skincare products.

The primary things you want to see in your aftershave are any ingredients that lock in moisture or sooth the skin. (That’s obvious). Taking a closer look at Nivea’s Post Shave Balm ingredients proves that they have got you covered.


The humectants in Glycerin attract water from the air and retain moisture in the skin. This is exactly what your face needs after an irritating shave. Glycerin also contains emollient properties to nourish and sooth the skin – keeping it looking supple and smooth. It increases the thickness of the epidermal layer improving the function of your moisture barrier.

Chamomile extract

Chamomile extract is renowned for its anti-inflammatory qualities. This makes it particularly effective for sensitive skin as it contains soothing and healing abilities. Through eliminating free radicals (which damage cell regeneration) Chamomile helps to block any irritants from your skin. This is one of those ingredients that was made for your post-shave experience.

Hamamelis Virginiana Bark/Leaf Extract

Don’t be scared off by the name –Hamamelis Virginiana Bark is just a fancy title for Witch Hazel. Witch Hazel is a skin conditioning agent and also has soothing properties. It’s best known as an natural acne treatment because it seals moisture into the skin without being an oil.  It reduces redness and evens out your post-shaven skin tone.

Isopropyl Palmitate

The palmitate ingredients act as lubricants on the skin’s surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. However, because of these thick lubrication properties overuse can lead to clogged pores. So, while this is a mild formula for sensitive skin I would be wary of using this every day.

Nivea Post Shave Balm Review

man with beard

There are products for regular skin as well as sensitive.

Nivea has two versions of its shaving balm. One is tailored to ‘replenishing’ skin and the other is for sensitive skin. I decided to try the one for sensitive skin because I wanted something a little milder on my face. Luckily, the active ingredients are pretty much the same in both, so I knew I was guaranteed somewhat positive results.

I really enjoyed the texture of this aftershave. I know that’s not necessarily the most important thing when it comes to a good shaving balm, but some formulas tend to be too runny and just don’t dry fully on the face. Nivea’s Post Shave Balm comes in a lotion consistency that’s really easy to apply and absorbs right into the skin. (Despite the fact that it’s formulated with no drying alcohol! It’s alcohol-free. I thought the ingredient list couldn’t get any better too).

I applied a nickel-sized amount to my freshly shaven face and I could instantly feel it smoothing my skin out. Sometimes after a particularly grueling shave skin tends to get particularly irritated, but this lotion solves that almost instantly. What’s more, is that most aftershave scents can be overwhelming. (I’m not complaining don’t get me wrong, I just don’t feel the need to smell like a bottle of man). The scent of Nivea’s Post Shave Balm is clean and refreshing and isn’t too strong which is just what I was looking for.

Should You Use Nivea Post Shave Balm As A Makeup Primer?

Black teen with clear skin.

Toner or aftershave? They can be one and the same!

A good skin primer creates a smooth base for makeup, evens out skin tone and reduces inflammation. This prolongs the wear of makeup. Formulas usually contain things like Dimethicone (a smoothing agent) and other pore-reducing and skin evening substances.  Recently there’s been major talk about replacing your pricey primers with a simple post-shave balm. Apparently, this gives you the same, if not better, staying power for your makeup.

I’m not surprised after seeing the ingredients in Nivea’s Post Shave Balm. I would attribute this cross-over phenomenon mostly to Glycerin. It basically acts as a glue to any product you put on top of it. That and the Witch Hazel which evens out your skin tone. It removes a lot of the speculation when you realize that products functioning is more about the ingredients than the labeling. Looking at primers active ingredients and Nivea’s shaving balm ingredients gets rid of the mystery as to how they do the same job!.

The one thing I would be wary of is the fact that Nivea’s Post Shave Balm contains Isopropyl Palmitate. As I mentioned earlier when used over a prolonged period of time this substance can lead to the clogging of your pores.

DIY Makeup Primer Recipe And Guide

Woman making peace signs with fingers.

DIY is always the way to go.

There’s something to be said about going natural when it comes to your skin care products. Do we take the time to read the ingredients list on our hair spray or foundation bottles like we should? Probably not. This means we’re not taking the necessary precautions to make sure our bodies aren’t absorbing any harmful chemicals. Many cosmetics are packed with things like carcinogens and other chemicals we would never knowingly ingest. Nivea’s Post Shave Balm may be the cheaper priming option but if you’re looking for something that won’t clog up your pores long term then why not try making your primer at home? It’s easier than you think!

In a bowl, add 3 tablespoons of Witch Hazel (you can use water if you want to keep the formula more neutral) to 2 drops of almond oil. Witch Hazel is a powerful antioxidant that soothes skin, reduces redness and speeds up your skins healing process. Almond oil is hypoallergenic. It should prevent skin flare-ups. You can also use it to even out your skin tone.  Mix this well with 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel (which will lock in moisture) to create a smooth gel. You’re all done! Apply to the face and allow to dry before applying makeup.

Due to the fact that this primer contains no preservatives, it will last for about a week in the refrigerator. (Depending on how often you apply your makeup you might want to reduce the quantities in this recipe to minimize any waste).


Shaving is an obsessive necessity for some, and a rare pain-in-the-neck experience for others. But no matter your grooming choice, it’s essential to take the required precautions (is post-cautions a word?) to protect your skin. An after-shave balm is crucial in helping your face to recover from the invasive procedure it just went through. It’s essential not only in reducing the risk of possible infection but to reduce inflammation and replenish any lost moisture. Nivea’s Post Shave Balm has got your back in all these departments with its powerhouse of mild ingredients. Glycerin locks in moisture and Witch Hazel reduces redness to name a few dynamic elements.

As for using it as a makeup primer, I’m still on the ledge. My general stance on the primer/aftershave debate is that at the end of the day there are enough makeup primers out there that you don’t need to be resorting to aftershave balm. And yet, it has worked wonders on most people and has an attractive price tag attached to it compared with most drugstore primers. However, to stay on the safe (and natural) side of caution, I recommend making your own at-home primer. It’s easy, efficient and you know exactly what you’re putting on your face!