Is Aftershave Flammable?

In this article we will enlight you about the following question: “Is Aftershave Flammable?”, and other important matters that may be of your interest. We will discuss aftershave properties and what is their point as well.

Is Aftershave Flammable?

Aftershave products can be flammable, but it depends. Many are flammable especially because they have alcohol in their formation, but other substances can ignite as well.

What is aftershave?

Aftershave is a cosmetic applied to the skin after shaving, normally in the region of the face.

It is composed of many elements that help prevent infection or eventual cuts on the skin. It also serves as a moisturizer, has astringent properties, and prevents irritation.

Aftershaves are often composed of alcohol, fragrance or essential oils, moisturizers, emulsifiers, emollients, and antioxidants.

What is the point of aftershave?

Aftershaves offer hydration and protection to your skin. Good smell too.

After shaving, the skin may get irritated due to the scratching the razors cause, or get dried depending on the product that was used to shave.

Hydration products serve many purposes on our skin as well. One of them is to prevent the water within our skin cells from escaping, which helps our body to heal itself from an eventual cut.

Aftershave is a mix of compounds. Its formula was designed to help the skin, preventing problems that could damage the skin in the long term, and making it feel good.

The difference between cologne and aftershave

Colognes have much more fragrances. The most important function of them is to make us smell good and feel well.

Aftershaves serve many other purposes, as we will see. They do have fragrances as well, but between 2 to 8 times less.

Aftershave properties and ingredients

In this section, we will provide some information about the properties that most aftershaves have, and the ingredients that are used to do so.

Cosmetic formulas are made for specific functions. Many ingredients don’t have a clear purpose but are added to enhance the properties of others or to promulgate a certain thickness that the clients are expecting to find, among other properties.

Nevertheless, many cosmetic ingredients serve more than one purpose.


Astringent is an antimicrobial and/ or antibacterial agent that helps prevent infections from the small cuts that razors may cause, and can kill acne-causing bacteria.

The astringent effect makes our skin feel fresh and cool.

Alcohol alone is already capable of doing so, but it can be very harsh and dry to the skin. Since alcohol evaporates quickly, it can steal the hydration of our skin because water mixes easily with it.

To prevent skin drying, many aftershaves that use alcohol now are composed by adding hydration compounds as well. The idea is that alcohol will fly off and leave a moisturizer behind.

The effect is normally done by alcohol or witch hazel.


Ingredients that provide emollient effects are usually creamy.

These ingredients have the quality of softening and soothing the skin. They are considered skin conditioners and texture enhancers.

Examples: plant oils, mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, petrolatum, fatty acids, triglycerides, benzoates, myristates, palmitates, and stearates.


It’s added to make us smell nice. 

It often comes from plants or synthetic compounds that mimic what’s in nature.

Our olfactory sense is linked to many functions in our body, specially psychologic. The role of smelling and its implications for our brain hasn’t even been fully understood yet.

A good perfume on someone else can interfere with how we feel about them.

Perfumes are, normally, ester compounds.


Moisturizers/humectants are substances used to leave a waxy layer on our skin. This serves many purposes for us, but the main is to help hydrate our skin by preventing our own hydration to be lost.

When we have dry skin it is because our skin cells are a little dried. Our body will eventually regain the water, but we can help it by adding a fatty creamy layer to our skin. 

Since water and oil don’t mix, the moisture in our cells remains there, and our body can work on healing the skin more easily.

The effect is similar to emollients, but moisturizer is often more oily and creates better hydration, while emollients also have other functions.

Common moisturizers: glycerin, lactic acid, oils, butters, fatty acids.


Solvents serve many purposes in cosmetics.

A solvent is usually the substance in the biggest quantity in a product. It helps mix the other products, acts as a carrier of the other compounds, and usually can evaporate after being applied.

In aftershave products, the solvent is normally water or alcohol.

Aftershave products and flammability

Normally, at least in the EU and US, cosmetics have their ingredients list presented in descending order of weight, up to 1% mark. 

This means that the ingredients that appear before are in bigger quantities. This is important to presume how flammable a substance could be, but we can never rely only on that to do so.

The rule is: if one of the first items to appear in an ingredient list is a flammable compound, the whole product is probably flammable, and should never be left or used near a source of heat or fire.

If it appears but is one of the last items, the product is less flammable but it could still catch fire if a good amount of heat is provided.

Important: This rule is not final, it’s merely informative. To understand if a certain product is, indeed, flammable we need to search for specific information from the manufacturer.

How flammable an aftershave product can depend on its formula. We present below some safety data for specific brands.


Fire is a chemical reaction. Is the result of combustion.

It takes place whenever we allow it to do so.

Normally, a fire requires a source of fuel, oxygen gas, and heat. This last ingredient can be obtained from the fire itself. A fire always has an ignition source.

A combustible source will always catch fire if the conditions for it were given. Many fires are required to provide energy for our society, but here we’d like to talk about unwanted fires.

The best way to avoid fire is if there’s no combustible source around. Unfortunately, many materials in our day-to-day life are not fuels, but they can act like so. And we can’t get rid of them.

Oxygen is available practically anywhere on the surface of our planet, so we can’t get rid of that too.

The best we can do is stay alert, keep our flammable materials well stored, use them in well-ventilated places and understand where our sources of ignition are.

Ignition can occur wherever there’s an intense source of heat, sparks, sunlight, or flames themselves.

Many flammable materials can’t even ignite easily, but if they were not well stored with proper ventilation, flammable vapors could impregnate the air around and a big fire or explosion could take place.

Products flammability

According to this, the product is a two-phase liquid. One is an oil phase, that’s highly flammable.

Contains Highly flammable liquids and vapor. Canned products that have under pressure flammable gases have a higher risk of explosion.

It’s a highly flammable liquid. If large quantities of the product are sprayed under an unventilated area, it could explode.

No flammability risk was presented by the fabricant.

Is composed of flammable liquids. An explosive mixture may form with air if used in an unventilated space.

For all the examples above, the risk is only present if the specifications are not followed.


Aftershave products have a good chance of being flammable, but it all depends on their ingredients. If one of the ingredients is flammable, it’s safer to assume that the entire product is as well. To be certain, specific safety data from the fabricant must be found.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): Is Aftershave Flammable?

What is aftershave made of?

Aftershave is made of many things, for many purposes. 

It’s usually made of: an antimicrobial source, a solvent (water or alcohol), fatty acids, perfume, and other additives.

Its basic function is to protect the skin, prevent irritation, hydrate, and kill microbes.

How toxic is aftershave?

Cosmetics do not present alarming levels of toxicity unless you have allergies to one of its ingredients. Aftershaves are meant to be used after shaving to prevent infections, among other things.

Can I put aftershave on my pubic area?

Many aftershaves contain alcohol, which can sting the sensitive pubic area. Finding alcohol-free products may be the best option for this area. 

Try first applying it in a small area and wait a few minutes before. You can also try using a simpler product like Vaseline.

The best thing to do is find a product specifically for that area. 


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