Ipa Or Rubbing Alcohol As An Aftershave? Is It Safe?

Ipa Or Rubbing Alcohol As An Aftershave

Using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) or Rubbing Alcohol as an Aftershave: Safety Considerations and Alternatives

Aftershave is a common grooming product used by many to soothe and refresh the skin after shaving. While traditional aftershaves often contain alcohol, there is a growing interest in using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or rubbing alcohol as a cost-effective alternative. In this article, we will explore the safety considerations of using IPA or rubbing alcohol as an aftershave, potential benefits, risks, and alternative options for post-shaving skincare.

Understanding Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Rubbing Alcohol:

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as IPA or rubbing alcohol, is a type of alcohol that is widely used for its antiseptic and disinfectant properties. It is known for its ability to kill bacteria and viruses on the skin’s surface. Rubbing alcohol, typically found in pharmacies, is a solution containing isopropyl alcohol, water, and sometimes other additives.

Steps to Use Rubbing Alcohol for Your Face After Shaving:

  1. Cleanse the Skin:
    • Before applying rubbing alcohol, ensure that your face is clean. Use a gentle facial cleanser to remove any remaining shaving cream, gel, or debris.
  2. Pat the Face Dry:
    • Gently pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel. Avoid vigorous rubbing, as freshly shaved skin can be sensitive.
  3. Select the Right Rubbing Alcohol:
    • Choose a rubbing alcohol with a lower concentration, preferably 70% isopropyl alcohol. Higher concentrations may be too harsh on the skin.
  4. Dilute if Necessary:
    • If you find that the rubbing alcohol is too strong, consider diluting it with water. A diluted solution can be gentler on the skin while still offering antiseptic benefits.
  5. Apply with a Cotton Pad or Ball:
    • Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad or ball. Gently apply it to the shaved areas, avoiding contact with the eyes and mucous membranes.
  6. Focus on Problem Areas:
    • If you have specific areas prone to irritation or ingrown hairs, pay extra attention to those areas while applying the rubbing alcohol.
  7. Allow to Dry:
    • Let the rubbing alcohol air-dry on your face. Avoid wiping it off, as the evaporation process contributes to its antiseptic effects.
  8. Moisturize:
    • Once the rubbing alcohol has dried, apply a moisturizer to hydrate the skin. This step helps counteract the potential drying effects of alcohol.

Benefits of Using IPA or Rubbing Alcohol as Aftershave:

  1. Antiseptic Properties:
    • IPA possesses antiseptic properties that can help reduce the risk of infection by disinfecting small nicks or cuts that may occur during shaving.
  2. Oil and Grease Removal:
    • The alcohol content in rubbing alcohol aids in removing excess oils and grease from the skin, providing a clean and refreshed feeling.
  3. Quick Evaporation:
    • IPA evaporates quickly, leaving the skin dry. This can be beneficial for those who prefer a non-greasy finish after shaving.

Safety Considerations:

While isopropyl alcohol and rubbing alcohol may offer some benefits, there are important safety considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Skin Dryness:
    • The rapid evaporation of alcohol can lead to skin dryness, which may be a concern, especially for individuals with sensitive or dry skin.
  2. Irritation:
    • Alcohol can be irritating to the skin, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Prolonged or frequent use may exacerbate irritation.
  3. Avoiding Mucous Membranes:
    • Care should be taken to avoid applying alcohol-based aftershave near mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth, as it can be irritating.
  4. Alcohol Content:
    • Commercial aftershaves may contain a lower alcohol concentration than pure isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol. High concentrations can increase the risk of skin irritation.

Potential Risks:

  1. Flammability:
    • Isopropyl alcohol is flammable, and using it near open flames or heat sources can pose a fire hazard. This risk should be considered during application.
  2. Toxicity:
    • Ingesting isopropyl alcohol can be toxic. While this is not a concern for external use, there is a risk of accidental ingestion, especially if used near the mouth.

Alternatives to Isopropyl Alcohol or Rubbing Alcohol Aftershave:

  1. Commercial Aftershaves:
    • Many commercial aftershaves are specifically formulated to balance skin care benefits and fragrance. Look for products with lower alcohol concentrations and added moisturizing ingredients.
  2. Aloe Vera Gel:
    • Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing properties. Applying aloe vera gel after shaving can help calm the skin and provide hydration.
  3. Natural Oils:
    • Natural oils like jojoba oil or coconut oil can be applied to the skin after shaving to moisturize and nourish without the potential drying effect of alcohol.
  4. Fragrance-Free Moisturizers:
    • Fragrance-free moisturizers or creams can be effective in hydrating the skin without the use of alcohol. They are suitable for those with sensitive skin.


While isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol may have antiseptic properties suitable for aftershave use, it is essential to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and consider individual skin types and preferences. The safety considerations, including skin dryness, irritation, and flammability, should be taken seriously. Alternatives, such as commercial aftershaves, aloe vera gel, natural oils, and fragrance-free moisturizers, offer gentler options for post-shaving skincare.

Ultimately, the choice of aftershave depends on personal preferences, skin sensitivity, and the desired effects. Individuals with specific skin concerns or conditions should consult with dermatologists or skincare professionals for personalized recommendations. Proper skincare practices, including regular cleansing and moisturizing, contribute to a healthy and comfortable shaving experience.

Related FAQ’S

1. Is It Safe to Use Isopropyl Alcohol as Aftershave?

Using pure isopropyl alcohol as an aftershave is generally not recommended due to its potential to cause skin dryness, irritation, and other adverse effects. Pure alcohol can strip the skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and discomfort. It is essential to dilute it or consider alternatives to minimize these risks.

2. What Can I Use Instead of Aftershave?

There are several alternatives to traditional aftershave products, including:

  • Commercial Aftershaves: Look for products with lower alcohol concentrations and added moisturizing ingredients.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera gel can provide relief and hydration.
  • Natural Oils: Jojoba oil or coconut oil can be applied to moisturize and nourish the skin without the potential drying effect of alcohol.
  • Fragrance-Free Moisturizers: Unscented moisturizers or creams can offer hydration without the use of alcohol.

3. Can You Use Isopropyl Alcohol on the Face?

While isopropyl alcohol can be used on the face for specific purposes, such as cleaning or disinfecting, using it as a regular skincare product is not recommended. It can be harsh on the skin, leading to dryness and irritation. If used, it should be diluted to reduce its potency.

4. Can We Use Sanitizer as Aftershave?

Hand sanitizers often contain high concentrations of alcohol and additional ingredients not suitable for use on the face. Using hand sanitizer as an aftershave is not recommended due to the risk of skin irritation and dryness. Stick to products specifically formulated for skincare.

5. How Do You Make Homemade Aftershave?

If you prefer a DIY approach, you can make a simple homemade aftershave using ingredients like aloe vera gel, witch hazel, and essential oils. Mix these ingredients in appropriate proportions to create a soothing and fragrant aftershave.

6. Can Hydrogen Peroxide Be Used as Aftershave?

Hydrogen peroxide is not recommended as an aftershave. It can be harsh on the skin and may cause irritation. Stick to products specifically formulated for post-shave care.

7. Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol After Shaving My Vagina, or Is It a Risk?

Using rubbing alcohol on sensitive areas like the vagina is not recommended. The genital area is delicate, and harsh products can disrupt the natural balance and cause irritation. Stick to gentle, fragrance-free products designed for intimate hygiene.

8. Should You Put Alcohol on Your Head After Shaving?

Applying alcohol to the scalp after shaving the head carries similar risks as using it on the face. It can lead to dryness and irritation. Consider gentler alternatives like moisturizers or aloe vera gel.

9. Does Rubbing Alcohol Help Razor Bumps?

While rubbing alcohol has antiseptic properties, it may not be the best solution for razor bumps. Products containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid are often recommended for addressing razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

10. Rubbing Alcohol After Shaving Head:

Using rubbing alcohol on the shaved head can have the same potential drawbacks as using it on the face. Consider alternatives that provide hydration and soothing effects without the risk of skin dryness.

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