Side by Side: After Shave Face Oil & Face Tonic

Badger After Shaves Side by Side

You are the Navigator. You put the finishing touches on your morning shave. Close, smooth. Unafraid. And now you reach for an after shave.

But which one will you choose?

A brief history of After Shave

Popularized by barbers in the 18th century, after shave was used primarily to stave off infection. Back in the 1700’s, razors weren’t as sharp as today’s blades, and nicks and cuts were an inevitable part of the shaving routine. Those small cuts combined with unhygienic conditions could result in painful, even fatal, infections. After shave with ingredients such as alcohol or witch hazel provided antiseptic qualities that prevented infection.

Traditional wet shaving routines include a warm towel or pre-shave shower to open pores, soften hair, and thus facilitate a nice, close shave. So another reason after shave became popular was because it helped to close pores after shaving, preventing irritation and blemishes, especially when a cooling element such as peppermint or menthol was included. After shave also moisturizes the skin and provides a nice scent.

Advances in blades, hygiene, and even the at-home shaving routine have made after shave less of a necessity. But let’s be honest: there’s something profoundly soothing about anointing freshly shaved skin. It’s in this spirit that Badger created two after shave products for Navigators everywhere. Read the following side-by-side comparison and discover which one is right for you!

Master of Space and Time

Who the product is intended for:

After Shave Face Oil: those with sensitive skin looking to cool, soothe, and moisturize freshly shaved skin.

After Shave Face Tonic: those looking for a traditional splash to tighten and tone skin, while providing a cooling sensation.

The biggest difference between the two is the base ingredients. Our After Shave Face Oil features moisturizing sunflower and baobab oils which are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. While our After Shave Face Tonic features witch hazel and alcohol, for that invigorating splash.

For anyone with extra sensitive skin, you might want to lean towards the Face Oil, it has a more soothing and gentle finish. It’s also great as a daily moisturizer. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a toning and tightening experience, then you might want to reach for the Face Tonic.

It’s important to note that while these products are part of the Badger Man Care line, really anyone can use them. I often use the After Shave Oil on my legs, because I find the scent absolutely divine.

Ingredient breakdown:

After Shave Face Oil Ingredients:
*Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Menthol (Menthol Crystals).

After Shave Face Tonic Ingredients: Water (Aqua), *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, *Alcohol, *Glycerin, Agar/Xanthan Gum, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Menthol (Menthol Crystals), *Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract.

* = Certified Organic

Two very different sides of the same coin! Since the Face Oil’s ingredients are pretty straightforward, let’s take a closer look at the Face Tonic ingredients.

You may be thinking to yourself that witch hazel and alcohol could be drying to your face. Not in this blend, my dear Navigator. We’ve paired them with some really soothing ingredients, like glycerin. Glycerin is amazing stuff – not only is it super-moisturizing, but it actually pulls water out of the air! Have you ever had a glycerin-based soap that beads up with moisture when the weather is very humid? This is glycerin in action. It feels great, and helps to pull moisture towards the skin. Really cool stuff.

Menthol crystals provide a cooling and refreshing sensation, while aloe vera, hops, and cucumber soothe freshly shaved skin. Badger Bill and our product development team worked very hard to make sure this blend was soothing and bracing at the same time, and I think they did a really fine job.

Other notable points:

The Face Oil is great for soothing and moisturizing, and you can use it on your hair and body too, if you so desire! If you’re a minimalist, you might really like this product, because you can use less of it than the Face Tonic, or another after shave. Meaning this 4 ounce bottle will last you a long time.

Both come in lovely amber glass bottles with wide mouth openings. Use care when pouring After Shave into your hands, and be sparing with the Face Oil. Our favorite technique for getting just the right amount out of the bottle is to press your palm over the opening, do a quick tip (or two) to get the product onto your palm, and then apply to your face.

Above all be sure to look in the mirror, stand tall, and get ready to take on the day – because You are the Navigator.

Have anything to add to this conversation? Share your experiences in the comments below!

15 comments on “Side by Side: After Shave Face Oil & Face Tonic

  • About packaging of after shave oil.

    Hello, I purchased after shave oil from Amazon to give a try. After I open the box, I realied that there is no seal on the bottle cap. And it is very easy to open the cap without any restriction. Is this the way you package this bottle? If answer is yes, i must say i am dissapointed in terms of hygiene issue. Or Did I receive an opened one?

    • Hi Obi. I am passing your concern on to our quality team’s attention. In all of our packaging decisions, we try to limit the use of non-recyclable content. In this case, because the oil is individually packaged within a 98% post-consumer recycled paperboard box (from sustainably managed forests, woot, woot!), an additional safety seal is not required. We hear and appreciate your concern, however, and thank you for sharing it.


  • Dear Jentri,
    My husband uses both the tonic and the oil (one after the other) as another customer mentioned. Works like a charm. He also uses the facial oil in between on non shaving days to moisturize his skin. I was wondering if women could use the tonic before applying Badger’s facial oils? I like using hydrosols or tonics mixed with your facial oils-wondering is the Navigator tonic would be suitable? Have you ever tried it or given it much thought?
    My husband absolutely loves the Navigator line and his skin has never looked of felt better. No more razor bumps or irritation. I personally also enjoy the scent!

    • Hi Anna-Lena,

      Absolutely! Our tonic is cooling and refreshing and I’ve used it on my legs post shaving. I think you might really like it!

      Let me know if you have any more questions or suggestions 🙂

      • Anna-Lena says:

        Thanks dear Jentri! I started using it and have tried it during the past few days. My husband is probably wondering where his after shave tonic is wandering off to. I like it-tightens my facial skin and prepares it well for the facial oil. Also noticed it cleans some “gunk” out of my pores. Still patiently waiting for a rose hydrosol from Badger or a toner for acne prone skin. LOL. But I might use this in the meanwhile. Thanks as always for the wonderful online conversation and your cherished skin care advice! You are a skin care guru for sure!
        Warm wishes

  • Aaron Cleaver says:

    After a close wet shave (sometimes too close) I’ll use the face tonic. It gives me feed back to areas I’ve been too agressive with i can feel it clean any small cuts annd whatnot. After the tonic dries I apply the face oil. It’s been a really great combo for my skin, is there any reason not to use both in the same session?

      • Aaron Cleaver says:

        I’m glad because it’s a great combo I’d hate to change it. Happy to help and that would be just fine to share.

  • Rudy Jaramillo says:

    I use both the face oil and the tonic. The only thing diffrent is I like to apply all over my face and thats why I use mostly the face oil. The tonic it say’s to avoid the eyes area. so I use it less. why can’t you apply around the eyes? waiting for your reply. Rudy.

    • Hi Rudy!

      Sorry for the delay in my reply. The tonic contains both witch hazel and alcohol, which can irritate eyes and (for some) the sensitive area around the eyes.

      Hope this helps!


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