two Nivea products and a razor

Nivea Post Shave Balm for sensitive skin is a heavily enriched formula that is supposed to take away the burning sensation of shaving. It also brags that it can help clear up skin plagued by rashes, acne and other unfortunate blemishes that can be removed. So what does it actually do? Does it actually work or is it just a gentle cleanser that helps.. a little bit?

two Nivea products and a razor

Today we’ll take a deep look at Nivea Post Shave Balm and see if it lives up to its own marketing campaign.

What Nivea Says

There are two particular formulas, with Nivea Post Shave Balm each stating that one is for men and one is for women. This already is a bit of a joke because the two balms are chemically the same. The difference? Their fragrances. The women’s formula is a bit more fruity than the men’s, but in all honesty, the scent wears off fairly quickly. Men and women won’t notice much of a difference between the formulas.

Nivea Post Shave Balm says its soothing features help take the burn away from shaving and though the directions state where to place it, again, these products are interchangeable. Don’t worry about putting the women’s product on your face, fellas. It’s fine to go ahead and do that, a quick call to Nivea says so.

So what are these soothing features? Chamomile extract, witch hazel extract, and vitamin E balm all mixed together with a number of stabilizers. Nivea Post Shave Balm says that this is a combination, which is admittedly classic, that helps cool on contact and lasts all day. Certainly vitamin E is one of the most common additives to any post shave balm or gel. Chamomile is a well-known herb usually taken as a tea to settle the nerves, but it has its place in this too.

We find ourselves a bit confused about witch hazel. Witch hazel is a great astringent, though it has been used for drawing heat from wounds in the past since it does have an anti-inflammatory property. However, with it being so chemically strong, we find ourselves wondering why witch hazel rather than a substitute. Let’s look at these ingredients a bit closer.

Pros and Cons of Nivea Post Shave Balm for Sensitive Skin’s Ingredients

a nivea post shave balm bottle

Nivea Post Shave Balm Pros

The pros are pretty obvious on this product. Vitamin E will keep the skin hydrated, stay moist and helps clear it up. It’s one of the most common additives to all things skin related, right up there with shea butter. Again we have chamomile, which is also fine and dandy. It works well in this blend and only helps to amplify the vitamin E.

The first ingredients listed are water, glycerin, dicaprylyl carbonate, and panthenol. All of these are fine, with the dicaprylyl carbonate replacing harsher carbonates in other brands. Further along, we see tapioca starch, which is fantastic so long as you aren’t sensitive to tapioca. Tapioca replaces cornstarch as a stabilizer in this blend and is all around a lot less harsh than corn starch is.

All in all, there are a lot of natural ingredients here that are very gentle on the skin. Even the fragrance is a natural spruce oil that is only barely there so as not to irritate already sensitive skin.


Now we get to the cons. Again, we revisit witch hazel. Witch hazel is an astringent almost as powerful as alcohol and is often used as a cheap out to replace alcohol in things like this. That way they can say that the product is alcohol-free, while still maintaining a strong astringent. Yes, we do need a cleanser in this. Witch hazel does that job. But so would hydrogen peroxide, and it would be a good deal gentler.

Another thing that is a bit undercut is the isopropyl palmitate. This is palm oil that has been brewed down to become alcoholic and sometimes even has alcohol added to it as a starter. The alcohol is then removed for other purposes, and we’re left with this paste, sort of like brewers rice in dog food. So while not technically alcoholic, this is really just here as a thickening agent, but there are a great many better choices that Nivea could have made. A good example would to simply be substituting more tapioca in for the palmitate, but that is significantly more costly and would likely bite into Nivea’s profits. We would still prefer a substitute here.

Last but not least we have citric acid. This is another natural astringent that is even stronger than the witch hazel. Not only that, but it tends to dry out the skin. The amount here is fairly low, but its existence in this blend whatsoever makes us wonder what Nivea is thinking. Needless to say, if citrus tends to make you break out you should probably avoid this balm.

Is It Worth It?

Overall, this is one of the more carefully blended balms on the market for typical sensitive skin, and it’s fairly cheap. It’s worth giving a try if for no other reason that those two alone. However, if you have sensitive skin that is also oily, you may want to look elsewhere. There were a few reports of breakouts from those with oily skin, probably because of the addition of citric acid.

It must also be noted that this formula won’t help you if you already have an acne breakout in progress. In fact, it might actually burn a bit due to the witch hazel. Use a milder formula and come back to this once your skin has cleared up.

And that’s it! Nivea Post Shave Balm is a good product, but it may just not be for everybody. Have you tried it? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below and tell us if you loved it or hated it, and tell us how it worked for you.

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