The use of aftershave in society dates back to Roman times. For this reason, a market consisting of highly differentiated products has been created—some utilizing alcohols, some not. Some aftershaves utilize fragrance or essential oil to enhance scent and differentiate themselves. Moisturizers—natural and artificial, are often touted as able to soften the skin. Astringents are also often used in the formulation of an aftershave.
Many fashion designer houses lend their names to brands of aftershave.
Aftershave is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Eau de Cologne.
Early aftershaves included Witchhazel and Bay Rum, and have been documented in shaving guides. Both still are sold as aftershaves.