I started making aftershave a few years ago upon seeing a tiny bottle of one at Bean’s and Barley for $13 made entirely from ingredients I already had a home that also happen to be very affordable and last forever. It’s made from just 4 common skincare ingredients: aloe, witch hazel, glycerin and any essential oils of your choosing. I like to keep it in the fridge to not only extend the shelf life, but it also feels so good on irritated, post-shave skin. The cold also stimulates blood circulation and wakes you right up.
Some good essential oil options include:
- cedar is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial which is good for freshly exposed skin and/or any nicks
- vetiver’s antioxidants protect your skin against environmental factors like heat and pollution
- geranium oil is a natural cicatrisant meaning it has skin healing or cell regenerative properties, it also calms and balances skin. I already have geranium blossom infused witch hazel leftover from summer bug spray recipes, lucky me huh
- rose hips oil is full of vitamin c, fatty acids and retinoids
- roman chamomile and frankincense oils are both super nourishing and great for dry or sensitive skin
I use cedar and a blend of bergamot and citrus oils in mine which I find super uplifting and brightening. People commonly have issues with citrus in skin products so your mileage may vary here, but Burton and I both respond well to it.
The following few days after shaving, it’s smart to use glycolic acid or another AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) to prevent the hair follicle from getting clogged and causing ingrown hairs. Be sure to use sunscreen with AHAs (absolutely mandatory) if applied on a place that is exposed to the sun.
2 tbsp aloe vera juice
2 tbsp witch hazel
2 tsp vegetable glycerin
~5-8 drops of your favorite essential oils
Mix all ingredients together and pour into small spray bottle. Lasts a few weeks at room temperature or indefinitely in the fridge.