Dustin hasn’t shaved his facial hairs in over six years. And, today, we’re going to chat about shaving, particularly how to make homemade aftershave. Oh the irony!
Back in 2013, when I started blogging, I shared natural living recipes that were entirely based on our personal needs: foundation powder, body wash, hand soap, and laundry soap. At the time, my closet friends, my mom, and grandmother were the only people reading my recipes.
As time went on and the recipe collection grew, people that I didn’t know in real life began to visit Live Simply and try out the recipes. (I don’t know why I was surprised by the latter. After all, I was writing an online/public blog, and I wanted to share my passion with the world.)
As more people began to read the blog and become part of the Live Simply Family, I began receiving email requests from readers asking for various recipes/tips. Over the past year, while I still view the blog as a public diary where I share my natural living journey, it’s also become a much larger diary. A diary that’s about more than just my little family. A diary that chronicles our journey together–from recipes to tips–as an online family looking to live a “more natural lifestyle.”
“More natural lifestyle” = progress, never (stressed-out) perfection.
So, that’s why I started out with my irony statement. The irony of today’s post is that Dustin hasn’t shaved in over six years. He sports his rustic beard proudly, and he doesn’t have any future plans to shave it off. And, if you’re curious, I really do love his beard.
So why share a post on Live Simply about how to make homemade aftershave?
Remember when we talked about this online space being a public diary about our journey? That includes sharing diverse recipes and DIY projects to meet my needs and yours. Today’s tutorial is one that many readers have requested over the past year, so get those razors ready…
Homemade aftershave is so incredibly easy to make that it only requires two base ingredients: vegetable glycerin and witch hazel. Since neither glycerin or witch hazel offer much in terms of natural fragrance, essential oils are used to create a classic aftershave scent. The end result is a soothing and cleansing aftershave with a natural, manly fragrance.
- 1 TB vegetable glycerin
- 3/4 cup witch hazel* + 2 teaspoons (to fill the 8-ounce bottle)
Spiced Bay Scent:
- 24 drops bay essential oil
- 15 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil (not cinnamon bark)
- 15 drops clove essential oil
- 25 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 10 drops vetiver essential oil
- 8 drops bergamot essential oil
- In an 8-ounce glass spray bottle combine the glycerin and essential oils (either for the Spiced Bay Scent or Forest Scent). Swirl to combine, then add the witch hazel until the bottle is almost full. You’ll need about ¾ cup and 2 teaspoons of witch hazel, but it isn’t necessary to measure--just fill the bottle.
- Place the spray top on the bottle, and shake well to combine the ingredients.
- Shake well before use, and spray liberally on the skin after shaving to soothe and tone. The scent won’t last as long as store-bought aftershave products.
Tried and finished 2 bottles (over the past year) of the Forrest scent and it worked very well!.
Loved the woody smell!. Was great for my skin as well and no irritation issues and on top of that the Witch Hazel heals those shaving nicks in no time at all. Had no issues with the mixing of the oily and water soluble components- just gave it a gentle shake / swirl before each use.
Thank you for sharing the recipe.
That’s awesome to hear, Steyn. Thank you for sharing!
I will try it out
Is the solution thin or thick?
Hey Rich, It’s thin
Thanks Kristin! Is there a way to make it a bit like a gel? I use an aftershave lotion, which is a bit ‘viscous’ but then it evapourates only leaving the scent. The Witch Hazel or the glycerine looks slightly thicker. I want to make my own, like yours, but want to be able to spread it rather than like a very thin aftershave.
How long is this recipe shelf stable for?
Hey Mary K, About 6 months.
“Hamster wood chips”!! LOL sounds like something my husband would say!! Will defenitely try this recipe!
I’m concerned about this recipe. Can you explain. I always thought that when using essential oils on the skin, A) Essential OIls needed to be diluted with a carrier oil and B) there needs to be no more than a 3 percent ratio of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil. Your recipes not include a carrier oil, unless the vegetable glycerin is? and even if so definitely far exceed the 3 percent ratio. Am I missing something here?
Hey teenuh, Here’s a breakdown for each EO:
24 drops bay essential oil (.5% dilution, .9% is considered safe topically)
15 drops cinnamon leaf (not bark) essential oil (.3% dilution, .5% is considered safe for skincare)
15 drops clove essential oil (.3% dilution, .5% is considered safe for skincare)
25 drops cedarwood essential oil (.42%, 100% dilution is considered safe for skincare)
10 drops vetiver essential oil (.2% dilution, 15% dilution is considered safe)
8 drops bergamot essential oil (.17% dilution, .4 % is considered safe for skincare and not
You can definitely decrease the amounts if desired. Vegetable glycerin is being used in this recipe to mix and keep the oils from evaporating in the witch hazel based aftershave. It also adds moisturizing properties. Witch hazel is a water-based carrier for the EO (others include: lotion and aloe). Here’s more info: http://www.usingeossafely.com/choosing-carriers-to-enhance-therapeutic-properties-of-essential-oils/
I just made this for my husband. I made the spiced bay scent. It’s perfect! It smells great and doesn’t have the burn that aftershave normally does. Thank you for sharing!
Yay, Brooke! I’m so glad he’s enjoying it!
Both glycerine and witch hazel are water soluble, whereas essential oils are not. This recipe is not stable and can separate with time. Either use oil soluble ingredients or make an emulsion with these but then need to add an emulsifier.
This is a great recipe. I used the vodka/glycerine combination with lemon grass oil and one with ginger. My wife likes the aroma and doesn’t find it overpowering like commercial aftershaves.
The glycerine tends to make the oil disperse better. With just the vodka and oil I have to shake it more.
I used a hot sauce bottle which had a wooden top. I stained the top with old coffee then coated it with walnut oil to protect it. It looks very expensive and would make a nice gift.
Thank you for the recipe.
That’s great, Tom!
Thanks for commenting and rating.
Would aloe vera gel be a good substitue for vegetable glycerin?
Hey Hannah, Aloe won’t work the same way as the vegetable glycerin when it comes to dispersing the essential oil in the liquid. You could add aloe to the final recipe (an aloe with a natural preservative versus fresh aloe), but I don’t think it will work as a substitute.
I was just about to ask about adding aloe vera gel to the final recipe; I will report back with how it turns out.
Great, let me know how it goes, Katie!
Side point: would it be terribly punny to write “first class male” on the tag instead? XD
I HAVE to make this! I’m extremely sensitive to aftershave and perfumes – they give me migraines – so my husband hasn’t been able to use one for years. Now my son just started shaving! I’ll report back…
Yes, please do! I would love to hear what they think.