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My other half has thick hair, which means most conventional shaving products irritate his skin. I’ve been making homemade shaving options for him for years now. A DIY aftershave is the perfect way to follow up a natural shave routine. This homemade aftershave tightens pores, soothes irritations, and softens skin.
Make DIY Aftershave With Natural Ingredients
Most aftershave products are made with lots of alcohol and smell potent… but not in a good way. DIY aftershave though is a great way to get skin-soothing ingredients. By making it ourselves, we’re skipping the toxic chemicals and overpowering smells.
Some people prefer an aftershave balm or aftershave lotion, but this recipe is thinner and more of an aftershave spray or splash.
This aftershave recipe has lots of variations, but don’t be intimidated. You really only need 4 ingredients! From there, you can get as fancy as you like to customize for scent and skin type.
Nourishing Essential Oils
We’ve talked about our base ingredients, but which essential oils are good for aftershave? And what about herbs? Essential oils are an easy way to scent the aftershave, but they offer so much more.
Here’s a breakdown of some different essential oils and what they do for skin:
- Juniper berry – Antiseptic and astringent to tighten the appearance of pores.
- Sweet orange – Brightens dull skin, uplifts the mood, and fights a broad array of germs.
- Lavender – Uplifts and calms the mood. Good for any kind of damaged skin, relieves itching and soothes painful, damaged skin.
- Patchouli – Good for chapped and damaged skin, eczema, psoriasis, and oily skin.
- Sandalwood – Helps dry, sensitive, oily or chapped skin. Also useful to reduce the appearance of scars.
- Vetiver – Calming, relaxing and uplifts the mood. Soothes cuts while it eases stress.
- Cedarwood – Woodsy smelling and good for irritated or sensitive skin.
- Tea tree – Good for damaged skin, soothes irritations and itchiness.
Other good-smelling options are chamomile, bergamot, eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint, and grapefruit. Tip: Be careful to dilute the bergamot and grapefruit essential oil enough so they won’t cause phototoxicity. Peppermint and eucalyptus can also be irritating so should be well diluted.
You can read more about how to safely use each essential oil here.
Suggested Essential Oil Blends:
- Fruity Forest blend – 7 drops each juniper berry, fir needle, and sweet orange essential oil
- Spiced Forest blend – 8 drops bay, 4 drops each lavender, clove, and vetiver
- Hippy blend – 10 drops patchouli, 5 drops each tea tree and bergamot
Skin-Loving Herbs (Optional)
Here are more details on some skin-loving herbs – any of these are good choices to add to your aftershave. Use what you have on hand and follow your nose!
- Sage – Helps to build tissue, moisten, and soothe and relieve dry or damaged skin. Sage is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, and a circulatory stimulant.
- Yarrow – Yarrow helps with swelling and disinfecting wounds. It’s also antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and astringent. It also acts as a styptic to stop excess bleeding.
- Calendula – Anti-inflammatory and moisturizing to help soothe and calm damaged skin. It also works as an astringent and antimicrobial for cuts. Calendula also has salicylic acid to help ease the pain of irritated skin. I also use it for bug bites, anti-itch cream, and more.
- White pine – White pine is both warming and cooling. It stimulates circulation to move blood, and its anti-inflammatory action reduces inflammation. Pine is also antiseptic, antibacterial, and astringent.
- Raspberry leaf – Rich in vitamins and minerals with vitamins E, C, and B complex, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, magnesium, and manganese. Raspberry leaf is also astringent and anti-inflammatory.
While we’re not putting dried herbs directly in the aftershave bottle, there are several ways to include their benefits. See the FAQ section after the recipe for tips on how to make your own herbal infusions to add to your aftershave.
Herbal DIY Aftershave Recipe
This homemade aftershave makes the perfect gift for the man in your life. Packed with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients it soothes skin while adding a light scent.
2 ounce bottle
- 2 tsp glycerin use an herb infused glycerite if desired (see FAQ below)
- 10 drops vitamin E oil a nourishing antioxidant
- 20 drops essential oil see recipe ideas above
- witch hazel use an herb infused version if desired (see FAQ below)
Either a spray bottle or a regular one will work for this recipe. Be sure to store away from direct light and heat.
DIY Aftershave: FAQs
Once you master the base recipe, here’s how to add a few extras, plus storage tips!
What’s a glycerite and how do I make one?
Herb-infused glycerine is called a glycerite. Glycerites can be made within a few hours if you’re doing it on the stove, or a few weeks if doing it with sunlight. The extra step is well worth it though! Here’s how to make a glycerite from dried herbs.
How do I make herb-infused witch hazel?
- Fill a glass jar half full of dried herbs of your choice.
- Cover completely with witch hazel and let sit for 2 weeks, shaking once or so a day.
- Strain the herbs out with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
How long will DIY aftershave last?
Instead of relying on alcohol and chemical preservatives, this aftershave recipe uses self-preserving ingredients. After all, if you’re giving this aftershave as a gift for Father’s Day or Christmas, most won’t want to keep it in the fridge.
The magic here is in the ingredients. We’re using glycerin and witch hazel which both have a shelf life of several years. Add to that the essential oils which also last a really long time when stored properly. All things considered, this DIY aftershave should last about 2 years when kept away from light and heat.
You’ll probably have it used up before then though!
More Natural Personal Care Recipes for Men
What herbs and essential oils will you include in your homemade aftershave?
- Foster, S, (1993). Herbal Renaissance. Peregrine Smith Books.
- Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Healing Arts Press.
- Mars, B. (2007). The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine. Basic Health Publications, Inc.
- Robins, W. (N.D.). Essential Oils Directory: Essential Oil Properties, Uses and Benefits. https://www.aromaweb.com/essentialoils/default.asp
- Wood, M. (2004). The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism. North Atlantic Books.
- Wood, M. (2009). Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants. North Atlantic Books.