My other half has thick hair, which means most conventional shaving products irritate their skin. I did homemade shaving options for him for years now. A DIY aftershave is the perfect way to follow a natural shaving routine. This homemade aftershave tightens pores, soothes irritation and softens skin.
Make an aftershave with natural ingredients
Most aftershave products contain a lot of alcohol and a strong smell… but not in a good way. DIY aftershave, however, is a great way to get skin-soothing ingredients. By making it ourselves, we skip the toxic chemicals and overwhelming odors.
Some people prefer an aftershave or aftershave lotion, but this recipe is finer and more like an aftershave spray or splash.
This aftershave recipe has many variations, but don’t be intimidated. You really only need 4 ingredients! From there, you can be as sophisticated as you want to customize the scent and skin type.
Nourishing essential oils
We’ve talked about our basic ingredients, but which essential oils are good for aftershave? And what about herbs? Essential oils are an easy way to flavor aftershave, but they offer so much more.
Here’s a breakdown of some essential oils and what they do for the skin:
- Juniper berry – Antiseptic and astringent to tighten the appearance of pores.
- Sweet orange – Brightens dull skin, improves mood and fights a wide range of germs.
- Lavender – Lifts and calms the mood. Good for any type of damaged skin, relieves itching and soothes sore and damaged skin.
- Patchouli – Good for chapped and damaged skin, eczema, psoriasis and oily skin.
- Sandalwood – Helps dry, sensitive, oily or chapped skin. Also useful in reducing the appearance of scars.
- Vetiver – Soothing, relaxing and elevates the mood. Soothes cuts while relieving stress.
- Cedar wood – Woody scent and good for irritated or sensitive skin.
- Tea plant – Good for damaged skin, soothes irritation and itching.
Other good-smelling options are chamomile, bergamot, eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint, and grapefruit. Point: Make sure to dilute the essential oil of bergamot and grapefruit enough not to cause phototoxicity. Peppermint and eucalyptus can also be irritants and therefore should be diluted well.
You can learn more about the safe use of each essential oil here.
Suggested essential oil blends:
- Fruity Forest mix – 7 drops of each juniper berry, fir needle and sweet orange essential oil
- Spicy forest mix – 8 drops of berry, 4 drops of lavender, clove and vetiver
- Hippie mix – 10 drops of patchouli, 5 drops of each tea tree and bergamot
Skin herbs (optional)
Here are more details on some skin loving herbs – all of these herbs are good choices to add to your aftershave. Use what you have on hand and follow your nose!
- sage – Helps build tissue, moisten, soothe and relieve dry or damaged skin. Sage is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, and circulatory stimulant.
- Yarrow – Yarrow helps swell and disinfect wounds. It is also antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and astringent. It also acts as a styptic to stop excessive bleeding.
- Calendula – Anti-inflammatory and moisturizing to help soothe and calm damaged skin. It also works as an astringent and an antimicrobial for cuts. Calendula also contains salicylic acid to help ease the pain of irritated skin. I also use it for insect bites, anti-itch cream etc.
- White pine – White pine warms and cools. It stimulates blood circulation and its anti-inflammatory action reduces inflammation. Pine is also antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent.
- Raspberry leaf – Rich in vitamins and minerals with complex of vitamins E, C and B, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, magnesium and manganese. Raspberry leaf is also astringent and anti-inflammatory.
While we don’t put dried herbs directly into the aftershave bottle, there are a few ways to include their benefits. Check out the FAQ section after the recipe for tips on how to make your own infusions to add to your aftershave.
Herbal aftershave recipe
This homemade aftershave is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Filled with nourishing and hydrating ingredients, it soothes the skin while adding a light fragrance.
2 oz bottle
- 2 teaspoon glycerine use an herbal infused glycerite if desired (see FAQs below)
- ten drops vitamin E oil a nourishing antioxidant
- 20 drops Essential oil see recipe ideas above
- witch Hazel use an herbal infused version if you wish (see FAQs below)
A regular vaporizer or vaporizer will work for this recipe. Make sure to store away from direct light and heat.
DIY aftershave: faq
Once you have mastered the basic recipe, here’s how to add some extras, plus storage tips!
What is glycerite and how do you make one?
Herbal infused glycerin is called glycerite. Glycerites can be made in a matter of hours if you do it on the stove, or in a matter of weeks if you do it with sunlight. The extra step is worth it! Here is how to make a glycerite of dried herbs.
How to make herbal infused witch hazel?
- Fill a glass jar half full with the dried herbs of your choice.
- Cover completely with witch hazel and let stand for 2 weeks, shaking once or twice a day.
- Filter the herbs with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
How long will the DIY aftershave last?
Instead of relying on alcohol and chemical preservatives, this aftershave recipe uses self-preserving ingredients. After all, if you give this aftershave as a gift for fathers day or at Christmas, most won’t want to keep it in the fridge.
The magic here is in the ingredients. We use glycerin and witch hazel which both have a shelf life of several years. Add to that the essential oils which also last a very long time when stored properly. All things considered, this DIY aftershave should last around 2 years when stored away from light and heat.
You will probably have used it up before!
More Natural Personal Care Recipes for Men
What herbs and essential oils will you include in your homemade aftershave?
- Foster, S. (1993). Herbal Renaissance. Books by Peregrine Smith.
- Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical herbalism. Healing Arts Press.
- Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine. Basic Health Publications, Inc.
- Robins, W. (ND). Directory of essential oils: Properties, uses and benefits of essential oils. https://www.aromaweb.com/essentialoils/default.asp
- Wood, M. (2004). The practice of traditional western herbalism. North Atlantic Books.
- Bois, M. (2009). Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Herbal Medicines. North Atlantic Books.