Aftershave Recipes

Do It Yourself Aftershave
  • Grain alcohol, witch hazel
  • Herbs and/or essential oils:
    Some suggested herbs -
    Camphor herbs such as: rosemary, lavender, sage
    Citrus herbs such as: orange or lemon peels
    Spicy herbs such as: cinnamon, cloves
  • Preservative (may not be necessary; especially in an alcohol base):
    Tincture of benzoin

Optional ingredients:

Glycerin, honey, small amount of oil

Basically, you're making a weak tincture of herbs that either smell nice together, or are beneficial to the skin. Choose your herbs, just enough to loosely fill the bottom 1/2 of a jar, pour grain alcohol and/or witch hazel to the top of the jar. Cover and place in a dark fairly cool place. Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 - 3 weeks. Strain out herbs; if desired add eo or fo.

Susan Couvia

Aftershave Recipes

Cooling Aftershave

* 1/2 C pure Aloe Vera Gel
1 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. 100 proof vodka
2 tsp. witchhazel
1/4 tsp. fo or eo of choice

Simply blend all together and put in a container of choice.

This is a wonderfully cooling after shave that I reframe from calling Men's after shave as women can use it on their legs as well.

Janet 10/21/98

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This recipe is from "The Herbal Body Book" by Stephanie Tourles.
2 cups witch hazel
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig mint of choice
1 stick cinnamon
5-10 whole cloves
2 strips fresh orange peel cut into spirals
2 strips fresh lemon peel cut into spirals
15 drops of tincture of benzoin
Place all in bottle. Cap tightly and store for 2 weeks. Use and enjoy.
I would assume skip the herbs and add FO. Don't think you would need tinc of benzoin. Probably used for preservative while using fresh herbs.

Jan S.

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This month's issue (Aug '97) of the Herb Companion has an article by Janice Cox on herbal skin care for men. Most of the recipes are pretty basic, with just two or three ingredients. The following is one I want to try:
1 C Vodka
2 tsp Dried yarrow
1 Tbls dried lavender flowers
1 Tbls dried sage leaves
1 dried bay leaf
1 Tbls honey (optional-add for dry skin)

Mix ingredients together, and pour into a clean jar with tight fitting lid. Place the jar in a dark, cool place for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, strain off the liquid and discard any solids; pour the strained liquid into a clean container. You can also create stronger scents by adding a few drops of essential oil, or by adding more dry herbs and allowing the mixture to sit another week.


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There are alot of things you can add/do to make a nice aftershave. The base of say, "Bay Rum" aftershave is Bacardi 151 Rum (any kind of rum will do, but the higher proofs work best) Just put a pint of it into a jar and add things like cloves, ginger, herbs, EO's, fruit rinds, to get the smell you desire. Make sure that the level of Rum completely covers the ingredients. Leave in jar and shake daily for two weeks. Then strain!

The Rum (alcohol) actually is extracting the essences of your ingredients! You can use Vodka also, but I prefer Rum! There are many things you can do to this, just takes an imagination (something I have alot of ;)


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Electric Pre-Shave mix

Small bottle of 80 proof vodka
2 dessert spoons Glycerin
1/2 dessert spoon spirit of camphor
20 drops Lime eo

The miniature bottle of vodka I got measured 1/4 cup in my Australian measuring spoons, the 2 dessert spoons of Glycerin are approx. equal to 1 tablespoon, I believe, and the spirit of camphor I *could* not find in the shops, so on the advice of my pharmacist, I took some surgical spirit and dissolved some tablets of camphor in it - until no more would dissolve.

I mixed them in the order in which they are written. The Glycerin went all silky at first, but as I continued mixing, it suddenly dissolved. When the camphor and spirit were added, there was a little scum on the top (I guess some of the camphor came out of solution), but this vanished when I added the eo. Poured into the (washed but not sterilized) bottle of the previous (highly stinky) pre-shave, shook up wildly (the eo tends to sit on the top) and tried it on my skin. Smelt ok... so the acid test was to give it to Bog - and he says it's ok (high praise VBG!!). He would prefer it to be a trifle more oily, so I am considering a little carrier oil with the next batch (no way am I going to let him go back to that stinky ol commercial brand again!!!)

I am unaware of any constraints or cautions in the ingredients I used, and I did check with the pharmacist before putting it together, just in case. However Bog shaves just before he has a shower, so it's not likely to stay on the skin very long in any concentration - but this may not be the case for all men. Anyone know of anything we should be aware of before making this stuff and spreading it around, please?

Melanie Dunstan

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1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup vodka
2 tsp vegetable glycerin
1 dropper full of scent

The scent and the glycerin have to be put into the vodka before the water is added and stirred up real nice. Then add the water. The glycerin does make the solution white though so I ended up using 2 drops of yellow food color and 1 drop of red to make a peach color. Turned out really great!

Therese Lott

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Bay Rum Aftershave

For a nice Bay Rum Aftershave you can fill a quart size canning jar with bay leaves. Then fill it up with your Vodka or Everclear and leave about 2 inches of room at the top. Fill up the rest of the way with a nice oil like olive, or maybe fractionated coconut oil. Put the lid on the jar and let it sit for a couple of days shaking it now and then.

After your couple of days have passed strain out the bay leaves and pour your liquid into a gallon size container.

Then add 10 ounces of Rum
1 pint of Vodka or Everclear
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 ounce of tincture of benzoin
1 oz of glycerin
3 quarts of distilled water

Let this sit for a few days and its done and you have a whole gallon of it!

Therese Lott

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Another Bay Rum Aftershave

1 cup alcohol (vodka or pure grain)
1/2 cup rum
1 cup distilled water
2 tablespoons glycerin
1/2 teaspoon tincture of benzoin
1 cup crushed bay leaves
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons finely chopped orange peel
2 tablespoons ground allspice

Put all of the ingredients in a clean glass jar and close it up tightly. Keep it in the jar for 2 weeks and be sure to shake it daily. Strain thoroughly and put in clean bottle. Shake well before using.


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This blend of EOs to add to your favourite aftershave base recipe.
4 parts rosewood eo
4 parts orange eo
2 parts vanilla eo
4 parts patchouli eo
4 parts ylangylang eo
2 parts oakmoss eo
2 parts lavender eo
4 parts grapefruit eo
2 parts clove bud eo
1 part cinnamon leaf eo
Mix in a dark bottle and leave for 4 days to blend.

Suzy M 1/27/00

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