This fun aftershave lotion project was another reader request. I can’t find the email or comment to thank her, but thank you! This was an awesome thing to puzzle out, and I’m really happy with the result. I first made this cream towards the end of Movember (otherwise known as November), and I gifted wee bottles of it to all the men in my life who had sprouted dodgy mustaches over the previous weeks in what could be called a none-to-subtle hint.

How to make aftershave lotion

I’ll be the first to admit I have little previous experience with aftershave. Remember that scene in Home Alone when a still-cute Macauly Culkin shaved and used his dad’s aftershave, and then made that funny face in the mirror? Yup, that was all my aftershave experience. So I started off with some research.

How to make aftershave lotion

It turns out the general themes of aftershave are soothing, moisturizing action, and pain regulation (which makes shaving sound like minor surgery and makes me wonder how my legs have fared so well all these years).

How to make aftershave lotion

The water part was made up with aloe vera juice, to put a check in the “soothing” category, and witch hazel (for its astringent properties).

How to make aftershave lotion

I chose grapeseed oil for the oil as it’s light, fast-absorbing, and mildly astringent. The essential oils are a, err, manly blend of peppermint (also a pain reliever) and cedarwood, with just a wee hint of birch tar for a smokey finish (like scotch…).

How to make aftershave lotion

Peppermint & Cedarwood Aftershave Lotion

7g | 0.25oz emulsimulse/ritamulse (or other complete emulsifying wax—not beeswax!)
16g | 0.56oz grapeseed oil
2g | 0.07oz vitamin E oil

53g | 1.9oz aloe vera juice (not gel!)
20g | 0.7oz witch hazel
2g | 0.02oz vegetable glycerin

4 drops peppermint essential oil
6 drops cedarwood essential oil
1 toothpick swirl of birch tar or vetiver essential oil (dip a toothpick into the bottle and swirl it into your lotion)

Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)

Weigh out the emulsifying wax, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E oil together into a small saucepan and melt over low heat. While they melt, measure the aloe vera, witch hazel, and vegetable glycerin into a small glass measuring cup, warm them a little, and stir to combine.

Once the oils are melted, add the water part and heat everything through to ensure everything is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk continually as the mixture cools. Whisk until the lotion is thick, creamy, and a little frothy. Whisk in the essential oils and preservative.

Decant into a pump-top bottle and smooth onto just-shaved skin.

How to make aftershave lotion

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