Making your own aftershave balm
UPDATE: Questions in comments led me to search for clarification, and I’ve updated the post with what I learned.
A blog reader passed along his recipe from an experiment in making an aftershave balm. The model was Castle Forbes: why not aim high?
He makes only a small quantity at a time:
1. Mix equal parts witch hazel (he uses high-quality witch hazel from a supplies shop) and Aloe Vera gel. He uses 50ml of each, just under 1/4 c each.
2. Add a little glycerin (you can try it with and without to see how you like it). He uses 5-10ml, or 1-2 tsp.
3. Add a little Lime essential oil (or Lavender or what you will) for fragrance.
4. Add a little water to thin it if you want.
His mixing instructions:
When all the ingredients combined, mix very well. I used a egg beater. I guess you could use a blender. Mix until you’re happy with the consistency of the product. It’s the GEL of the Aloe, that makes it thick enough to be balm-like, but you can add water to make it thin/thick enough to come out of a bottle easily. If you don’t add water, then you may need to put it in a tub, where you can easily use your fingers to apply rather than trying to pour from a bottle. You only need a little to spread on your face. It will go a long way—or you can use it liberally since it’s so inexpensive to make.
You could use and compare the consistency of this with your Castle Forbes Lavender you’ve purchased and make it the same.
He says that it’s as close to Castle Forbes Lime as you get without the price tag. In adding the essential oil, add just one drop, shake, let sit, and see how you like it. If not enough, add one more drop—it’s very easy to add too much, so caution is advised.
So far as preservatives are concerned, if you use this balm regularly, the alcohol in the witch hazel may well be enough, or you can use organic ingredients that are natural preservatives.
It occurred to me that keeping the aftershave in the fridge could be quite pleasant during the summer months: a kind of super-menthol sensation.