Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Making your own aftershave balm

with 7 comments

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.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 July 2011 at 9:29 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

7 Responses

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  1. By Aloe Vera does he mean the juice or a gel? Thanks.


    8 July 2011 at 10:13 am

  2. I would think since you are adding water that it would need a preservative, unless it’s something that you will use right away. I realize that witch hazel has alcohol that has preserving properties, but there’s not enough of it to preserve this balm. Just my two cents.


    8 July 2011 at 10:47 am

  3. He didn’t say, but given the use, I would look for aloe vera in liquid form.

    @soapbuddy: Interesting point. Some witch hazel blends include alcohol, some do not. But I do see, on looking at my Thayers Rose Witch Hazel Toner (no alcohol) that it does include various preservatives. Perhaps the balm could be made using one of the Thayers witch hazel blends, many of which already include aloe vera, which do have preservatives, and most of which are already fragranced.


    8 July 2011 at 3:06 pm

  4. I have been using this after shave balm for about a week and a half with great success. Thank you so much for passing this recipe along to others. I was using the commercial balms with poor results, mostly due to my sensitive skin. I also started using the Gillette Dark Blue 7 O’clock blade, which has held up nicely for seven shaves. By the way I have enjoyed your book immensely.

    Chris Anderson

    27 July 2011 at 3:09 am

  5. @Chris: Thanks for the follow-up on the balm. I’m now working on the 5th edition of the book, and I’ll include this recipe. And if you have any comments or suggestions from your own reading and use of the book, I’d be interested to know them.


    27 July 2011 at 6:48 am

  6. Tried it , 25gm Aloe, 25gm Witch Hazel, 5gm glycerin then whipped it up. Very similar consistency to Arko afreshave balm. Slightly more stingy.


    7 May 2018 at 11:58 pm

  7. The preservative in the witch hazel would not be enough to preserve the rest of the ingredients.

    Irena Marchu

    8 May 2018 at 12:19 am

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