Shaving isn’t always pretty, especially if you have sensitive skin. Many products on the market claim to eliminate bumps and soothe redness. Those “remedies” may work short-term, but they expose your skin to harmful toxins that create bigger problems. I created my homemade aftershave recipe to give our Natural Living Family an easy DIY option free of toxic ingredients.
These recipes don’t just cover shaving irritations. They nourish your skin from the inside out with deep moisturizers, natural ingredients, and aromatic essential oils.
Table of Contents
Why Does Shaving Irritate Skin?
Shaving is supposed to improve appearances, but it can leave some of us with unsightly redness and rashes.
When you shave, you’re temporarily removing hair by cutting it down. During the shaving process, the razor blade pulls the hair. All of that pulling can irritate your skin if you have sensitivities, leaving it red and itchy.
Shaving can also lead to ingrown hairs. When the cut hair tries to grow back, sometimes it curls inward into the skin instead of growing straight out. These newly sprouted hairs create a red, inflamed bump on the skin that can be painful.
What can you do to help minimize skin irritation caused by shaving?
3 Ways to Avoid Razor Burn
There’s nothing worse than trying to improve your looks with a nice clean shave that ends in a bumpy, itchy, and unsightly rash. Ouch. That’s why you can try implementing these tips to help keep your skin smooth and razor-burn free.
1. Use a Quality Razor
Low-quality razors can be harsh on your skin for many reasons. The blades can be duller, so you have to apply more pressure to get a close shave, leading to an increase in cuts. The blades wear out faster because the razor is working harder!
Investing in a better-quality razor can save you money over time because you’re not replacing the blade as often. Many razor options include blades you can sharpen yourself.
2. Perfect Your Technique
Believe it or not, there is a correct way to shave! For one, you should always wet your face with warm water to help soften the hair.
Second, shave in the direction the hair is growing and take your time. These small changes can make a big difference, especially if you’re used to rushing through your routine.
3. Add a Step
You probably need more pampering than the average Joe if you have sensitive skin. Adding a few extra steps to nourish your skin can help ward off irritations. I recommend starting with my Homemade Aftershave Lotion, which is perfect for sensitive skin!
Top Benefits of Homemade Aftershave
1. Aftershave Can Kill Bacteria
Sometimes even the most careful shaving can leave cuts and abrasions on the skin. Since skin is one of our first lines of defense for infections, any breaks in the skin can invite harmful bacteria.
Aftershave contains one or more forms of astringent. An astringent can sanitize cuts (1) and help eliminate harmful germs. Products that use a natural astringent, like witch hazel, can cleanse the skin without burning it!
2. Aftershave Can Give You a Glow
Many aftershaves are moisture stripping, but this recipe contains a custom blend of moisturizing agents to hydrate skin. Dehydration is a leading cause of wrinkles, but proper preparation (like making a batch of this lotion) can help prevent future skin issues. Good habits build up, and over time, to encourage a healthy glow in your skin.
Natural Aftershave Lotion Ingredients
Scented products are often harmful to your body, but they can be hard to ditch. Who doesn’t want to smell nice? This recipe protects your skin and helps you smell great..all thanks to the power of essential oils! Here’s an ingredient breakdown.
Emulsifying Wax: This is used as a go-between for this recipe’s watery liquids and oils. It helps everything to blend smoothly and creates a great texture. This unique ingredient helps the lotion spread evenly and sink into the skin so emulsifying wax is a must.
Carrier Oil: Carrier oils are a must when using essential oils in skincare! An excellent carrier oil helps disperse the essential oils and moisturize the skin. There are many different carrier oils, but I recommend using sweet almond oil or fractioned coconut oil in this recipe.
Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera is an all-natural ingredient with a cooling effect that makes it perfect for sunburns or razor burn. You’ll notice that this DIY calls for aloe juice, not gel. Aloe juice helps this recipe have a lotion consistency, while aloe gel would thicken it too much.
Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is an excellent natural astringent. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid products that contain a lot of alcohol. This astringent gives you all the sanitizing benefits that alcohol does without stripping your skin. Witch hazel helps keep redness at bay and can relieve inflammation. (4)
Vegetable Glycerin: Vegetable glycerin is a sugar alcohol made from plant oils. This ingredient is a humectant (5), which helps your skin retain its natural moisture. You can usually find it in the medicine section of your local big-box store.
Cedarwood Essential Oil: Cedarwood essential oil has, you guessed it, a woody scent that makes it a great addition to men’s products. Cedarwood EO can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. This oil doesn’t just smell good; it can also improve skin conditions. (6)
Peppermint Essential Oil: When you put peppermint essential oil on your skin, you’ll instantly feel refreshed. The mint scent adds an exciting twist to this manly lotion. Just one whiff is enough to get you motivated!
Sandalwood Essential Oil: This is another anti-inflammatory oil that is great for the skin, sandalwood essential oil is a great choice! It’s excellent for prayer and meditation! Many people say sandalwood is more uplifting than cedarwood. While sandalwood has woody notes similar to cedarwood, it’s an entirely different aromatherapy experience.
Homemade Aftershave Lotion Recipe
While I wish I could do an in-person DIY class with each of you, that’s just not possible. This step-by-step instruction guide is pretty close, though! Here’s how you make this fantastic homemade aftershave lotion.
- ¼ ounce emulsifying wax
- ½ ounce carrier oil for skincare such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, or argan oil
- 3 drops vitamin E oil OR pure vitamin E
- 2 ounces aloe vera juice (not gel!)
- ¾ ounce witch hazel (unscented and alcohol-free)
- 2 drops vegetable glycerin
- 6 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 4 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops sandalwood essential oil
- Fill a small saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and place over low heat. Put the emulsifying wax, carrier oil, and vitamin E into a double boiler or small jar and place it in the pan.
- While the wax is melting, measure the aloe vera juice, witch hazel, and glycerin into a small glass cup or jar, warming them a little if needed, and stir to combine.
- Once oils are melted, add the liquids and heat everything just enough to ensure everything is melted and mixed well.
- Remove from the heat and whisk continually as the mixture cools. You'll need to keep whisking until the lotion is thick, creamy, and a little frothy.
- Whisk in the essential oils last. While still warm, quickly pour it into your final jar for dispensing and clean your utensils in hot water before the residue cools on them and makes them hard to clean.
- Store this in a glass salve jar or a pump bottle for easy dispensing!
Natural Aftershave Lotion Step One: Melt Your Ingredients
Fill a small saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and place over low heat. Put the emulsifying wax, carrier oil, and Vitamin E oil in a double boiler or glass jar, and place in the pan.
Step Two: Measure the Liquids
While your mixture is melting, measure the aloe vera juice, witch hazel, and glycerin into a small cup or jar. Stir the liquids to combine. The mixture needs to be at room temperature, so heat a little if necessary.
Step Three: Add Liquids to the Oils
Once the oils have melted, add the liquids. Heat everything just enough to ensure that the mixture is melted and combined.
Step 4: Remove From Heat
Remove your mixture from heat and whisk continually as the mixture cools. You’ll need to keep whisking until the lotion is thick, creamy, and a little frothy.
Step 5: Add Essential Oils
Last, whisk in your essential oils until well combined, and enjoy your mini aromatherapy session!
Things You Should Know
- Because this natural aftershave lotion has no additives, it has a shelf life of about two weeks. Make it in small batches!
- Store this lotion in the refrigerator to help it last longer. Chilled aftershave feels heavenly on the skin.
Oily Skin Aftershave Variation
When you struggle with oily skin, your skin can look shiny. Heavier moisturizers may not be ideal in this case, but natural moisturizers will give your skin a healthy glow! If your skin is oily, you may want to try our Natural Aftershave Spray.
My aftershave spray has no moisturizers, except for aloe vera gel. To make this recipe, you only need witch hazel, aloe vera gel, organic grain alcohol, sandalwood or cedarwood essential oil, and frankincense essential oil.
- 4 tablespoons witch hazel (unscented and alcohol-free)
- 4 tablespoons aloe vera gel
- 2 tablespoons organic grain alcohol
- 6 drops Hawaiian sandalwood or cedarwood essential oil
- 3 drops frankincense essential oil
- Combine all ingredients in a dark glass spray bottle.
- To use, spray onto hands and pat face after shaving.
Using both of these together can help soothe dry skin and serve as a natural cologne to avoid artificial fragrances.
This spray is a one-step DIY! Place all the ingredients in a 2-ounce glass spray bottle and shake to combine.
After shaving, spray onto your hands and pat your face.
You can use both of these DIYs by spraying the aftershave first and following up with the moisturizing lotion if desired. Or just use one or the other as needed to care for sensitive skin after shaving.