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Friday, June 3, 2011


OK, this isn't edible but I make my own (my husband's own?) aftershave for a lot of the same reasons I cook...it's cheaper, I can make it better than brand-name and you can exercise so much more control over the final product. 

Because my darling husband shaves his whole head (well, only the parts that still grow hair LOL) in addition to his whiskers, he's kinda picky about aftershave...some brands were too oily, some not moisturizing enough, some not astringent enough, some too scented, some just disagreeably scented.  And when he found one he liked, the company stopped making it.  So now we make our own with his preferred level of moisturizer (from the glycerine), astringency (from the alum and witch hazel) and scent.  I picked a blended essential oil that has notes of clove and other woody spices and use it fairly sparingly as he does douse his whole head in it after shaving.  If you prefer a stronger scent, use more.

The hardest part of the process is finding a couple of ingredients and decanting the finished mixture back into the commercial aftershave bottles.  Glycerine and witch hazel can be found in pharmacies.  The witch hazel is usually in the first aid area next to peroxide and rubbing alcohol.  Glycerine can be found in a few places including with candy-making supplies at craft stores, but if you're in the pharmacy, ask about it.  Alum is on the spice aisle, sometimes you have to wait until pickling season (mid or late summer) to find it.  I get our essential oils at a natural foods shop, but you might find them with craft supplies near soap or candle-making stuff.  And lastly, I buy super-cheap vodka to use as the base.  You could double up the witch hazel, but it gives it a witch-hazely smell.  Vodka is neutral-smelling and still astringent.  You can use expensive vodka if you really want, but why bother? 

ETA: If you keep your vodka (cheap or otherwise) chilled and use it for this purpose, let the mixture come up to room temperature before pouring and capping glass aftershave bottles to avoid explosions in your medicine cabinet.  I screw up so you don't have so.

I don't have any super-duper tricks for pouring into the tiny aftershave bottles...just use as small a funnel as you can and pour carefully.

Makes 2 3.5 oz bottles (plus a little extra)

1/2 cup cheap vodka
1/2 cup witch hazel
2 tsp glycerine
1/8 tsp alum
1/8 tsp or 6 drops essential oil

Mix well and pour into preferred container using a small funnel.  Shake well before each use. Pin It

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