Trying to think of a cool gift for your favorite Dad? Maybe you’re just a devoted DIY-er. Either way, making your own aftershave is a simple project. A lot of the ingredients are already in your kitchen, too!
The base of the aftershave is witch hazel. This is the astringent in the recipe and helps tighten and tone the skin. It’s also anti-microbial, so it will help clean out small cuts and nicks from shaving. Aloe vera has long been famous for treating burns – it’s a skin soother and healer. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it will moisturize and help keep skin soft. It’s also an effective “binder” for the other ingredients in the recipe. Almond and jojoba oils are both light and non-greasy moisturizers – some experts feel almond oil can even help eliminate acne and skin irritations. Any of theses items are available at most Whole Foods or other health food stores. We also found them locally at the Vitamin Shoppe and when all else fails, Amazon has everything.
Making your own – or your fellow’s – skin care products is both fun and nurturing. Not only do you end up with a wonderful-smelling final product, but you know that it isn’t chock full of mystery ingredients and creepy chemicals. Giving this as a gift? Consider including a razor from Preserve – they’re made of 100% recycled plastic!
Spice Rack Aftershave
1 cup witch hazel
1 cup aloe vera (liquid form, we used George’s)
1 Tbl. vegetable glycerin
1 Tbl. almond or jojoba oil
1 Tbl. spiced rum
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice
2 or 4 bay leaves, depending on size
1 stick cinnamon
2 large strips of fresh orange peel
3 to 5 slices of fresh ginger
essential oil (option, for scent – such as orange or bay leaf)
Add all ingredients except essential oil to a glass jar with a secure lid. Shake well and allow to steep at room temperature for one to 3 weeks. The longer it steeps, the more aromatic the aftershave will become.
At the end of the steeping time, strain into a bottle with a secure lid. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil, though it’s usually pretty fragrant already – just depends on how you like the fella to smell!
Notes: Spice Rack Aftershave can be stored at room temperature for six months. It’s also extra refreshing if kept cool in the fridge.
If a more astringent and less moisturizing aftershave is desired, leave out the oil and aloe vera, and add a full cup of rum. This swap will increase the bay-rum aroma and it will have more of a bracing feeling when it hits just-shaved faces!
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