Make Your Own Aftershave

Apple cider vinegar is the magic ingredient

Man Applying Aftershave
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Aftershave is a must-have for most men, with its tingling effects and pleasing scent, and it's nice to have a bottle or two of your favorites on hand for that every-morning (and sometimes evening) ritual. But you can supplement expensive store-bought aftershave with homemade aftershave and save your best stuff for special occasions or alternate it with homemade to save a little green. Making your own aftershave is easy, cheap, and fast.

How and Why This Works

Fill an empty bottle or container with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Shake to blend. Splash on your face after shaving, just as you would with any other aftershave.

Store-bought aftershave does four things: It acts as an antiseptic to clean out any cuts, moisturizes the skin; closes the pores, and soothes razor burn. The acetic acid in vinegar is able to perform these same tasks at a fraction of the cost. Score one for vinegar!


  • Inexpensive
  • Fragrance-free once it dries
  • Dye-free
  • All natural
  • Alcohol-free, so it won't dry out your skin or slow the healing of nicks and cuts

Make a Fragrant Aftershave

If you don't like the smell of vinegar, you can cut the recipe with witch hazel to dilute the smell or infuse the vinegar with your choice of herbs or essential oils. Cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, and cedar are all common aftershave scents. Use them individually or mix and match to create your own custom scent.

To fragrance your aftershave, just add the herbs or essential oils you chose, then put the lid on your container, and set it aside for several days or even longer. This will give the oils time to infuse the apple cider vinegar with their fragrance. You should stay one bottle ahead on your aftershave if you'll be infusing it with herbs. Herbs need a month or more to fully infuse liquids. 

A Stand-In for Your Regular Aftershave

If you don't have any apple cider vinegar on hand, you can also use coconut oil, aloe vera gel, or even cold water to soothe your skin and seal your pores. Vodka or any other type of alcohol will also serve to seal your pores, but it will sting when you splash it on and could slow the healing of any shaving mishaps. Of course, it seemed to work for our grandfathers.