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You'll probably have read my SOTD posts talking about a home brewed lotion that, after some reading, I decided to brew at home one rainy Sunday evening. I had read about the properties of some ingredients, which I learned that were present in some of the most praised balms and splashes, and decided to go for it. I had some of the ingredients at home, and some others, I purchased them online, for just a few Euros. The result has been worth it.

The base product was a commercial lotion available in stores here, that has a very simple composition. Water, denat alcohol, colorant, glycerin and allantoin. The composition couldn't be simpler and this was exactly what I was looking for. This lotion has a fresh, marine scent, and worked very well on my skin when used on its own. The alcohol content (according to my skin) was low, so it was a good starting point. Next ingredient on the list was Witch Hazel, which I purchased online along with some Menthol crystals. Then, there was the "Rosemary alcohol". That stuff is a kind of rubbing alcohol used over here to treat minor injuries and swellings, and that usually contains some kind of vegetal oil to avoid drying too much the skin after its used. It's basically sanitary grade (70%) alcohol, infused with rosemary and the oils. The kind I used contains argan oil, so much for the better. Camomile is known for having soothing and calming effects on the skin and it was available in the kitchen, and, available in the bathroom cabinet there was a very good Aloe Vera gel I use on a daily basis. Same for the Castor oil, which was the final ingredient. And that was all.

First step was making an "infusion" with the camomile and the alcohol. I put three infusion bags of camomile in an airtight jar, covered them with the alcohol and left it resting for a few days. Given that it's quite likely that you don't find "rosemary alcohol" available, you can just use sanitary grade 70% alcohol and a few rosemary leaves together with the camomile. It will make the same effect.

When this solution was ready (give it four or five days), I mixed the Aloe Vera gel (a generous tablespoon of it) with the Witch Hazel. It's water soluble, so no problem with that, but you are to add the Witch Hazel in small amounts and work the mix until they blend nicely.  Then I mixed the alcohol, the Witch Hazel+Aloe and the after shave lotion in a proportion of 30%-30%-40%, and added a tablespoon of castor oil. Mixed it vigorously and added a couple of menthol crystals. I checked the Ph and corrected it with some citric acid until it was somewhere between 5 and 6.

The recipients and tools (spoons) I used had been thoroughly cleaned with warm water and dish soap, dried with towel paper and cleaned with sanitary alcohol prior to use.

This mix has been working (for me) better than any splash or balm I had used before. The scent is nice and won't last long, which is something I personally prefer so it does not interfere with any EdT I use. There are soothing, hidrating, balsamic, antiseptic and astringent properties and the menthol provides a nice cooling effect.

Hope it helps if any of you decides to brew their own.

Have a nice day, gents.

wyze0ne, Cincinnatus, hawns and 2 others like this post

Austin, TX
Thanks for the detailed instructions- sounds like a nice mix. Do you find the ingredients separate between uses? Would adding some sort of emulsifier be a good addition?

Regardless, I have often thought of making my own AS as a mad science project. Likely a Bay Rum and your experience is very helpful. Thanks!

Ramon_Caratejon likes this post
Yes, if you leave it unused from one day to the following, you can tell a thin oily layer on the surface. It mixes up immediately when you grab it, much more if you give it a gentle shake. Note that this is version 2.0. Version 1.0 included much more Aloe and more oils, so the layer was thicker. This one needed a shake prior to use and yes, I considered using an emulsifier. The one I have in mind is soya lecitine. I'll try with a small amount of lotion and a small amount of lecitine and see how it works.

I can only encourage you to go ahead and roll your own. The results, given that all ingredients you'll use will be natural, are likely to be very good. I hope I had both the knowledge, the time and the proper place to make my own shaving soaps, but in the near future I'm resolved to make my own shaving balm. I have already looked into it and will pull the trigger in the mid term. Will let you guys know Wink .

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