11 Natural & Affordable Aftershave Alternatives

Updated Date: by Reet Patel

The shaving routine consists of multiple grooming accessories, out of which a few are essentials, and a few are non-essentials.  One such product that is both essential and non-essential is Aftershave. 

However, they are expensive due to the inclusion of exceptional ingredients and a blend of essential oils (Don’t worry we have many aftershave alternatives).  The blend also contains some rare flower petals and roots of trees that are hard to find.  All these mounts up the price of Aftershaves.

Besides, the essential oils offer fragrances, which most men would not like, especially the ones with skin sensitivity or allergic conditions.  And not only essential oils but there are other elements as well that may irritate your skin.

The combination of all these factors makes men think to look for substitutes suitable to their skin. That’s the reason we have got you covered with the 11 Best Aftershave Alternatives which are not only budget-friendly but also skin-soothing.  You will also get to know which particular ingredient is the most unhealthy and unsuitable for you.

So, let’s get started.

List of Aftershave Alternatives

1. Aloe Vera Gel – Cheapest Aftershave Alternative

can you use aloe vera as aftershave

Aloe vera is not only a substitute but also a primary ingredient of Aftershaves.  The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make Aloe vera one of the prime contenders of Aftershave.  It relieves razor burns, irritated skin, cuts, and nicks.  Also, it protects from sunburn and makes it ideal even for sensitive skin.

In addition, it will keep skin soft and hydrated throughout the day. Just take an Aloe vera leaf, cut it in half, and dab the gel with a cotton ball on the affected area.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar as aftershave

Another alternative and one of the core ingredients of ready-made aftershave lotions, balms, or gels is the Apple Cider Vinegar.  DIY aftershave is suggested as it contains acetic acid, which has anti-microbial properties. However, you must dilute it with an equal amount of water or witch hazel to overcome its strong fragrance.  The dilution formula also acts as an aftershave lotion.  

Besides, you can also add cinnamon oil or other types of natural oils to make the fragrance mild.  Also, whenever you want to apply, make it at least 4-5 days in advance and store it in a cool dark place.  Shake well before application and use a cotton ball to apply.  Lastly, you must also do a patch test before applying it to the skin.

3. Witch Hazel

witch hazel substitute

Alcohol stings not only sensitive skin but other skin types as well.  Contrary to this, Witch Hazel is a non-stinging alternative that works incredibly well on all skin types.  It contains anti-inflammatory properties like Aloe vera that soothes razor burns.  You may see Witch Hazel in quality aftershaves and toners.  Just take a spoon-sized amount and apply it to your face.

4. Cold Water

 aftershave substitute

Razors open skin pores, which need to be closed to refrain pollutants from settling in and causing trouble.  Besides, sometimes you need to wash your face with warm water to remove shaving cream, deep cleanse your face, and remove all the dirt and excessive oil in it.  After which, you can splash cold water to close the pores. The splash of cold water will make your face look better and healthier.

5. Alum

alternative for lotion

Alum is a natural aftershave that has an antiseptic and constricting agent.  Also, it contains anti-microbial properties that kill bacteria from the freshly-shaved face.  Rub alum on wet skin for a minute and leave it to heal for another 2-3 minutes will take care of your skin.  Do not overdo it, as it may dry out your skin.  You can apply moisturizer after applying Alum.

6. Toners

toner before or after shaving

Skin toners make your skin look healthy and improve its appearance. Most toners even contain Witch hazel.  As an aftershave alternative, toners kill bad bacteria and are super-effective on specific skin.  Also, you must use a small quantity to achieve favourable results.  Besides, they are far better than Alcohol and do not dry out your skin.

7. Bay Rum

homemade aftershave balm

This Aftershave Alternative combines Jamaican rum and West Indies bay leaves.  It smells amazing if you add some cinnamon and vodka.  Ladies love it.  Also, it soothes your skin and makes it free from all the shave hassles.  However, it may sting sensitive skin.  So, you should do a patch test before applying it to the face.

8. Lotion

lotion alternatives

Lotion or aloe vera gel is an antibacterial and moisturizing agent, which means applying either of the Aftershave alternatives will kill all the bacteria even if you shave daily and add moisture.  An aftershave balm is one of the products you can use to deal with dry skin, but if you are looking for a natural aftershave alternative, a face lotion is ideal for you.  

Tip: Rinse your face thoroughly before applying lotion.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

is peroxide good for razor bumps

Though Hydrogen Peroxide is on the list of Aftershave alternatives, it still is not advisable as a daily applicant.  It works only when you accidentally cut yourself and do not have any other healing options. Take a small amount of the cotton ball and apply it to the wound. 

10. Natural Oils

natural substitute for witch hazel

It contains carrier and essential oils that fight and solve most skin-related hassles, such as razor bumps, wrinkles, cuts, rashes, and nicks.  Also, they offer mild, pleasant, and strong scents based on preference.  Some oils, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, are best for dryness.

11. Cologne

perfume substitutes

Colognes are a blend of water, alcohol, and fragrances.  You can use this as an Aftershave substitute but will need to add witch hazel or glycerin to carry them to the face.  Diluting them will mild the smell and not sting as well.

So these are cheap aftershave alternatives, which you will get from anywhere.  Also, cheap doesn’t mean low quality; it means they are widely available at low cost.  Now let’s look at the aftershave alternative that you must avoid.  Though it is an alternative, it still is advisable to avoid it.

Alternatives You Should Avoid

aftershave alternatives to avoid

Alcohol-based aftershave is advisable to avoid since they sting, causing irritation and redness.  It contains denatured alcohol that kills bacteria and keeps them at bay.  Also, these alcohol-based aftershaves contain isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, which are also known as rubbing alcohol replacement.  Many suggest that rubbing alcohol is a quick way to cleanse your face rather than splashing.  You must use alcohol when you don’t have any other option.

Now that you know what to accept and avoid, let’s answer some commonly asked questions.


1. What can I use as aftershave?

Aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar as aftershave are pocket-friendly solutions. Moreover, you can add shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oil to add smell to your homemade aftershave.

2. Can you use aloe vera as aftershave?

Yes. It is one of the ingredients found not only in modern aftershave but also in traditional aftershave. It acts as a sanitizer to prevent bacterias. They are best for skincare as it contains some vital properties.

3. What to do if you do not have aftershave?

Don’t panic if you are out of aftershave! If you like apple cider vinegar then dilute it with equal parts with water. For better scent, combine it with witch hazel and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

4. What to use in place of aftershave?

Apple cider vinegar, Witch hazel, Coldwater, and Alum are a few substitutes you can consider to apply post-shave.


Aftershave plays a crucial role (know its purpose) in grooming accessories and delivering a soothing effect to the skin.  But not all men can own aftershave, which is where the substitutes come into the picture.  These are nothing but the vital elements of ready-made aftershaves.  You can use anyone and start applying them post your shaving routine.

Share your favourite substitute and what problems did it cure for you.  Also, you can share any substitute that you may be using to achieve the best results.  We will research it and include it in our blog.  Lastly, you can share your list of aftershave products that work wonderfully well on you.

reet patel

Reet Patel

As a college student, I understand the value of a polished appearance. My dedication to a well-groomed beard signifies the importance I place on self-presentation and consistency in my personal and professional life. My commitment to a well-maintained beard reflects my broader attention to detail. Whether in my studies or my appearance, I strive for precision and quality.

    Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram


Published Date: Feb 26, 2024

Sign up for weekly updates from Tomfw.

Leave a Comment