06-09-2022, 04:01 PM
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At Charlie's suggestion I tried Fine Snake Bite aftershave and like it.  The cost of a 3.3 oz bottle of Snake Bite just went up from $20 to $24.  This aftershave contains four ingredients:  denatured alcohol, water, isopropyl alcohol and menthol.  These ingredients are readily available.  I'm not sure why denatured alcohol would even be necessary, and perhaps water, isopropyl alcohol and menthol would suffice.   Would creating your own version of Snake Bite just require figuring out the proportions of the ingredients?  Am I missing something here?  Are any of you making your own menthol aftershave?

60 12,314
 06-09-2022, 04:25 PM
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(06-09-2022, 04:01 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: At Charlie's suggestion I tried Fine Snake Bite aftershave and like it.  The cost of a 3.3 oz bottle of Snake Bite just went up from $20 to $24.  This aftershave contains four ingredients:  denatured alcohol, water, isopropyl alcohol and menthol.  These ingredients are readily available.  I'm not sure why denatured alcohol would even be necessary, and perhaps water, isopropyl alcohol and menthol would suffice.   Would creating your own version of Snake Bite just require figuring out the proportions of the ingredients?  Am I missing something here?  Are any of you making your own menthol aftershave?

I would imagine Charlie would have done this already!!! It would seem reasonably simple, perhaps just a matter of proportion. I would think isopropyl should work fine. If I'm not mistaken, denatured alcohol is just to make it taste bad so someone doesn't drink it. Then again, what the heck do I know! Biggrin

6 1,150
 06-09-2022, 06:51 PM
  • chazt
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  • Queens, NY
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I’ve done a bare minimum of research so far. If I understand correctly denatured alcohol is less harsh, cosmetically speaking. This is from healthline dot com:
Is denatured alcohol bad for your skin and hair?

Denatured alcohol is sometimes used in cosmetics and skincare products (such as toners) as a drying agent: It dries quickly, neutralizes oil, and gives your skin a smooth, matte feel. In small amounts, denatured alcohol is usually no problem in cosmetics unless it’s mixed with methanol, which can seep in through the skin. 
However, while denatured alcohol isn’t toxic at the levels needed for cosmetics, it can cause excessive dryness and disturb the natural barrier on your skin. Some studies suggest that denatured alcohol on skin may also cause breakouts, skin irritation, and redness. 
A note of caution: Denatured alcohol can show up in products claiming to be “alcohol-free” through a sneaky marketing loophole. In FDA-approved parlance, “alcohol” only refers to ethanol. So once the alcohol in a product has been “denatured,” it’s no longer ethanol — and therefore, according to the strictest interpretation of FDA standards, is not alcohol.
That said, you don’t need to swear off all alcohols in skincare. There are some — known as fatty alcohols — that are actually good for your skin, like those derived from plants and fruits: These kinds of fatty alcohols are often added to skincare products as emollients, or moisturizing agents. 
A small 2005 study with 35 participants suggests that adding emollients to alcohol-based hand rubs might decrease skin irritation, so if you’re worried about skincare products with denatured alcohol, look for one that also includes water, glycerin, or fatty alcohols. 
From the derm review dot com:
What Is Isopropyl Alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol is also known as rubbing alcohol that is used in skincare and cosmetic products to help improve the application and absorption of the other ingredients in your product.
Alcohols in skincare have been given a bad reputation, mostly due to the association between alcohol-containing toners and dryness. While it is true that astringent toners that contain a high concentration of alcohol can be drying to the skin, alcohols, like isopropyl alcohol can actually be beneficial to the skin. They also don’t damage the skin as many online rumors would have you believe. 
Isopropyl alcohol is different from ethanol which is the alcohol you would find in that after-work glass of wine. They differ in their chemical structure, these differences mean that isopropyl alcohol is better suited for skincare because it readily evaporates from the skin. This evaporation means that it often isn’t in contact with the skin for long enough to cause any damage or irritation.
What Are The Benefits and Concerns About Using Isopropyl Alcohol?


The benefits of using isopropyl alcohol in skincare products are that it helps to dissolve other skincare ingredients, allowing them to be distributed evenly throughout the formulation.



The other benefits of including isopropyl alcohol in skincare formulations are that it helps to improve both the absorption of the product and how the product spreads on the skin. Improving the absorption and spreadability means that the other key ingredients in the product are evenly distributed and are more likely to penetrate into the skin to provide their benefits.


One of the other main benefits of isopropyl alcohol is that it kills bacteria. This is why it is often used in hand sanitizers. This combined with the fact that isopropyl alcohol readily evaporates makes it a great ingredient in both skincare and hand sanitizer products.


The concerns that usually arise when talking about alcohols in skincare is that they can be drying to the skin. This is usually only an issue if the product is formulated with other drying or astringent ingredients. 

However, if you have sensitive skin or skin with a disrupted barrier you may experience a temporary stinging feeling if the skin is open or severely dry. If this is the case it may be best to avoid alcohol-containing products until your skin has healed.

Skin barrier 

The other concern that has circulated recently is that alcohols in skincare may disrupt the skin’s natural barrier. The skin’s natural barrier consists of the top layer of skin cells, oils, ceramides, proteins, and cholesterol. 

The skin’s barrier helps to protect the skin from allergens, bacteria, and water loss. When the skin’s barrier is disrupted it can increase irritation and sensitivity. However, the claim that alcohols may disrupt the skin’s barrier doesn’t seem to have any validity. The only time where this may occur is if the skin’s barrier is already disrupted, in this case, alcohols may exacerbate the sensitivity this causes.

Is Isopropyl Alcohol Safe?
Isopropyl alcohol is considered to be safe in its current uses in skincare, hand sanitizers a,nd skincare products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group responsible for evaluating the safety and efficacy of skincare and cosmetic ingredients has reviewed isopropyl alcohol. In their review, the Expert Panel determined that isopropyl alcohol is safe when used under the current guidelines and for the currently approved uses. 

From shave dot net:
Here are four not-so-great ingredients to be mindful of before picking up your aftershave.

1. Alcohol
It’s common for aftershaves to include some form of alcohol. This is because alcohol is used as an astringent to help close the pores.
Sure, alcohol is an antiseptic and helps prevent infection after shaving, but it’s also hard on the skin barrier and makes it challenging for your skin to retain crucial moisture. You may find that your aftershave is causing more issues than it solves.
Alcohol may appear on an ingredients list as the following:
  • SD alcohol
  • Ethanol
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Methanol
  • Ethyl alcohol
However, witch hazel is a commonly available alternative that doesn’t cause excessive irritation and drying.
2. Acetates
Tocopheryl acetate is a form of vitamin E that can be found in many skin care products, including aftershaves. Acetate is used as a form of sunscreen, but it’s also a mild immunotoxicant, according to the EWG database. This means it can cause immune system—or allergy-related reactions—including contact dermatitis.
Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, then using an aftershave product with acetates can be bad news. Furthermore, some studies show that high-dose exposure to tocopheryl acetate is linked with tumor growth.
3. Phthalates
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics in industrial manufacturing, but they’re also used as an additive in skin care products to moisturize the skin.
Bad news, boys—phthalates are terrible for your manhood, and they’re probably in your aftershave.
The consequences of overexposure to phthalates include: All of these side effects affect the male reproductive system. Although women are more often exposed to phthalates since they use more personal care products, men are affected in more adverse ways.
The bottom line is, stay away from phthalates in your aftershave if you can.
4. Mystery Fragrances
Does the ingredients list include an ambiguous “fragrance”, or perhaps “artificial fragrance?”
The problem with unlisted fragrances is that they can contain many compounds, meaning there’s no way for consumers like you to avoid irritating, toxic, or otherwise damaging components.
In fact, many of these unlisted fragrances contain phthalates as a component, and manufacturers aren’t required to list them. Other harmful ingredients that can be part of synthetic fragrances include:
  • Benzene derivatives
  • Aldehydes
  • Petroleum
  • Toulene
  • And hundreds more
Studies show that these particular chemicals may be linked to cancer, birth defects, and other harmful reactions.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid fragrances altogether. Simply choose aftershaves scented with natural fragrances, such as essential oils and other natural derivatives. This way, you know exactly what you’re putting on your face, and what effects it could have on your body.
From Wikipedia:
Aftershave is a product applied to skin after shaving. Traditionally it is an alcohol-based liquid (splash), but it can be a lotiongel, or even a paste.

It often contains an antiseptic agent such as denatured alcoholstearate citrate or witch hazel to prevent infection of cuts, as well as to act as an astringent to reduce skin irritation. Menthol is used in some varieties as well to numb irritated skin.
An alcohol-based aftershave usually causes an immediate stinging sensation after applying it post-shave, with effects sometimes lasting several minutes,[1] but most commonly only for seconds. Non-alcohol-based products also exist.
Aftershave balms are frequently recommended for winter use as they tend to be alcohol free and lotion-like, moisturizing the skin.
Some aftershaves use fragrance or essential oil to enhance scent. Moisturizers—natural and artificial—are often touted as able to soften the skin.
Aftershave is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Eau de Cologne due to the very similar nature of the two products. Some aftershave manufacturers encourage using their fragranced aftershave as if it were cologne, in order to increase sales by encouraging consumers to use it in a more versatile manner, rather than just after a shaving session. Some aftershaves were inspired by a cologne.
Early aftershaves included witch-hazel and bay rum, and have been documented in shaving guides.[2] Both still are sold as aftershaves.
From live simply dot me:

Homemade Aftershave

Two simple homemade aftershave recipes. Spray this product liberally on the skin after shaving to soothe and tone, while giving a pleasant scent. 
Aftershave Base:
  • 1 TB vegetable glycerin
  • 3/4 cup witch hazel* + 2 teaspoons (to fill the 8-ounce bottle)

Spiced Bay Scent:

  • 24 drops bay essential oil
  • 15 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil (not cinnamon bark)
  • 15 drops clove essential oil

Forest Scent:

  • 25 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 10 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 8 drops bergamot essential oil


  • In an 8-ounce glass spray bottle combine the glycerin and essential oils (either for the Spiced Bay Scent or Forest Scent). Swirl to combine, then add the witch hazel until the bottle is almost full. You’ll need about ¾ cup and 2 teaspoons of witch hazel, but it isn’t necessary to measure--just fill the bottle. 
  • Place the spray top on the bottle, and shake well to combine the ingredients.

To Use:

  • Shake well before use, and spray liberally on the skin after shaving to soothe and tone. The scent won’t last as long as store-bought aftershave products. 

* I used the alcohol-free formula witch hazel from Thayers. 

It's not essential to use the essential oils to create an aftershave product; however, most men are used to a scented aftershave (which, in this recipe, comes from blending essential oils). My favorite scent is the Spiced Bay Scent, which reminds me of Christmas. The Forest Blend is very woodsy (Dustin said it reminds him of hamster wood-chips, lol). 

I purchased most of the essential oils from a local apothecary store in our area. If you don't have this option in your area, I recommend checking out Plant Therapy (website or Amazon), Aura Cacia (natural food stores or Amazon), or Mountain Rose Herbs (website)--these sources are usually well-priced and offer small quantities.

As always, do your own research with essential oils, particularly when using essential oils on the skin. The essential oil amounts are under dilution recommendations for the skin. It's always best to perform a small spot test on the skin, whether you're using a homemade or store-bought product, before applying a product all over the face or body. 

22 6,980
 06-09-2022, 06:59 PM
  • chazt
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  • Queens, NY
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if I ventured into this project, I would definitely amp up the menthol W00t

Now I’m learning you can buy kosher food grade, certified organic, vegan ethanol Rolleyes

22 6,980
 06-09-2022, 08:12 PM
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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A number of years ago, my friend and dentist, an avid home brewer, invited me to brew a batch; my choice. I chose a Russian Stout. It was exceptional! In all, we brewed approximately 4 cases of Stout. To this day, it’s memory remains etched as one of the finest liquids to have ever passed my lips. Still, having had the experience, I’d much rather drink the stuff than make it. For the time being I will take the same route with aftershave. No, I’m not going to drink it. I’m going to buy it.

22 6,980
 06-10-2022, 03:01 AM
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10 grams of pulverized menthol crystals added to a full (glass) bottle of Murray and Lanman Florida Water.
Blows Snake Bite right out of the water...

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