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I’ve not come to you today to debate the merits of shaving. In fact, known on occasion to get serious attention from ZZ Top fans or even membership offers into exclusive gnome book clubs, I am sometimes a poster child of facial hair. On the other side of the razor, it’s been years since I shaved my legs, so what do I know in that regard? Shave. Don’t shave. Do it here. Do it there. Fine. Whatever.

Why a DIY Shaving Kit is Important

However blasé I may be about shaving, though, I’m equivalently into DIY products and environmental issues. For decades, corporations have knowingly been convincing us to put toxins on our skin, creating an unhealthy dependency on products we don’t necessarily need. And, they’ve shrewdly made the products in our life disposable, i.e. in constant need of replacing, but that was neither for the earth’s nor the public’s benefit. Think razor, shaving cream or gel or soap and they myriad of aftershaves. It’s time for a change.

In the end, the point is to shave however, wherever and whatever (maybe not whenever) you want without damaging yourself or the environment anymore than necessary. If companies don’t want to help with that, then we can do it ourselves.

Here’s how to create your own shaving experience in a much better way to your skin (and the environment) will thank you for:

Got to Have a Razor to Get It Done

Every now and again, I’ll treat myself to a barber shop shearing, and I must admit it’s divine. Simply put, when it comes to a massive straight razor pressed against my skin, I prefer to leave that to a professional. Unfortunately, that’s a bit out of my everyday price range. For legs, waxing seems the most environmental ethical choice, and I know there are home kits; however, watching Steve Carrel get his chest waxed in 40 Year-Old Virgin has scarred me, personally.

That puts me in a pickle when it comes to environmentally friendly razors, as they tend to be plastic and disposable. So, I’ve come to a few conclusions. There are now razors constructed from recycled plastic on the market and that’s great, but ultimately the goal should be to have products that last rather than require recycling. Thus, what you need for a DIY eco-shaving kit is blue jeans. Obviously.

To further explain, blue jeans can be used to sharpen razor blades in disposable heads. Instead of a week, they’ll last for months. So, get yourself a quality razor with replaceable heads, and make the blades last as long as possible. You’ll save money, waste much less, and still get the multi-blade shaving system you’ve grown accustomed to. Or, try a fun new product making a bit of an effort, known as the wind up shaver, which is like an electric razor but can be powered by winding it up the same way battery-free flashlights work.

If That’s Called Aftershave, Why Isn’t This Called Beforeshave?

Okay, the honest admission is that, nine times out of nine, I am too lazy to do much more than use a bit of soap—something animal-friendly—and lather it up for a “shaving cream”. But, that’s me, and I shave a strip of my neck about an inch and a half wide. I know that’s not the ideal for everyone. So, what’s the solution?

DIY shaving cream is nothing new my friends. There are recipes galore to choose from, complete with scents and vitamins for your skin. What they don’t have is harmful chemicals, throwaway packaging, and clever frost-related names (You could make one of these up if you really wanted). Wellness Mama, an amazing site for naturally frugal DIY living, provides a huge list beforeshave options.

Aftershave Is Not Just for Smelling Manly/Feminine Anymore

Aftershaves used to be a stinging splash of smell’em slapped on a clean shave, a la Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, but those days waved goodbye a long time ago. Now, we are looking to keep our skin moisturize. We want it revitalized. We’ve just shaved, and we want to be soothed. And, why shouldn’t we get what we want?

What if I told you you could get all of the good stuff without the evils? Market aftershaves are often constructed with controversial fragrances and a cocktail of chemicals. All you really need for the soothing, the revitalizing, the moisturizing, even the manly (or feminine or gender neutral but pleasing) scent are a few natural ingredients, a container and these recipes.

Too lazy for four or five ingredients? I can relate. There is always just applying some sort of quality oil—coconut, olive or something fancy like almond—with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil (or not).

 Lead Image Source: Pete Markham/Flickr

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