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Shaving products homemade

Make your own shaving cream, shaving soap, facial water and more according to the proven historical industrial recipes below.

Type recipe for shaving cream

Recipe (1936)
Coconut fat 9 dl
Beef fat 3 dl
Stearic acid 28 dl
Sodium hydroxyde 1 dl
Potassium hydroxyde 7 dl
Glycerin 10 dl
Water 45 dl
The fats are melted together with the glycerin and then saponified with the caustic soda. The rest of the fat is now completely saponified with half of the total amount of caustic soda. The stearic acid is now melted and after adding the rest of the lye, enough stearic acid is added that the soap is completely neutral. Then a little stearic acid is added, so that the soap becomes weakly acidic. For this purpose one usually takes 3% stearic acid.
In the heat, this soap is quite thick. They can also be kept thinner so that they can be stirred more easily by working with a large excess of stearic acid. During cooling, the acid is then neutralized with the calculated amount of lye, calculated with a small surplus of acid.

note: Read the safety instructions about working with aggressive substances, such as sodium hydroxyde and potassium hydroxyde (caustic soda's)

Solid shaving soap

Recipe (1936)
Stearic acid 40 dl
Coconut fat 10 dl
potassium hydroxide in water 38° Bé 23 dl
sodium hydroxide in water 38° Bé 6 dl
Glycol stearate 4 dl
Read the safety instructions about working with aggressive substances
The fats are saponified at 70°C. Since the reaction proceeds fairly quickly, the lye can be added at a rapid rate.
The glycol stearate is then added to the hot soap mass and the whole mass is allowed to stand for several hours. The soap remains warm due to the ongoing saponification process and must be stirred every hour.
The hard but sticky soap now has to be dried, pressed into the desired shape and wrapped in silver paper.

Shaving soap

There are many requirements for a good shaving soap. Moreover, personal taste plays a major role here. Human skin is often so sensitive that small differences in otherwise very good soaps are experienced as unpleasant. The soap creams generally contain:
Recipe (early 1930's)
Soap 40 dl
Water 50 dl
Glycerin 10 dl
The glycerin keeps the foam moist longer; a foam that dries too quickly would make shaving almost impossible. For quick soaping, the soap must be very easily soluble. However, this causes the foam to be dissolved too easily by any newly added water. So here you have to choose a mixture of highly soluble and less soluble soap. The fats that make an easily soluble and highly foaming soap include coconut oil and palm oil. They make it possible to shave with cold water, but they irritate the skin quite strongly. In general, people therefore do not take more than 10 to 15% of these fats. Furthermore, fats such as beef tallow and stearin are taken. Large amounts of behenic acid are added for a very tough foam. The consistency of the cream depends not only on the amount of water, but mainly on the correct ratio between the potash and caustic soda. One should not take too much caustic soda, as the soap then becomes too hard and crumbly. The caustic soda is usually dissolved to a strength of 20° Bé and the caustic soda to a strength of 35° Bé.
Visit at the Barber-shop

Shaving cream without foam

Recipe (early 1930's)
Stearic acid 50 dl
Lanolin (anhydrous) 9 dl
Glycerin 3 dl
Triethanolamine 1.5 dl
Borax 1.7 dl
Water 135 dl
Stearin 40 dl
Lanolin 7 dl
Paraffin oil 18 dl
Glycerin 3 dl
Tiethanolamine 3.3 dl
Borax 3.7 dl
Water 125 dl
The stearic acid is melted together with the other fats or oils. It is heated to about 70℃. The other ingredients are dissolved in the water and heated to boiling. The melted fat mixture is then poured into the boiling solution while stirring well. Stir until the mass forms a completely uniform emulsion. The perfume is then added while cooling. Stir gently from time to time.

The first recipe produces a cream with a pearlescent sheen, which is especially suitable for oily skin. The second recipe produces a thicker cream that can be used by people with dry skin. Both creams very easily form a smooth layer on the face and have a soothing after-effect. Both are very easy to wash off.

Liquid shaving cream

Recipe (early 1930's)
Stearic acid 200 dl
Triethanolamine 10 dl
Water 800 dl
 or slightly thicker:
Stearic acid 200 dl
Triethanolamine 10 dl
Anhydrous soda 10 dl
Water 800 dl

Facial water for after shaving

Recipe (1936)
Menthol 10 g
Boric acid 75 g
Glycerin 150 g
Alcohol 2500 g
Water 2-4 l
Perfume as desired
The menthol is first dissolved in alcohol, the boric acid and the glycerin in the water. After this, the solutions are mixed, perfumed and, if necessary, some coloring agent is added.

Alum stone

Alum causes the proteins in the skin to contract (astringent effect) so that wounds close and bleeding stops. Alum neutralizes the drying effect of soap residue on your skin. Alum is a natural antibacterial. When it comes into contact with bacteria, such as bacteria from sweat, it inhibits growth.

Recipe (1920's)
100 g of potassium alum is carefully melted. The foam is removed, while carefully avoiding overheating. In addition, 5 g of fine chalk are rubbed with 5 g of glycerin to form an even paste and mixed with the melted alum. The mass is then poured into a greased mold. The alum stone can be made completely white and opaque by adding more chalk.

To obtain a completely translucent alum stone, the potassium alum is again very carefully melted and 5% glycerin and water are added until the melt is completely transparent. The mass is then poured back into greased molds. The stones obtain a smooth surface by rubbing with a wet cloth.

Styptic powder

Styptic Powder is an antiseptic that helps stop bleeding after shaving. It is applied with a cotton swab.

Recipe (1920's)
Anticeptive and astringent is a mixture of 50% talcum and 50% phthalyl peroxide. The peroxide may contain up to 40% phthalic acid, which in this case acts as a stabilizer.


Shaving cream

(self acting) Recipe (1936)
Stearin 150 dl
Lanolin 35 dl
Vaseline oil 150 dl
La Perla shaving cream base 60 dl
Borax 15 dl
Water 625 dl
The fats are heated together at 70℃. Then the base, the borax and the water are mixed and also heated to 70℃. The aqueous solution is poured into the fats and finally the mixture is allowed to cool with constant stirring.


Recipe (1938)
Pure calcium sulfide 40
Sodium sulfide 1
Sugar 5
Starch 5
Titanium white or zinc white 5
Perfume 1
Glycerin 5
Water (distilled) 38
The starch is first boiled with about two thirds of the water, with which the rest of the ingredients are mixed.


Recipe (1938)
Strontium sulfide 30
Titanium white 9
Glycerin 5
Paraffin olie 3
White petroleum jelly 1
Triethanolamine lauryl-

 sulfonate 1
Tylose SL, 5-6 % 50

Skin water

Gently astringent (early 1900's)
Menthol 12 dl
Zinc phenol sulfonate 225 dl
Camphor 12 dl
Perfume 25 dl
Alcohol 2700 dl
The ingredients are dissolved in the alcohol. After this, 30000 dl hamamelis water (witch hazel water) is added.
Normally astringent (early 1900's)
Alcohol 10000 dl
Borax 6 dl
Zinc phenol sulfonate 180 dl
Camphor 25 dl
Perfume 90 dl
Glycerin 1000 dl
After the ingredients in the alcohol have completely dissolved, about 20000 dl of hamamelis water is added.

Strong astringent (early 1900's)
Alcohol 15000 dl
Ethylaminobenzoic acid 24 dl
Parachloro-metaxylenol 24 dl
Menthol 24 dl
Thymol 12 dl
Lavender oil 135 dl
Glycerin 2400 dl
Vanillin 24 dl
After dissolving the various components in the alcohol, dilute with approx. 17000 dl hamamelis water.

In addition to the ingredients mentioned here, small amounts of benzoin resin, Peru balsam or styrax can also be added. Glycerine can be replaced by glycol.

Mennen Skin Bracer (adv.1946)

Toilet water with sulfor

Recipe no. 1. (1938)
Alcohol (96%) 10
Camphor 0 .6 dl
Borax 1
Orange blossom water 1
Sulfur oil 1
Distilled water 86 .4 dl
Recipe no. 2. (1938)
Alcohol (40%) 95
Sulfur oil 1
Triethanolamine 3
Perfume 1

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