How To Make A Soothing Salve–6 Different Healing Recipes

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I have been experimenting with recipes to help dry skin for awhile now. I tend to have dry, rather than oily skin and my hands crack in the winter from dry heat. What I’ve come up with are 6 different recipes to help sooth and heal skin. These recipes can help sooth dry skin, sunburn, “dishpan” hands, wind-dried skin, mild cases of eczema, rashes, chaffing, and over-worked hands (think gardening).

All the recipes can also be used in place of massage oil, which when combined with a good massage helps to relax tired muscles. They all have a relaxing aroma, are super easy to make, are cheaper than buying a commercial product and are completely natural with no chemicals.

How To Make A Soothing Salve–6 Different Healing Recipes

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First you’ll need to find a few containers to put your salve in. I like these 4 oz Mason jars. I also like the 4 oz and 2 oz metal containers to slide into my purse.

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The second thing you’ll need is essential oils. The oils that help heal skin are clove, frankincense, lavender, rosemary, geranium, chamomile, myrrh, and patchouli. You can use melaleuca oil (tea tree oil) for skin that is prone to blemishes. However, I prefer to use melaleuca mixed with witch hazel so I did not include it in these recipes.

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I use Spark Naturals oil for quality and price.

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The next thing you’ll need is a pot and measuring cup to make a double broiler.

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For the first salve base you will need coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax.

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I added vitamin E using these capsules I found at the dollar store. Adding vitamin E
is optional.

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Salve One
Beeswax Base
1 c Coconut Oil
1 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2T + 1 1/2t Beeswax
2 capsules Vitamin E (optional)

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Place your double boiler on the stove over medium heat. You don’t want the water to boil. The idea is to heat the ingredients slowly to combine them.

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Add the olive oil.

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Then the coconut oil.

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Then the beeswax.

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I just used an ice pick to puncture the capsule.

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It really doesn’t work if you try to just squeeze the Vitamin E out. It is sort of like squeezing a gummy bear. You just have a mussy mess.

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Squeeze the punctured vitamin E capsule out into your mixture.

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While you wait for the mixture to slowly melt you can mix your essential oils. Don’t go too far from the stove. You want to keep a close eye on your salve. You don’t want it to get too hot and boil.

Soothing Skin Blend One (with beeswax base)
3 drops Clove Oil
6 drops Frankincense Oil
6 drops Lavender Oil
6 drops Rosemary Oil

Soothing Skin Blend Two (with beeswax base)
3 drops Geranium Oil
6 drops Lavender Oil

Soothing Skin Blend Three (with beeswax base)
8 drops Chamomile Oil
8 drops Myrrh Oil
2 drops Patchouli Oil
4 drops Lavender Oil

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Once your base has melted completely then pour it into your containers.

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This base will start to harden almost immediately so if it hardens too much before you’ve placed it in your containers just put it back on the stove to warm it back up.

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It will take a few hours for the salve to harden completely. I placed the lids on top but did not tighten them to allow air to get to the salve. This helps it harden faster.

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This salve is thick and has the consistency of an ointment or petroleum jelly.

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For the second base I used shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil and cocoa butter.

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This was my first time working with cocoa butter. It smells just like chocolate. It’s really heavenly  if your, ahem, into that sort of thing. Yes, I love chocolate! Yes, this is my favorite base. Ok, I said it. I presented the other base very fairly, wouldn’t you agree?

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Here’s a close-up of what the cocoa butter looks like after you’ve shaved some out of the container.

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Salve Two
Cocoa Butter Base
1/4 c Coconut Oil
1/4 c Cocoa Butter
1/4 c Shea Butter
1/4 c Almond Oil
2 capsules Vitamin E (optional)

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Combine all your ingredients and melt them slowly in a double boiler over medium to low heat.

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Add vitamin E. (See above for detailed directions.)

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Add your oils. These are the same blends as above but this will be a different base with a different consistency and a different aroma. I’m telling you, the cocoa butter makes it!

Soothing Skin Blend One (with cocoa butter base)
3 drops Clove Oil
6 drops Frankincense Oil
6 drops Lavender Oil
6 drops Rosemary Oil

Soothing Skin Blend Two (with cocoa base)
3 drops Geranium Oil
6 drops Lavender Oil

Soothing Skin Blend Three (with cocoa base)
8 drops Chamomile Oil
8 drops Myrrh Oil
2 drops Patchouli Oil
4 drops Lavender Oil

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Pour the hot salve into your containers.

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This salve does not set-up right away. Actually, I thought it would never set-up because it took days to thicken. I thought I had done something wrong but my patience was rewarded.

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This salve is not as hard and waxy as the beeswax base. It’s silky and creamy. Did I mention it smells really really good? These bases are both made with natural ingredients so remember the consistency and texture can vary by batch and by the time of the year. Coconut oil is not as solid in the summer as it is in the winter. So if you’re making this in the summer and you want it to be thicker you can cut down on the amount of olive oil or almond oil (the oils that are liquid at room temperature) to make the finished product more solid.

I hope you try making your own salve. You’ll save a ton of money, heal your damaged skin, and do good thing for the environment. Let me know how it goes!

Don’t forget that I highly recommend Spark Naturals for all your essential oil needs and when you use coupon code AWCOW you’ll get 10% off your purchase.

  • Martine says:

    After the salve hardens up, use the blender for a bit, makes a real nice consistency!

  • Irene says:

    Hi Jen,
    Read your post and thank you for putting it all together.
    I’m experimenting with Shea butter, coconut oil and essential oils as well.

    You’re right. I’ve definitely cut down on all store bought lotions and creams.

    These kind of salves is really good for our skin

    I still have to use beeswax, though .

    Thanks once again

  • Victorine says:

    Do you allow the the base to cool before adding the essential oils?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Victorine,

      No, not really, the salve is never really that hot. It’s just hot enough to melt the ingredients.

  • Nina Finnell says:

    I make something similar to this. However I have bad perfume allergies and am afraid to use essential oils for fear of an allergy flare.

  • Annette says:

    Which one would be best for radiation burn (breast cancer)?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Annette,

      I would start off with just the base. Then once you know your skin can tolerate the base recipe I would oil at a time starting with Frankincense Oil.

  • Jordan says:

    Can I substitute the cocoa butter base for shea butter? I don’t want to spend money when I already have shea butter. Thanks for taking the time to learn about and post these recipes!

    -Jordan

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Yes, you can substitute shea butter for cocoa butter. There might be a slightly different texture to the salve but it would work.

  • Eula says:

    Can you add turmeric and cayenne to one of the bases to make a muscle rub or arthritis salve?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Eula,

      Yes, you can use turmeric. I would caution against using cayenne because you could capsaicin in your eyes or other sensitive parts of your body. Also, watch out for turmeric because it will stain.

  • Jen says:

    Just a tip with the cocoa based salve. If you lower the temp on the stove to low after all the oils melt together and let it sit on low for 20-30 minutes, it won’t get a gritty texture. I noticed in the picture where you scooped it out that it looked a bit gritty. I had that problem and now that I let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, it no longer gets that gritty consistency.

  • Ronda Illig says:

    Jennifer, I am so excited about this blog today. My question is which one is best for eczema? My 5 year old grandson suffers from this and his parents have tried many different things including prescription meds but it has not given him the relief he needs. Thank you for your help.

    I really enjoy your blogs. My husband and I are older but if we were young again our passion is to be a homesteader. So instead we have a really nice garden which supplies us with veggies to can and freeze also enough to share with friends. I am going to start a small business of making and selling noodles, baked items and yeast rolls. I am excited to get this started.
    Blessings
    Ronda

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Ronda,
      It depends on how bad a case of eczema your grandson has. I’m not a doctor but I can tell you about my son. I use this salve on his arms (he has eczema on the back of his arms). I have noticed that when his gluten intake is lowered or cut out all together that his eczema clears up. So that leads me to believe that his case of eczema is due to his diet. Of course I put this salve on it when he has an out break.

  • Rita says:

    I am an equine massage therapist and would like to make a salve that will help relax tight muscles. Would you be able to advise me on the herbs/oils I should use for this? I am totally brand new to this whole herbal, homeopathic world so I can use any advice you are compelled to offer. Also, any recommendations to books or websites that will help educate me would be appreciated.

    Thanks so much for your help,

    Rita

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Rita,
      I am currently researching this. I have knowledge concerning dogs but not horses. Let me see what I can find out.

  • Wendy says:

    Great ideas. But, is there a substitute for the coconut oil? I’m very allergic to it. I’ve been wanting to make salve for myself because it seems coconut oil is in everything. Appreciate any ideas you might have.
    Blessed be,
    WENDY

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      I’m not sure about a substitute for coconut oil. You might just try leaving it out all together. Everything else will still work together to help heal your skin.

    • Emily says:

      I highly recommend using tallow if you can get it (or render it yourself) as an alternative to coconut oil. It will definitely come out firmer than CO, so I would either use less or up the liquid oils if you want a softer consistency. But it is AHmazing for skin, especially healing/soothing!

    • Valerie says:

      You can use safflower oil instead of coconut oil. I too am allergic and safflower is actually less greasy and way better for excema too!

  • Gloria says:

    Could you please add a button to just print the recipes? I love the detailed pictures and the way you present the how to. I also like the items that you cover, they are what we need. I sure hope that you can do this to save from having to hand write, Our days are too full with so many things.

    Take care and thank you for all the good information.

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