Dry Skin Salve
It feels like a really, really long time since I have made and shared anything like this here! Perhaps salve making and such just feels more like an autumn/winter activity for me. Baking, bread making, soups and stews definitely are! Anything that involves using my oven or stovetop just sounds like a big no no in those last weeks of August and September, when you get a small taste of fall, and then it's right back to the dog days. But I made a salve, and I am really proud of it! Why? Because I used my own homemade herb infused oils to do so! Yeah. It was awesome. I felt like a little medicine woman, straining calendula and peppermint leaves through a cheesecloth, my kitchen garden blossoming through the window. Such a strange and awesome feeling to see your hard work actually being worth it, you know? And if you read that statement thinking: good for you, turd. Then, hey, I get! The thing I love about writing this blog is that this "lifestyle" we're living is totally attainable, affordable, and doable. Hoping that I can give you the resources and inspiration to make at least one of these things happen on your end, too (:
This salve is great for dry hands and feet! If you are like me, working your hands into the dirt most days and spending the rest of the time working them either on crafting or even typing, you might know how dry and cracked hands can be a problem. I was so happy that I made calendula and peppermint infused oil, two great skin savers, so that I could prepare some of this balm for myself in the coming cold months. Embroidering would be really difficult with cracked knuckles and dry fingers.
Calendula is a typical herb reached for with any skin issues: eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and more. Applied topically, it's very soothing and easy going. Calendula is often used on children, as well! It has wonderful healing properties that aid in healing scar tissue, speeding the recovery of wounds, and even disinfect the wound site. You can easily grow calendula in your backyard or even in a pot! Calendula is often confused with marigolds; they are both called marigolds, though calendula is actually "pot marigold" or "English marigold" and are safe to eat. If you are growing French marigolds, which are most often planted in home gardens, they can be potentially dangerous to eat! Just be careful and know which types of seeds you are planting.
Peppermint is used in this recipe to soothe the skin and add a cooling affect, much like you would get with icy-hot! Peppermint is also a great antifungal and antimicrobial. Use it on your feet!
1 cup infused oil (calendula + peppermint)
4 tbsp beeswax (trying using our local, natural beeswax!)
2 tbsp shea butter
5-10 drops essential oil (I used lavender to calm and rosemary to disinfect)
If you do not have infused oils on hand, you can make some! They take about 4 weeks to make; this can seem like a buzzkill. However, it's really beneficial to you because it's like creating an at-home essential oil that is less potent and is much safer to use on sensitive skin and young kids. Go check out my blog post on learning how to make them! If you don't want to wait 4 weeks, you can make herb infused oil over the stove in about 20 minutes. You'll need:
1 cup carrier oil (coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba, etc... or a combo!)
1/2 cup herbs (calendula and peppermint, dried)
TO MAKE HERB INFUSED OIL OVER THE STOVE |
Create a makeshift double boiler. If this is your first time making a salve, find an old saucepan that you will no longer use for cooking or find a small saucepan at the local thrift store. Fill a larger saucepan with water and set to boil. Place the small sauce pan in the water and allow to heat. Pour in your carrier oil and dried herbs. Heat over medium/low heat for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and/or burning.
After 30 minutes, strain the oils through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. Try to capture as much oil as possible by squeezing or pressing on the herbs.
Discard the herbs and use your infused oil in your salve recipe.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SALVE |
In your double boiler over medium heat, melt your beeswax and shea butter. Once melted, pour in your infused oil. Heat until everything is mixed together well, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and working quickly, drop in your essential oils. You may choose to omit these if desired; they aren't necessary for use, but can be beneficial! Stir in gently.
With your salve tins ready, pour the salve into the tins carefully. I filled three 4 oz tins with this recipe! Once poured, let sit overnight before using. The salve should be solid and break easily to apply. It is a thin salve and should rub easily into your skin. The top layer might be a bit harder than what's down below, just apply a little pressure!
To apply, rub gently over hands and feet. Can also be used on chapped lips if desired! Be sure to test a little bit on the inner part of your wrist to make sure it does not irritate your skin.
How easy was that? Having the infused oils on hand made the entire process so much faster. I am really glad I took the time to prepare those for this purpose! I can't wait to see what I can make with the other types of oils I made. And I've been using this salve almost everyday since I made it because it just smells so good.
I must remind you: I am not a professional herbalist or holistic doctor. This is just a fun hobby for me! I try to make really safe and mild recipes, but please consult with a professional healthcare practitioner before using any of these ingredients or if you are questioning these ingredients. Other than that, make and apply at your own risk.
Phew! Always have to get that out of the way. Again, the herbs used in this are super mild and gentle. You shouldn't have too many issues unless you are allergic. I hope you enjoy making it! We have some exciting news as well... by next week we will be selling bulk herbs in our online shop! Aaaah! I am so pumped. Right now, we are selling beeswax, so if you are looking for a place to grab some, try us! (: All of our herbs and ingredients are organically grown and local. We love being able to say that! Check back next week or join our newsletter to find out when we release them.