Healing Dry Skin Remedy Salve
As a mom, teacher, healthcare professional, jeweler, or office worker, we ALL know what it’s like to wash our hands too often. A nasty stomach bug going around the school? The flu rearing its head at work? Poopy diapers coming out your ears at home? You’re probably washing your hands at least once an hour.
All of that “stripping action” that soap does to the bad bugs, it also does to your skin’s natural oils. In the winter months especially, this can lead to cracked, bleeding, or itchy hands and elbows or knees. Growing up on the humid Gulf Coast for most of my life, “dry skin” is not a common thing. Most people have oily skin in this area, but man! When I moved to Dallas to go to college?
I vividly remember peeling an orange one day and my hands felt like they had been submerged in an acid bath! The dry, cold air and constant washing to avoid “dorm disease” had left nasty, painful fissures in my skin.
As I had recently started experimenting with making natural body products, I discovered a wonderfully nourishing herbal combination (long before the advent of essential oil direct sales and “crunchy mommy” blogs) that is perfect for moisturizing damaged skin, healing cuts and scrapes, soothing bruises, and zapping bug bite itchies. This is a recipe I’ve been perfecting for years and am super excited to share it with you today!
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and why they’re being used:
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The perfect emulsifying agent to suspend all of the carrier and essential oils, beeswax acts as a great barrier from moisture. Which means that it doesn’t want to let moisture in or out. Think really thin, leather gloves for your hands.
Caledula-Infused Olive Oil
Calendula blossoms have been used for centuries in folk and herbal medicine to speed wound healing and reduce inflammation in the skin. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information:
“One of the experiments carried out in 34 patients with venous leg ulcers to determine the therapeutic efficacy of ME on the epithelialization of lower leg venous ulcers revealed significant acceleration of wound healing by producing epithelialization. Research conducted on cream preparations containing seven different types of marigold and rosemary extracts, revealed that such creams are effective in experimentally induced irritant contact dermatitis when tested on healthy human volunteers.”
Not only is it a good healing accelerant, it’s also good for dermatitis (mild allergic reactions of the skin). For these reasons, I always keep calendula-infused olive oil in my herbal remedy cabinet. Almost all of my homemade body products contain it!
If you’d like to learn how to make your own infused oils, you can find those directions in this post about lemon balm lip gloss (good for cold sores)! You can infuse organic calendula flowers in a carrier oil, just like the lemon balm. It is much cheaper to do it yourself, but there is a link to pre-made infused oil in the ingredient list below if you prefer not to make it yourself.
Shea Butter and Coconut Oil
I don’t use much of these in this preparation, because sometimes it can feel grainy or greasy, but it adds some nice moisture and smells lovely. These can be left out, but I like the extra creaminess they add to the overall salve.
Clove Bud Essential Oil
Clove has been one of the most valuable plant species in medicine and food preservation over the course of our history. It has enormous amounts of antioxidants (which help reduce inflammation and encourage cell regeneration) and has vast, documented antimicrobial properties. You can read more scientific research about this plant here, but rest assured, it’s properties are exactly the kind you want to help heal and protect those cracked, dry hands.
Lavender Essential Oil
Also full of inflammation-reducing compounds, lavender is a wonderful plant with soothing, calming, relaxing properties (for your mind AND skin).
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Excellent for clearing sinuses and banishing mosquitoes, but it is also great for calming dermatitis and leaving a fresh feeling on your skin.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
An enormous weed in my yard, lemongrass is a powerhouse plant filled with documented antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory compounds. All of which are important for healing damaged skin. You can read more about this plant’s properties here.
Before we get to the recipe, please be aware that even though these are “natural” plant-based compounds, they are very strong substances and need to be diluted properly! This recipe is for a little less than a 2% dilution of essential oils. Always do a spot test before applying to large areas or your body. We can still be allergic to plant compounds (my sister is HIGHLY allergic to lavender, poor thing)!
Healing Dry Skin Remedy Salve:
- Add all ingredients, except essential oils to a heat-safe glass container.
- Heat in hot water and stir until combined and completely liquid.
- Remove from heat—with heat proof glove or canning tongs!
- Pour into desired container (I used these Weck Jars, but they also fit in these 4 oz jelly jars)
- Add essential oils while stirring continuously.
- Place lid (unsealed) on the jar to help keep some of the volatile essential oil compounds compressed in the jar.
- Let cool completely before handling.
- Spot test before applying to large areas of skin!
I LOVE this salve! It works so well. I always apply it after a shower, washing dishes, or washing my hands too much. It puts the moisture right back in them and seems to help heal any cuts much quicker than if they were left dry.
I hope this will be a regular addition to your family’s herbal medicine cabinet. This also makes a great gift! I’ve given them to my local farmer, parents, and kids’ teachers, and always receive high praise back 🙂 You can find more of my natural beauty and body care recipes on this Natural Beauty page. Happy crafting!
**Information and recipes found on this website and corresponding videos have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This is experiential and anecdotal information only. Please seek advice in changing health routines and habits with your healthcare professional.