Salve-ation for rough, dry hands
The backs of my hands were looking rough – dry and flaky. It could have been all the hot water I used mopping our wooden floors when we moved in last month. Maybe it was too much digging in the dirt preparing the garden beds for the spring. Or perhaps the chill outside coupled with the warm dry air inside. Whatever the cause, I needed a fix fast.
Fortunately, I came across a post from one of my favorite blogger/podcasters, Mellissa K. Norris of Pioneering Today. This “homemade peppermint salve for dry skin” was the cure I needed for my rough, dry hands.
There was a time, when lotions and shower gels from my favorite mall store were always on my Christmas wish list. But then I began to notice that the lotions didn’t really moisturize my skin. I learned that my favorite bath products were actually toxic – filled with ingredients I could not identify and that could actually cause me harm over time. At about the same time I became aware of how easy it is to make your body products and set about learning more. Soon I was making herbal salves for my family and sharing them with friends. If I can do it, you can too.
“But I don’t have the time.”
I hear you on that, my friend, and have made a few extra tins in case someone you love needs some dry skin salve-ation.
First, let’s see how easy it really is.
Gather the herbs: I had what I needed on hand. The peppermint, calendula, and chamomile were from my garden in California, and I have an abundance of plantain on our land in Tennessee. I love growing my own herbs for these homemade salves.
Infuse the herbs in oil: I usually use the Kirkland brand organic extra virgin olive oil. There are two methods for infusing. Solar infusing in a glass jar takes a few weeks, but uses the sun to warm the oil. Warming the oil in a double boiler for a day or so takes less time, but uses electricity. For this batch I made a double boiler out of my crockpot and warmed the oil during the day over the course of two days turning the crockpot off at night and covering the oil with a cloth.
Strain the herbs from the oil: Using cheesecloth, a colander, and a Pyrex measuring cup I strain the oil. Make sure to bring the ends of the cheesecloth together, twist, and squeeze to get all the infused oil goodness. The Pyrex measuring cup comes in handy here since it lets you see exactly how much infused oil you have after squeezing it through the cheesecloth and you don’t have to transfer the oil before the next step.
Add beeswax and other ingredients: Beeswax is added to make a solid, spreadable salve texture. I place the Pyrex measuring cup in a larger pot filled about halfway with water, making another double boiler. Heat the water to almost boiling. This slowly warms your oil and melts the beeswax. When it is completely melted add any other oils. I tweaked the original recipe a bit – adding more Vitamin E oil and some Apricot Kernel oil for their skin nourishing benefits. I used a little more beeswax than the recipe, making a firm salve that can be used sparingly and goes a long way. The Peppermint essential oil helps sooth irritation and itchiness as well as adding a soft minty smell. I use Mountain Rose Herbs to source any products I don’t have on hand.
Melting beeswax in a makeshift double boiler.
Pour into containers: Pour your oil into several containers and allow to cool. Test it on your skin. I think you will love it and want to share with your friends. I purchase my tins from Specialty Bottle, but you can also reuse empty cosmetic jars or other small glass containers.
Do you have rough, dry skin that needs some all-natural goodness? I have some extra tins from this batch. Shoot me an email or leave a comment and I can send some your way.