Are you tired of dry and chapped hands, elbows, and knees? This soothing salve is the perfect solution for your winter skin woes and can bring much needed soothing relief to other troublesome skin conditions.
Whether you struggle with what is referred to as “chicken skin” on your upper arms, dry and chapped hands, or other areas that are just begging for some moisturizing relief, this salve is for you! My daughter rubs this on her rough skin patches, and I’ve applied it to practically every other family member that is in need of some moisturizing. This salve is so versatile that it can be used on pretty much any area of the body and is even used as a diaper rash cream by some super crunchy moms I know!
Why you should skip over the counter moisturizers
Once I began reading the labels on many over the counter lotions and skin care products, I was amazed and disgusted by the ingredients they contain! I believe that our bodies were designed to properly process NATURAL substances, not synthetic and unnatural chemically created “junk”! Your skin is the largest living organ and anything you put onto your body, you may as well have put INTO your body because it will be absorbed into your bloodstream anyway. So do you really want to cover your body in petroleum jelly, parabens, paraffins, plus countless other unpronounceable ingredients?
Cetaphil (pictured above) is one of the most popular creams that is recommended for children and adults who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or other skin conditions. According to the packaging, it is recommended for dry, sensitive skin and offers intense moisture for long-lasting hydration and is fragrance free. It is even recommended by Good Housekeeping. Great, right? I have this lotion and it has been a default of mine for YEARS, but I’m seriously rethinking applying it on the skin of anyone in my family now!
I’m going to share a great way for you to investigate if your frequently used products are toxic. The Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org is one of my favorite (FREE!) resources to empower me in more natural living. I went to their site and clicked on their skin deep database. I then did a simple search for “Cetaphil” and scrolled through the different products until this particular cream came up. Based on EWG findings, this Cetaphil cream rates an overall “4” on potential toxicity (which doesn’t that that terrible, right?) but the most offensive ingredient “Propylparaben” ranks a “7” for “Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity” and use restrictions suggested. See the full EWG report on Cetaphil here
I have kids with skin issues. Identifying the root cause (food allergies, pet allergies, gut issues) is the ultimate goal, but can be a long process as we continue to deal with the surface issues of dry, itchy skin. Applying moisturizer frequently is recommended by pediatricians (in addition to steroid cream!) and is one of the only steps to keep it under control. Most parents apply a cream such as Cetaphil at least two times a day. As a mom I *might* not freak out about something that is potentially considered toxic if it is used very rarely on my child (let’s be honest, we cannot control everything they come into contact with, not matter how hard we try!) but for something that is used DAILY, this lotion (and many others!) raises many red flags and is a big NO in my mommy brain!
The benefits of homemade personal care products
After realizing the potential harm to your health from the products you are currently using on your skin, I’m very happy to encourage you that there are some great natural options! If you absolutely must buy store bought, look for products with just a few simple and easily recognizable natural ingredients. But be aware that even very natural looking items like “Coconut Body Butter” at Trader Joes may still have some additives that you don’t want on your skin! With just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of time, DIY personal care items are easy, inexpensive, and much nicer to use than their store bought competition.
This DIY Soothing Salve Recipe is made with 100% natural and edible ingredients! This is the stuff that you can feel good about putting on your skin, and that will make your skin feel good! This soothing skin salve is also easy, incredibly versatile, and inexpensive. I am confident that you will love it! It uses simple ingredients that can be used in many other homemade beauty and personal care recipes, so buy beeswax once, and you can use it in many other recipes. If you are interested in homemade lotions, be sure to try out my luxurious Whipped Body Butter.
This recipe is so easy to make that you will wonder why you haven’t made it before now! Soon you will be inviting your friends over to make a quadruple batch at your house! If you do, please comment on this blog post and let me know. Or better yet, share your picture on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/shessonatural/
DIY Soothing Skin Salve Recipe
Step 1: Gather your supplies:
I used organic coconut oil and avocado oil* (both from Costco) and these beeswax pellets from Amazon. Plus my favorite brand of lavender, lemon, melaleuca, and frankincense essential oils. Learn more about essential oils here. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
*You can also substitute organic olive oil for the avocado oil.
Step 2: Measure and melt your ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat.
I used 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of avocado oil, and 4 Tablespoons of beeswax. Let it heat until all of the beeswax is completely melted. Mine took about 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Step 4: Add the essential oils. Now that the liquid is cooled you can add the essential oils. If you added them when it was still very hot it could have destroyed their beneficial properties that provide therapeutic benefits to the skin. I added 6 drops of lavender, and 4 drops each of lemon, melaleuca, and frankincense. Stir to combine. This is a good time to mention that when working with essential oils you should only use glass or metal bowls and no plastic spoons or spatulas.
Step 5: Put the salve in the freezer for 15 minutes or more until it is solid, but still soft.
This is what mine looked like when it was ready to be removed from the freezer. If yours overfreezes simply place it at room temperature until the right consistency is achieved- like softened butter.
Step 6: This step is optional: Using a standing mixer or handheld mixer whip the salve until it looks like lemon curd- smooth and creamy. Or, if you are pleased with the smooth texture (from when you removed it from the freezer) you can proceed to step 7:
Step 7: Spoon the mixture into either one 8oz or two 4 oz glass jars with lids. Label it nice and pretty to give as a gift (it is great for EVERYTHING!) or keep it for yourself. Those two jars only last so long in my family of 6, so next time I’m making a double batch and putting a jar in every bathroom!
This Soothing Skin Salve is ah-maz-ing! Dry, itchy, and irritated skin everywhere will LOVE this stuff!
Just a few final tips before I let you go:
- This salve is made out of natural oils- so it is “greasier” and more “oily” than synthetic lotions.
- Be sure to use paper towels to remove any salve residue from bowls or utensils used in making it prior to washing them. This will make dish washing much easier.
- This oil can stain clothing, so please be sure to wipe it off of your hands before touching clothing and let it absorb into your skin before dressing.
You might as well just make a double batch while you are at it! 😉