You can make your own salve from beeswax and oils in your own kitchen. Besides saving a lot of money, you also will know what exactly is in your DIY salve and you can add ingredients you specifically need to help heal your own skin conditions.
Let’s start with beeswax. Beeswax is the glue or emulsifying agent that holds your salve together preventing the liquids from separating. By the way, salve is usually pronounced (sav) and the “l” is silent.
But that’s not all beeswax does in your salve. Beeswax is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, has anti-free-radical properties, vitamin A, an emollient, softens, soothes and helps your skin retain moisture. Petroleum is also used as an emulsifying agent in salves but has none of the benefits that beeswax does.
Right off the bat, beeswax has properties you want in your skin care products.
To begin making your own salves, you will need beeswax. Not all beeswax is created equal. Anything you put on your skin should be free of harsh chemicals like pesticides, miticides and fungicides. Beeswax can contain these things and more.
Make sure your beeswax is chemical-free or organic. Also of note, the darker the wax, starting at white, light yellow, medium yellow, dark yellow and brown; the older it is and the more it can collect in terms of residues (good and bad). Since I’m a beekeeper, I make my own specifically in 1/4 cup hearts.
One good thing about dark wax is it can contain more propolis.
Propolis is a resin that bees collect from tree sap. They use it in various ways in the hive similar to a glue or protective coating. Depending on the source of the resin, it may also contain health properties such as anti-bacterial agents.
Bees carry out their wastes, so you will not find this in the wax. Many beekeepers will chew wax like gum and besides being sweet it will remove plaque from ones teeth.
Another ingredient in your salve is oil. You can use any oil from coconut, olive, hemp, rosehip, avocado, almond, sesame, etc. You can also make a mixture, say 1/2 coconut and 1/2 hemp. Perhaps you like a particular oil or you have a skin condition that a certain oil makes better. It’s your choice. I would however, make sure your oil is chemical-free or organic.
Next, choose some essential oils to add into your salve. Essential oils are concentrated essence or oils of plants. You can find these in hundreds of different varieties. Some of the essential oils in my cupboard include lemongrass, citronella, peppermint, oregano, ylang-ylang, clove, bergamot, frankincense, eucalyptus, and citronella.
Each one I keep, I use for a specific application. Sometimes, I use a combination of essential oils. For instance, I make my own spray with various oils to keep the flies and pests off my animals.
Essential oils are used for their medicinal benefits as well as their aromatic benefits.
Even if you just like the smell of an essential oil, you can use it in your salve. For instance, essence of rosemary is known as a love charm or for improving memory. You can find information on each essential oil in books or on the Internet.
To make your own salve you will need these above ingredients: beeswax, oil and essential oil. You will also need clean, glass jars, a double boiler pot, stirring utensils, measuring cups and spoons.
A double boiler is a pot within a pot. The bottom pot rests on the flame and is filled with water you bring to a boil and the top pot rests on it containing the ingredients and is not directly in touch with a flame.
You can use a 4-quart and a 2- quart pot, just make sure that you turn down the temperature of the flame once the water boils to prevent water from splashing into your salve.
- 1 cup of oil
- 1/4 cup of beeswax
- drops of essential oil
You can either heat up the oil or melt the wax first. It doesn’t matter one way or the other. Next you stir them together so they are well combined. Take a teaspoon and remove a bit of the mixture to test the consistency. You will want a soft product not too hard. The more wax the harder the salve becomes. Let the wax cool on the spoon before testing. If too hard, add more oil. If too soft add more wax. Remove from heat. Stir in the essential oil(s). Pour in your container. If your container is plastic, you may have to cool the wax slightly to prevent the plastic from cracking or melting. Let sit until the salve is cool.
You did it! You have made your own salve. You can make other things like tooth paste, deodorant, lip balm, creams, sunscreens, hair products, bug repellents… the list goes on. I also make cow bag balm on the farm we use when milking our cows. You can think of many creative ways to use salve.