DIY Skin Salve for Dry,Itchy or Irritated Skin
Wow, it's been a long time since I've done a post! It's been a busy and beautiful summer so far with time flying by as it does. My summer highlights include a lovely vacation in the Philippines, working and catching up with friends in my beloved city of San Francisco, hanging with family and meeting my beautiful new niece, Elliot. Although I am terribly missing my man who is still in HK, I'm feeling incredibly blessed with all of the amazing and awesome people in my life–both near and far. A couple of weeks ago, I arrived in my homeland of Texas and am happily creating in a familiar kitchen again after several weeks of nomadic living. My sweet Mom is helping me brew up some delicious recipes, which are coming in the weeks ahead so stay tuned. This week I want to share with you my most recent kitchen experiment. For those of you that aren't aware, I'm in love with natural skin care products and essential oils–kind of obsessed actually. The products my skin tend to love are those made in small batches with minimal ingredients and that do not contain fillers, preservatives and stabilizers that my skin doesn't need. A lot of products out there may contain natural healing ingredients, but then have harmful preservatives or chemicals that can be hazardous to our health. Yes, that even goes for the "healthy" or "natural" brands out on the shelves–read the labels. That said, it was high time for me to take a stab at making my own homemade stuff and I'm happy to report it was easy, successful, FUN and cost effective. Winning!
Given, my own challenges with dry and irritated skin, I opted for a soothing salve that will benefit those with dry, rough or cracked skin, inflamed skin, minor skin irritations, eczema and dermatitis. It contains the medicinal properties of calendula, comfrey, mallow root, lavender, roman chamomile and rosehip seed oil all infused into a blend of coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter. Yum.
I've listed some of the healing properties of the herbs and oils I've used down below. Although some herbs can be taken internally, please note these descriptions are addressing medicinal qualities for external uses.
- Calendula–this cooling anti-inflammatory herb has antibacterial, antifungal and humectant properties along with antioxidant benefits for cell regeneration
- Comfrey–a herb that has been used in Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years, promotes new skin cell growth along with anti-inflammatory benefits, also recommended for bruises and sprains
- Mallow root–a mucilaginous herb that acts as a skin emollient, soothes irritated skin and calms inflammation
- Lavender oil–this beautifully scented herb carries a broad range of medicinal qualities to include antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties; also relives tension, soreness and swelling
- Roman Chamomile oil–this calming herb contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic
- Rosehip seed oil–a powerful skin rejuvenating oil that is full of antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids; great for hydrating skin, relieving itchy skin and reducing fine lines and scars
- Coconut oil–a miracle oil good for anything and everything, high in medium chain fatty acids and contains antimicrobial benefits-antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial
- Olive oil–high in oleic acid and vitamin E, moisturizes and soothes damaged skin
- Shea butter–this buttery balm is a superfood for dry skin; rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids
Yields: 12 ounces
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup olive oil (almond or jojoba oil would be great too)
4 Tablespoons dried comfrey
4 Tablespoons dried calendula
2 Tablespoons dried mallow root
1/2 cup shea butter (or cocoa butter)
3 Tablespoons of beeswax pellets or beads
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops roman chamomile oil
10 drops rosehip seed oil
1. Steep dried herbs (calendula, comfrey and mallow root-shown as powder in photo) in melted coconut oil and olive oil. You can place in a slow cooker for 24 hours on low, put in a glass jar in the oven with pilot light on for warmth for a few days, or put in a glass jar on a sunny window ledge for a couple of weeks.
2. Strain the oil from the herbs into a glass bowl that fits onto a saucepan with boiling water (or use double boiler if you have it). Discard the herbs. Bring the herb infused coconut/olive oil blend to warm on low-medium heat.
3. Stir in the shea butter and beeswax until melted and smooth.
4. Lastly, lower heat and add essential oils (lavender, rosehip seed and chamomile) stirring to incorporate.
5. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before pouring into jars.
6. Apply to skin as often as needed.
*Note: Will melt in high heats so store in cool place or fridge for maintaining salve consistency.