Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 pots (50 mls each)
Balms are very versatile and can be made for many uses, depending on what ingredients are added. By using conditioning, moisturising oils and butters, you can make a balm for
softening rough skins on your hands and feet. Using infused oils or adding essential oils will also affect the properties of the balm. Lavender soothes the mind and the body. Calendula is a well-known skin healer. Tea tree, manuka, thyme are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Use arnica infused oils in muscle balms. And lemongrass and eucalyptus in an insect repellent balm.
A good place to start formulating balms is by using equal parts of wax, oil, and butter. This will give you a good, solid balm. If you want a softer and more spreadable consistency, add more oil or reduce the amount of wax and butters you are using. A salve will have a ratio upwards of 4 parts of oil to one part of wax. The balm of this recipe uses slightly less butter and wax, but will still leave you with a fairly solid balm.
In a heat proof glass jug (i.e. Pyrex) and add your vegetable oil, such as olive oil or sunflower oil, and your beeswax (or candelilla wax for a vegan balm). Heat it on high in your microwave for 2 minutes or until the beeswax is fully melted.
Add your vegetable butter, for example cocoa butter or shea butter, and stir until the butter has completely melted. If you find the mixture is starting to harden, pop it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds or so until it is liquid again.
Next, add your essential oils and give it another good stir. I’m using orange essential oil here, which is why it is a bright colour 😉
Finally, carefully pour the balm into the pots and leave them overnight to harden and cool down. Don’t put the lids on, otherwise you will find it will have formed condensation on the inside of the lids, which is a unwanted environment for mould growth.
- 50 ml vegetable oil (such as olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.)
- 25 g butter (such as shea butter or cocoa butter)
- 25 g beeswax (or 15 g candelilla wax plus 10 g extra oil for a vegan option)
- 2 pots (50ml)
- 4 ml essential oils
- In a heat proof glass jug (i.e. Pyrex), combine the oil and wax. Place it in the microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes initially and then in 1 minute increments until the beeswax has completely melted. Be careful when removing the jug from the microwave, as the mixture will be very hot!
- Add the butter and stir until melted. If the butter doesn’t melt completely or if the mixture is starting to harden, pop it back in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- When the mixture is completely liquid, add your essential oils and stir to completely mix in.
- Pour the mixture into your pots. Allow to fully cool and harden overnight before putting the lids on.
Where you can get your ingredients from
- vegetable oils: supermarket
- vegetable butters: Pure Nature, Go Native
- beeswax / candelilla wax: Pure Nature, Go Native
- pots: Arthur Holmes
- Pyrex jug: the Warehouse or supermarket