Hand Salve Made Naturally

May 8, 2014

in Cook What You Like, Fancy Pantry

Hand SalveLooked at your hands lately?  Perhaps they’ve seen better days?

This easy 2-ingredient hand salve formula can help your hands get back on to the road of smooth skin recovery.  No errant additives, no preservatives, no coloring – made with only beeswax and oil.  Protect your hands throughout the day in the kitchen, around little ones, at bedtime.  Your feet might want some, too.

To make the salve, just combine the beeswax and oil into a jar, place the filled jar into a simmering pot of water, and stir a few times.  This is easier than making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Hand Salve HeatingUse quality ingredients intended for cosmetic/skin use or consumption.  Beeswax beads (also called beeswax pastilles) shaped like fat rice grains make this salve come together effortlessly.  A singular oil or any combination of oils can be used – jojoba, sweet almond, coconut, olive, avocado.  Oils lubricate skin surfaces to help keep moisture under the skin.  Which to use?  Each oil has star qualities – there’s lots of information on the Internet.

Where to find natural oils and pure beeswax?  The olive and coconut oils from your grocer may already be in your kitchen cupboard.  Local beekeeping supplies purveyors such as Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies carry beeswax beads and natural oils. They also have essential fragrance oils if you wish to infuse scent into the salve.  Beeswax beads may also be found at craft stores.  Local natural food cooperatives including Sacramento Natural Food Coop carry selections of natural and culinary oils.

Hand Salve IngredientsAside from quality ingredients, ensure that the jar, lid and stirring fork to be used are very clean and absolutely dry to prevent contamination.  This salve has no other preservatives other that what is naturally found in vitamin E.  Water or other liquids can spoil the salve.

The formula is 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil by volume.  More beeswax results in a firmer salve; more oil creates a thinner cream; adjust to your preference.  The salve pictured in this post is a combination of jojoba, olive and coconut oils.  The yellow comes from the olive oil; colorless oils result in a product that’s more white.

Hand Salve Naturally Label 2

This salve can be the ultimate “I made it for you” gift.  Tailor the oils, decide which aroma to add if desired, and design a jar lid label with 2″ round pre-cut self-adhesive labels (found at office supply stores).

Put on some music, have wine nearby, and make something soothing for the special people in your life, including you.

Recipe: Hand Salve Made Naturally

This rich salve makes about 3 1/2 ounces and can be made and kept in the same 4-oz straight-side jam/jelly jar (jar opening should be as wide as the jar).  Add a few drops of essential oils (such as lavender) to scent if desired.  Experiment with different oils – keep the ratio close to 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil.


  • 2 Tablespoons beeswax beads (beeswax pastilles)
  • 6 Tablespoons oil such as olive, sweet almond, coconut, jojoba, avocado
  • 3-5 drops vitamin E oil
  • 5-7 drops essential oil (optional)


  1. Ensure that the jar, lid and fork are clean and very dry.  Combine all ingredients in the jar.
  2. Heat a pan of water to simmering. The water level should be about 1/2 to 2/3 the height of the jar after the jar is placed in the simmering water.
  3. Place the filled jar into the simmering water, careful to not let any water get into the jar.
  4. Stir jar contents occasionally with a fork to mix ingredients. When wax has melted, carefully remove jar from water and set on a clean surface.  As the salve cools, stir often with the same fork used before to keep ingredients mixed.  When salve solidifies at room temperature, transfer into another clean and dry vessel if desired.  Cap with a clean lid.

Makes about 3 1/2 ounces.

Note:  unlike most oils, coconut oil solidifies in cooler room temperatures so salves made with coconut oils will soften in warmer temperatures.  This oil also imparts a faint coconut aroma that fades shortly after using.  Choose odorless oils if adding fragrance essential oils.


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