Homemade balms are one of my favorite natural skincare products. Easy to make, a treat to use, safe, healthy, and wonderfully versatile, they will become a staple in your skincare routine — or a favorite thing to give as a gift — once you get into the swing of making them.
Balms generally have two main components: oil and beeswax, although people who are allergic to beeswax may use alternatives such as soy wax.
You can use any natural cold-pressed oils such as olive, almond, avocado, and even coconut if you live in a warm climate.
Then comes the beeswax part. Generally, the more beeswax you add, the harder your balm will be. I like to have a proportion of 5 parts oil and 1 part beeswax. To measure with precision, I have a digital kitchen scale.
It's nice to add a few drops of essential oils for good smell and/or relaxing or refreshing properties. I have made olive oil-based balm with menthol and eucalyptus essential oil that smells very invigorating.
You can also make your own herb-scented oils and use them in making balms (or for other purposes). To do that, place oil in a jar in a sunny spot and add a few sprigs of fresh or dry aromatic herbs such as rosemary, mint, sage, and so on. Leave for a few days to a week, or until the oil smells as strongly as you wish. I am currently using a balm based on grapeseed oil imbued with lavender I had picked and dried myself. It smells divine!
Combine oil and beeswax in a small pot on very low heat and stir continuously until you reach uniform consistency. Pour into glass jars. If you use pretty ones, they can make a great gift. Allow to set at room temperature before using.
Use your balm on any bit of your skin that really needs some thorough care and lots of moisture - cracked heels, dry elbows, chapped lips, rough hands after working in the garden. It works especially great during the winter.
Give your feet an intense beauty treatment: before bedtime, slather natural oil balm, put on cotton socks, and leave until morning. After about a week, your feet will begin shedding dry, dead, cracked skin at a pace that will surprise you.
Enjoy the new tool in your toolbox of natural homemade personal care!
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna, her husband, and their four children live on the outskirts of a small town in northern Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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