Avocado Beeswax Hand Salve

Back before Christmas, when I was making the hand cream and body scrub for gifts, I stumbled upon a recipe for a hand salve made with beeswax. Naturally, I was excited by this, because beeswax can be local: emulsifying wax? Not so much. So I made a tiny batch, using organic avocado oil, as a gift for my friend Nadine, who, like me, has a tendency towards “difficult” skin, especially on her hands. In the holiday craziness, I never had the chance to take a picture (or write a post); in fact, I can’t even find the original recipe I adapted to make this. Luckily I jotted down the basic ingredients and remembered the method (simple as it is) so I could reproduce the salve, because Nadine loves it and has run out.

Avacado oil is touted to have many benefits for problem, sensitive, mature, or sun-damaged skin, and is also reported to be excellent for sufferers of excema and psoriasis. I tend to take this type of information with several grains of salt (I’m a scientist, people: show me the data, then we’ll talk.), but I can tell you that this salve absorbs really nicely and even softened my heels, which have gone far too long without a pedicure and exfoliating treatment. I ordered both the avocado oil and the beeswax from Mountain Rose Herbs, but organic markets often carry avocado oil and, in summer, a beekeeper comes to my local farmer’s market and sells beeswax. This summer I may pick some up and, with my Stolor Organics sunflower oil, make 100% local hand salve! 

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Avocado Beeswax Hand Salve

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) beeswax pastilles
  • 1 cup (8 oz) avocado oil
  • 10 – 15 drops bitter orange essential oil
  • 10 – 15 drops grapefruit essential oil

METHODS

  1. Add oil and wax pastilles to a small heat-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until all the wax is completely melted. Add essential oils, wafting your hand over the hot oil in order to smell when the aroma is strong enough.
  2. Pour into clean jars, cover and allow to sit undisturbed overnight. Once the mixture cools, it’s done!

Yields about 1 and 1/2 cups.

OPTIONS

  1. Choose any essential oils you like; the avocado smell is quite strong, so you’ll need something bold to not be overwhelmed by avocado. You can find essential oils at most larger whole foods stores, alternative health centers, yoga studios and acupuncture offices often sell them, or you can order from Mountain Rose Herbs.
  2. I’ve seen recipes for a homemade antibiotic salve with by adding tea tree oil.
  3. Any cosmetic or cooking oil can be used here, if avocado is not your thing. I use sunflower oil in my hand cream most often and really like the texture, mild aroma, etc.
  4. This is a quite soft salve; most recipes call for a 1:4 ratio of beeswax to oil (2 oz or 1/2 cup beeswax with this amount of oil). This is how I made it at Christmas for Nadine, so I made it this way again. I do like the texture of this one, it is smooth and spreadable without too much effort.

STORE

At room temperature, indefinitely. There is a lot of discussion as to whether this will go bad, or rancid eventually, since it does not have any commercial preservatives: I have to assume that it would, but so far it seems to have lasted at least 3 – 4 months without issue. If you are concerned about shelf-life, a sterilized jar would not hurt.

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21 comments

  1. Heather

    *grins teasing……

    Can I come live at your house?! You make some of the neatest lotions and body nurturing stuff!!

    Now then….
    am going to save this post and order organic yummy oils and beeswax and gift this to my boss… I will post results of her ooohs and aahhhs …. If she wasn’t my boss I would adopt her!!! LOL

    Heather

  2. Seems you and I are on the same wavelength! I’ve been making body lotion from local beeswax and almond oil. It’s incredibly simple and once I run out of the almond oil I bought from Mountain Rose Herbs, I plan to switch to Stolor. I use the recipe below, but blend it right in the pint jar I use for storage (not wide mouth), since the threads fit into my blender.

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-natural-body-lotion.html

    I’m definitely going to give this salve a try! Thanks!

  3. Hi Lindsay,

    I’ve heard that you can emulsify beeswax if you blend it right away, but haven’t tried it yet. My blender is from the 70′s(!!) and buried somewhere in the garage and I haven’t wanted to use my immersion blender on it.

    The salve is easy-peasy to make, but definitely a salve not a lotion. Works great for heels, elbows and hands though and it lasts a really long time.

  4. Heather

    Ordered some beeswax — have sunflower oil at the ready. Very much looking forward to making this. Curious – will the beeswax emulsify if blended with oil and water like in your lotion recipe?

  5. Hi Heather,

    If you look at the above link from Lindsay, you’ll see a recipe for a beeswax lotion. Beeswax will not emulsify ‘magically’ like emulsifying wax; you would need to blend it as it is cooling down in order for it to emulsify in water. I haven’t tried it, but it seems a fairly straighforward process. If you do try it, please come back and let me know how it goes!

  6. Heather

    Definitely… I ordered beeswax from a different site then what you have listed. I should have it in a few days. I did read her recipe for using beeswax and it seems simple enough! I will let you know. I did use Sunflower oil on my arm today and when I bathed the old dry skin sloughed off and have read that sunflower oil can act as a good cleanser too — so am going to keep using it and stay hydrated too.

    Here is the site I ordered from:

    http://ebeehoney.com/

  7. andreadevon

    this is such a lovely idea! i live in the tropics and don’t usually need salve, but i can’t wait to make it for my ladyfriends in the wintery northeast! i always love your ideas and really admire your site… I am a regular reader and always charmed by your stuffs. aloha from maui, andrea

  8. Hi Heather – I haven’t had any issues with the beeswax. I heat it in the oil until it’s fully melted and then blend in short bursts until everything looks uniform. The first time I made the lotion, I had an issue with water collecting at the bottom of the jar, but I think the trick is to pulse the blender.

  9. The salve looks really cool — I love using beeswax to helps solidify my lip balms and lotion bars. There is somewhat of a preservative in natural beeswax just as in honey, but the eo’s will preserve it as well.

  10. Heather

    Yep, am back again….

    Wholly stingers BATMAN! I am in love with the lotion I made using the recipe link provided on a comment above…. I have a hand held mixer.. I heated oil and wax in a microwave save canning jar just barely long enough to melt the wax. Heated the water in a separate container and then slowly added the water and blended til the concoction was creamy in color. It barely had time to cool enough to try and I put some on. At first it seemed like vaseline and took a bit to soak in but my skin feels amazing!

    PS Once it cooled it did separate some – I simply used the hand blender to mix it again and it thickened up nicely. I got over exuberant putting it on — and had to towel the excess off – which was not very much truth be told. Also, I don’t have any EO of any kind – but I like the clean smell of the sunflower oil and beeswax.

  11. I’m so glad you liked it, Heather! It’s insanely easy, isn’t it? Makes me feel silly for throwing away all those plastic lotion bottles. :) I’m on a business trip now and brought a glass jar of it with me.

  12. Heather

    I am so grateful to KNOW what’s in the lotion. No scientific degree needed to understand what all that “other” stuff is anymore..

  13. Diane Var

    I made this for the first time, and must say I am thrilled with the results. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Megan

    I’m excited to try this! I bought all the ingredients and the thing I’m perplexed by is what makes it avocado green???? The avocado oil looks basically like a standard vegetable oil, does it turn green when it oxidizes or something? I returned to the website to make sure that I wrote down all the ingredients correctly (wanted to double check that it didn’t call for avocado butter instead of oil), and indeed I did. I’m sure I’ll figure it out tomorrow when I dive in. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Megan,

      It could be the quality of your avocado oil. The one I used was a deep, dark green (I ordered some from Mountain Rose Herbs, as it is hard to find an organic version here). Perhaps it is the difference between a first press and later presses of the oil? At any rate, the salve will not be avocado-green if your oil is not green; it will be a paler version of the color of your oil.

      Hope that explains it!
      Kaela

  15. Pingback: homemade body care products | Vibrant Wellness Journal

  16. Glenda

    Squeezing a vitamin E gel-cap or two into your salve and stirring gently will greatly add to it’s preservation. Your salve is beautiful and can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing! Blessings to all who come here.

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