What are Balms and Salves?

What are Balms and Salves?

A balm is a concentrated, waterless moisturizer that delivers the oil directly to the skin. They tend to be of a thicker, harder consistency. Due to this, it make them more protective, forming more of a barrier on the skin.

Salves are generally made up of a combination of herbal oils and beeswax, but at a lower percentage than balms. This gives them a softer texture that allows them to be absorbed into the skin.


How to apply either one? You simply apply a small amount of salve to a desired area of the skin, massage it in, and you're done!


Salves and Balms are multi-functional and have MANY purposes, and this is mostly because of the ingredients used in these products. You can use a basic balm and/or salve to help heal dry skin, chapped lips, and even diaper rash. They  also work to help soothe sunburn, eczema, and cuts and scrapes.

If you want to use them for a specific purpose, you'll need find them with oils, waxes and or herbs that are ideal for the ailment you're trying to heal. Of course, if you intend to use your salve or balm for a specific purpose, you can choose oils and waxes accordingly and infuse herbs in the oil for the desired purpose.


Here are some common essential oil and herbs used in balms and salves.


Lemon Balm - This type is ideal for insect bites, as it helps reduce swelling. Lemon balm is known to be antiseptic and antiviral. You can even use the herb for a relaxing effect or as an antispasmodic.

Rosemary - You can use rosemary to heal headaches and acne. Rosemary can even alleviate pain from aching muscles and joints. This herb can also be used to relive an itchy scalp and dandruff.

Calendula - This herb has all-around healing abilities. You can use calendula for inflamed or dry skin as well as acne, diaper rash, and wounds.

Plantain - Plantain is one of the best poultice herbs and is often called "the green bandage." Excellent for aiding would healing. 

Lavender - Lavender helps with relaxation, sleeping, and insomnia. This herb is also great for healing burns, bug bites, eczema, muscle pain, diaper rash, and is even anti-fungal.

Peppermint - Peppermint doesn't only make your breath smell nice. It is also used as a decongestant, and pain and fever reducer. It's also great to soothe itching, insect bites, and skin irritations.

Thyme - This herb is ideal for scrapes, sore muscles, and healing cuts.

Beginner Salve Recipe!


  • Castor Oil - 432 grams
  • Beeswax - 14 grams
  • Vitamin E - 9 grams
  • Fragrance Oil - 20 grams


1. Using a double boiler, slowly melt the beeswax.
2. Add castor oil and vitamin E oil and mix.
3. Pour into mixing bowl & let cool. (We always guess by placing our hand on the boiler. If not burning and feels comfortable, then its ready!)
4. Whisk until it becomes supple & smooth.
5. Add your 20 grams of fragrance oil and mix well!
6. When the mixture is blended, place the finished salve into desired containers. (We use those 4 oz. tins)


Beginner Balm Recipe!


  • 0.2oz Beeswax
  • 0.3oz Shea butter
  • 0.2oz Cocoa butter
  • 0.1oz Sweet almond oil
  • 0.1oz Hemp oil
  • 5 drops Vitamin E
  • 12-18 drops essential oil/fragrance of your choice.


  1. Measure beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter and put in the top of a double boiler
  2. Melt the butters and waxes over low heat in your double boiler until completely combined
  3. Add the almond oil and hemp oil and stir well.
  4. Remove from heat and add Vitamin E and essential oils.
  5. Pour into balm tubes or tins (We love using this recipe for lip balms, so we use chapstick tubes)
  6. Allow to cool completely (at least 20-30 minutes)