Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY Hand Salves and Lip Balms

I was at The Hort again last week.  It seems like I'm there every other day!  This time I went for a workshop on how to make your own hand salves and lip balms.
The hand salve and lip balm mixture starts with heating up olive oil and dried herbs and flowers such as lavendar and calendula.  The smell was incredibly good!  You heat it at a very low temperature so that it doesn't burn the oil.  Most importantly, we had to stir the mixture the entire time it was heating up.
In another pot, we melted natural beeswax, shea butter, mango butter, rosehip seed oil, and vitamin E oil.  When everything is mixed together and melted, the last step is to add the scented oil to the mixture.  We used vanilla and rose oil which is an amazing combination.
Here we are testing the finished product.  To test the consistency of the mixture, you put a little dollop of the liquid on a plate and let it cool down.  Once cooled, you can test if it is the right texture.  At this point, you can add more beeswax to make it more solid or add more butters to make it more smooth.
The best part of this workshop was that each of us could take a tin home of what we made.  The Hort gave us these tins to pour the hand salve and lip balms into.  In addition, they gave us a packet of marigold seeds that were collected by inmates of the Riker's Island Greenhouse Program.  The Director of that program Hilda Krus taught this workshop. As Director of the Greenhouse Program on Rikers, she "provides male and female students with class room horticultural training, year round hands-on experience in horticulture and ongoing horticultural therapy, encouraging the men and women to grow new hope and dare to change after their release.   There she grows a wide range of ornamental, aromatic and edible plants on the island, many of which she harvests and uses to teach her students to make botanical hand salves and lip balms."

I immediately tested the lip balm and hand salve and they are fantastic!  I can't wait to try making this at home! 


  1. Thats pretty cool, maybe before long you will have your own line of this to sell to us.

  2. Great classes you are taking there. Neat!

  3. This was really great to read....great instruction and photos. Have never tried making my own salve but have always wanted to. Thanks.

  4. I've always wanted to learn how to make those. I wish they had workshops here - it's difficult to find them!


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