Colleen Vanderlinden

DCL

I have really, really dry skin. For years, I bought whatever super-creamy, generally pricey cream I saw advertised for treating dry skin. And each and every product either smelled weird, had ingredients I wasn't comfortable slathering on my skin, or just flat-out didn't work.

But I saw a post by one of my favorite blogs about making a simple salve from all-natural ingredients, and I decided to give it a try. I will never buy hand cream from the store again!

The original recipe for this salve was to use one cup of olive oil, one cup of calendula blossoms, ¼ of a cup of shaved beeswax, and shea butter. At the time, I was fresh out of calendula (but I did have plenty of dried lavender buds) and I didn't have any shea butter on hand. I decided to wing it and use what I had around the house. The results were absolutely wonderful. I changed the procedure a little, mostly because I didn't want to watch the concoction for twenty minutes while it steeped. It seemed to work well, though.

How to Make Skin Salve

Ingredients:

-One cup of olive oil

-One cup your choice of blossom. Try lavender buds, calendula blossoms, dried rose petals, rosemary, or mint leaves.

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-Jar or other container to store finished salve

- Cheesecloth, or a fine mesh strainer

Making the Salve:

1. Place one cup of olive oil and your choice of blossoms or leaves into a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Heat until the mixture is just below a simmer.

3. Turn the heat off, move the pan to a cool burner or a trivet, and let the flowers or leaves steep for twenty to thirty minutes.

4. Strain the oil through a strainer or cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Squeeze as much oil as possible out of your flower buds or leaves with a spoon.

5. Add beeswax to the oil, and stir it in until it melts.

6. Pour your salve into a clean jar or container (I used a clean baby food jar), and let it finish cooling, uncovered.

7.Cover and store.

What can you use this salve for? As I mentioned above, I love to slather it on my hands to keep them soft, but it's also great on your knees, elbows, feet - anywhere you have rough, dry skin. And for you parents out there, it is an awesome alternative to store-bought diaper rash ointments.

I love it that this is all-natural and cheap, and I love even more that I was able to make it with something I grew in my very own garden.