Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homemade Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

I'm a lotion fiend. I hate the way my hands feel when they're dry, so I always carry some sort of lotion or cream with me. I've had dry skin, mainly on my hands, my whole life. I have purchased more lotion and creams than I can count. I've become very picky with the product I'll use, since many of the lotions (mainly scented) I used to purchase have "water" as the first ingredient. Water is drying, so of course I wasn't really taking care of the problem... I was temporarily covering it up. I used to have very sensitive skin that would react to certain products/ingredients poorly. As an adult, I can use more things without having a problem - thankfully! I've become interested in making my own lotions, etc.... and recently stumbled across a blog with a   recipe for homemade hand salve, at the same time I was looking into options for treating my sons eczema.

My son is 6 months old now, and just recently started showing signs of eczema. He got the red, dry patches on his tummy and back. So far, it hasn't spread anywhere else, and I hope it doesn't. After speaking with his pediatrician, she recommended I pick up Hydrocortisone cream. I was open to using that, but not until after I explored more natural options first. I did some research online, and came across this blog. I decided to try making it for Landon, to see if it would work for him. It has!

I have been using it on him 2 times daily, and it has helped a lot! I am so happy the first thing we tried is working! It hasn't completely taken his eczema away, but it definitely has kept his skin moisturized and the redness has gone away. It was easy to make, and after the initial cost (about $20), it will be cheaper to make multiple times. The shea butter costs $8 for 2 ounces, but from now on, I will be buying it in bulk on Amazon. The Avocado oil and Vitamin E pills will last me a while. If you want to make this once to see if you like it, I would encourage you to wait to buy a lot of shea butter, and start small. Mountain Rose Herbs has some great shea butter, and other natural products. If you're not into ordering things online, Whole foods, Market of Choice and your town's natural food co-op should all have organic shea butter available. Alaffia is a great brand. It's all fair trade shea butter straight from West Africa. Make sure whatever shea butter you buy for this recipe (if using it for dry, sensitive skin or for eczema) is organic shea butter (raw) with no added essential oils or fragrances.

I have started using this salve on my hands, and it makes them feel very soft. I only use it before I go to bed, since it is a little greasy until it soaks in completely. I would say this salve is great for anyone, but would highly recommend you try it if you suffer from eczema, or recommend it if you know someone who does. I hope in Landon's case, it will go away as he gets a little older, but if it doesn't, at least we know something that keeps the redness and dryness very minimal.

Note: If you're making this for yourself, or for a gift, and don't have sensitive skin, it may be nice to add a few drops of an essential oil, to give it a nice smell. Do not add essential oil if you have very sensitive skin or eczema, as it can cause your skin to get more irritated. The scent of the salve by itself is not bad, but it isn't anything special. Very natural and intended to help moisturize your skin.

2 oz. Shea Butter
.45 oz Avocado Oil (13.3 ml)
4 Vitamin E tablets (or .025 oz) -carefully puncture the tablet & pinch to drain the oil completely

1. Measure out the Shea Butter and Avocado Oil in a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Place into a pot of simmering water and let them melt together. When they are completely melted and mixed, take them off the heat and add the Vitamin E. Let it all cool to room temperature.

2. The next step is to whip it up into a meringue-like consistency. I did this by putting the soon-to-be lotion into a bigger bowl, and setting that bowl into a bowl filled with ice water and blending it with an electric hand mixer (if you have a stick blender, use that). It must be cool to be able to whip up correctly. I then finished used a whisk to hand whip it until it looked like meringue.

3. Put it into a container or jar with a lid. When you're ready to use it, scrape some off with your fingernail and rub your hands together to warm it up. A little goes a long way.

Below are before and after pictures of my son. The only area the eczema has affected him so far is on his stomach and back. As you can see, there is a significant difference in just 2 short weeks! 



  1. That is soo awesome Britt! Way to go and I'm happy your little Landon is on his way to relief!

  2. This is really impressive. I'm so glad the baby's skin is clearing up. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a spot that is interesting to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I "ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Thanks Jo!

    Mary - Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your kind words. I'm new to the blogging world, so I was encouraged by the fact I had someone I don't know look at my blog. :) I'm greatly enjoying this outlet of writing and sharing. I just visited your blog and will be returning to yours as well. Have a wonderful day!

  4. this is awesome!thanks for posting!

  5. Thanks for stopping by Susan!

  6. That is great. Thanks for sharing. I used colloidal silver gel and coconut oil. It was gone in three days. Never came back. :))

  7. That is great. Thanks for sharing. I used colloidal silver gel and coconut oil. It was gone in three days. Never came back. :))

  8. Thanks for your comment, Ali! I use coconut oil frequently, for many things! However, I hadn't heard of colloidal silver gel until you mentioned it! I may have to order some to try on my own skin!

  9. I'm wondering why this would need refrigerated...

    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment until now @orthodoxmom3! It's just a recommended to be refrigerated, to extend its shelf life. It is not a requirement. In fact, since making this several times, I prefer to double the recipe and keep half in room temperature, and half in the refrigerator for later. Hope that helps!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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