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Homemade Hand Salve Recipe for Dry Skin

This hand salve will transform your hands. Seriously! If you have overworked, callused fingers or patches of dry flaky skin, this hand salve can help not only moisturize, but heal your skin. Making a hand salve will take you less than 20 minutes and will work wonders on the skin!

hand salve recipe

The products I use on my body must harness the power of plants. Otherwise, I’m not sticking around! The plants we grow in our garden can truly change the way we look and feel, remaining one of our best-untapped resources as home gardeners.

This hand salve is no exception. It’s incredibly easy to make, taking only a few powerful ingredients mixed together, poured, and solidified. You can easily take the hand salve with you for on-the-go care when your hands need it the most!

Let’s get cracking, shall we? This post will cover…

herbal hand salve recipe

What Is Hand Salve?

Hand salves are a solid combination of herbal-infused oils, waxes, and butters. Solid at room temperature, they quickly soften when applied to the skin and make for a much better alternative to using pure herbal oils. Rather than a pump, hand salves often come in a tin or other small container with a lid.

Hand salves are made with herbal oils, meaning they contain the properties of the herbs used to make the oils. This allows the hand salve to have medicinal and healing attributes. Most often, they can soothe, moisturize, and heal the skin as well as ease pain and itching.

Beyond the herbal properties, the beeswax, butters, and oils help to moisturize skin. The beeswax binds it all together and creates a protective layer over the skin. Acting as a humectant, it attracts and retains water to keep skin hydrated.

DIY hand salve recipe

Hand Salve vs Hand Lotion

Both hand salves and hand lotion work to soothe and moisturize the skin. Salves are made with wax such as soy, beeswax, or carnauba. This makes them solid at room temperature.

Hand lotion can have a thick or light consistency, but it comes in a liquid form. Lotion brings together oil and water to help hydrate the skin. As we all know, oil and water do not like to go together which is why lotion requires an emulsifier to hold it together as well as act as a preservative.

Salves on the other hand do not require any preservatives as they don’t have water. This makes them much easier to make compared to lotion. Salves will also last longer than homemade lotion.

Traditionally, salves are associated with healing the skin as well as nourishing it. Lotions tend to focus only on moisturizing rather than having medicinal properties. However, I use infused oils in my hand lotion recipe to make it extra nourishing. Whichever you prefer comes down to preference over consistency and texture!

DIY hand salve

How to Use Hand Salve

This salve is meant to give your hard-working hands some extra loving. Let’s face it, our hands go through a lot in a day. If we can take a minute out of our day to nourish our hands with this salve, it will make the world of a difference.

This hand salve works well on dry hands and nails to moisturize and retain hydration. It can soften any rough patches and calluses that may arise from days out in the garden. You can also use this to help heal tiny cuts and scrapes as well as hangnails.

For this hand salve recipe, I infused olive oil with calendula and grapeseed oil with lavender. Calendula is a powerful healing skin herb. It cleanses the skin, reduces inflammation, and speeds up overall healing. Lavender also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to heal and kill bacteria. Plus you can’t deny how good the smell of lavender is!

how to make hand salve

Homemade Hand Salve Recipe

In just 20 minutes, you can make your own herbal healing hand salve that will nourish dry skin. Apply it as often as needed and bring it on the go with you!


Refer to the recipe card to see exact measurements.

Jump to Recipe
homemade hand salve

Make It!

Before you get started, you will need to infuse your oils. While this can take some time, it’s well worth the effort! The herbal properties of the calendula and lavender are what really give this salve healing powers. You can follow my instructions on how to make herbal-infused oils.

Calendula and Chamomile Infused Herbal Oil

With your oils ready to go, measure out your ingredients on a kitchen scale. Set your stove to medium heat and add your oils, shea butter, and beeswax to a double boiler or Turkish coffee pot. Never leave your oils unattended and give them the occasional stir.

Turkish coffee pot

Once fully melted, allow the mixture to slightly cool (but don’t let it solidify). Remove from heat and add in your essential oils. Since essential oils are volatile, add them at the very end so they don’t break down from the heat. Stir well.

pouring salves

Pour your mixture into sterile, clean containers. Let the containers sit undisturbed until the hand salve is fully set. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth and cap them with lids.


Use your hand salve within 3 months. Discard if you notice any discoloration or odour.

herbal hand salve

Frequently Asked Questions About Hand Salve

Is hand salve better than lotion?

Since lotions have a high concentration of water, they’re not as moisturizing to the skin. Our body is best hydrated by water on the inside, not the outside. Instead, our skin produces natural oils known as sebum to protect the skin from outer elements such as water.

Products with waxes, oils, and butters help to mimic our body’s natural sebum. This makes the hand salve a better alternative rather than using a hand lotion.

But if you prefer lotion, that’s okay too. You can still find incredibly moisturizing and healing lotions out there…or make your own!

What’s hand salve good for?

Hand salves are made with herbal-infused oils. This means they contain the properties of the herbs used to make the oils. Depending on what herbs are used, they can have added anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antioxidants, antiseptics, healing properties, and more. The butters, waxes, and oils help to provide moisture and retain it to soothe and heal dry, cracked skin.

hand salve

That’s it! Making a salve really is that simple and can be even more effective at soothing dry hands than lotion you would find on the shelves. If you have any more questions about making a hand salve, leave them in the comments down below.

More Plant-Based Beauty Recipes

Homemade Herbal Hand Salve

Soften, moisturize, and heal skin with this all-natural hand salve. Makes 200g.
Cost $8


  • Measure out your ingredients on a kitchen scale. Pour the oils, butter, and wax into a double boiler. Stir over medium heat.
  • Once melted, allow your mixture to cool slightly off the heat. Add in your essential oils and stir again.
  • Pour melted salve into sterile, clean containers. Let sit undisturbed until fully set. Wipe rims with a clean cloth and add caps.
  • Use hand salve within 3 months. Discard if any discolouration or odours appear.


  1. 5 stars
    So excited to try make this hand salve. Would like to try the soap as well.
    It looks wonderful and I can imagine the great smell just sitting here at the computer!


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