For the last few months, I have been procrastinating when it comes to sharing my very best essential oil recipes. Why? Because most of them start with a base foundation salve that I make myself made out of coconut oil, beeswax, and olive oil. It would not be fair to post a DIY that says “reach for your Base Salve” when you don’t know what that is or how to make it.
Today I show you how to make this very simple salve so that you always have some on hand to use when creating a custom EO blend of your own.
DIY Base Salve
The directions for making this base salve are simple and do not require any sort of advance explanation. Let’s get right on it!
1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tablespoons Beeswax Pellets
Measure the coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and beeswax into a heatproof glass jar or measuring cup. Set in a pan of water on a low simmer until completely melted. You can help things along by giving it a quick stir from time to time with a knife. This may take some time, up to 30 minutes.
When everything is completely melted, remove from heat.
Carefully pour the warm oil into ointment jars or small mason jars, leaving some headroom at the top. Set aside to firm up. Depending on the temperature of your home, this can take up to 12 hours.
1. I like to use 4-ounce mason jars for storing my base salve although plastic ointment jars (like these) or other sized jars are perfectly fine.
2. For those of you that grate your own beeswax, I weighed the beeswax pellets (also called pastilles). 5 tablespoons weighed in at 1.6 ounces.
3. Although I use organic extra virgin olive oil in my salves, you can also substitute pure olive which is more budget-friendly. Costco has a great product in this regard. I have also substituted avocado oil which is known for its anti-aging qualities and feels like silk when applied to the skin.
4. If you allergic to coconut oil, a decent substitute is carnauba wax.
The first thing you will want to do when using this base salve as a carrier oil is to determine the proper dilution rate for your essential oils. I will typically use a 2% to 5% dilution rate with my EOs except when I am creating a first aid or healing blend where I want to call in the heavy guns. In those cases, I may go as high as 10%.
I have included a dilution table below.
|1 teaspoon||2 drops||5 drops||10 drops|
|1 tablespoon||6 drops||15 drops||30 drops|
|1 ounce||12 drops||30 drops||60 drops|
|2 ounce||24 drops||60 drops||120 drops|
|4 ounce||48 drops||120 drops||240 drops|
How to Use Your Base Carrier Salve
Use this base salve the same way you use other types of carrier oils. Measure out the desired amount, mix in your oil or oils, and apply topically on your skin. If you are using just a drop or two of essential oil, a nickel-sized dab of base salve will be more than enough to get the job done. For larger quantities, spoon some base salve into a small container, mix in your oils and you are good to go.
As a matter of preference, I like to melt base salve in a microwave before adding my essential oils. When I do this, I allow the melted salve to cool a bit before adding the oils, testing with the tip of my finger to ensure it is not burning hot.
The advantage of using a base salve instead of a liquid carrier is that it is less messy and less prone to waste due to spillage. Have you ever poured some fractionated (liquid) coconut oil or sweet almond oil into the palm of your hand only to have it drip all over the place? Or worse, did your bottle of liquid carrier oil ever tip over and spill on the counter, making a mess? I think you get the drift!
Of course, it goes without saying that you should use high quality, brand name essential oils when using this salve. As I have long suspected, there are many fake essential oils currently being sold on Amazon and eBay but that does not mean you have to break the bank when purchasing quality essential oils.
I tend to purchase my oils from Spark Naturals but there are other good brands out there. Let me be clear: although I have my own preference, there is no such thing as a “best essential oil company”. Do not be swayed by high-pressure sales tactics,
Give Up Petroleum Jelly and Use this Instead!
I was recently visiting with a friend and he told me his doctor had advised him to coat his nostrils with petroleum jelly (vaseline) to mitigate the occurrence of nosebleeds. He was doing so but not feeling good about it. I don’t blame him for the last thing I would want to do is put this not so eco-friendly derivative of oil refining anywhere on my body let alone up my nose!
Think about all of the various ways you have used petroleum jelly in the past and use this base salve instead.
The ingredients used in this healing skin salve are readily available locally in stores as well as online. Even though I currently live close to retail stores, I still find it more convenient to shop online. In the long run, shopping online saves me money because I can research prices and read reviews, but honestly? It is a matter of personal choice.
Virgin Coconut Oil: The coconut oil I used comes from Tropical Traditions, where I purchase this fantastic product in 5-gallon tubs. I kid you not. For smaller quantities, I recommend either the Nutiva brand or the Kirkland brand found at Costco.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I used to use “pure” olive oil to save money but have since learned that there is nothing pure about it. Even Costco has rebranded their pure oil to indicate it is highly refined. If you can afford it, go with EVOO. I get Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco because I know it is the real thing and chock-full of healing qualities with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Beeswax: I get my beeswax from Amazon and have never been disappointed. I recommend the yellow beeswax pellets since they have not been treated or bleached to turn them white.
Ointment Jars: Over the years, I have used both plastic and glass ointment jars. These days, I prefer 4-ounce mason jars coupled with these plastic storage caps that are super handy to have on hand. When I need a smaller amount of salve, or when I want to mix in an additional oil, I will transfer some salve to one a smaller 1/2 ounce or 1-ounce jar that I purchase in bulk for very little money from Amazon.
For someone just getting started, I recommend these inexpensive 2-ounce jars that run about $10 per dozen on Amazon.
Don’t Want to Make Your Own? Try This.
For those just in case times when I have run out of my DIY base salve, I use a purchased version from Spark Naturals. This base salve is super silky and a good option if you want to try some before investing the time and ingredients to make your own. The container is made of glass so it’s easy to heat up on the stove top in a pan of hot water or in the microwave. There is no scent whatsoever and, as I said, it has a wonderful silky feel on the skin.
In addition to purchasing directly from Spark Naturals, you can find Base Salve on Amazon.com.
Sparks are flying at the Spark Naturals 4th of July sale. Lots of items are on sale including 50% off the Oil of the Month Club! Visit the Spark Naturals website for details.
Summing It All Up
Most of us have rituals or routines that we perform weekly or monthly as a matter of course. Me? I make up a batch of base salve so I always have some on hand to use for blending my essential oils or as a substitute for Vaseline. I tend to make small batches although if I know I am going to be super busy, will make enough to last a few months. These days, I find I am giving away a lot of my Miracle Healing Salve to friends, so I try to always have some extra on hand for that as well.
Once you start making and using your own base salve, you will never go back store-bought facial or hand creams. Instead, you will pull out your base salve, add some essential oils, and be smug not only in the money you have saved but in the healing benefits of these miracle workers from nature. It does not get much better than that!