DIY Healing Skin Balm

DIY Healing Skin Balm

Beautiful snow and cold temperatures spell trouble for ultra dry and sensitive skin. This skin balm has proven itself time and time again to sooth dry, itchy skin, heal scars, prevent wound infection (even from cat bites teeming with bacteria), and save little noses from chapping and soreness during the cold and flu season.

The bars are made from the most skin nourishing ingredients available and all are from sustainable sources. I avoided the use of oils because they do not hydrate well enough for our skin during the cold winter months.

DIY Healing Skin Balm Benefits
  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • stretch marks
  • dry skin
  • aging skin
  • diaper rash
  • wound healing
  • scars
  • chapped, sun- or wind-damaged skin
  • cracked and rough heels, knees, and elbows
  • contains natural cancer-preventative agents
  • light SPF sunscreen
  • increased collagen production
  • good for those with chemical sensitivities

Beef Tallow

How to Render Beef Tallow

  • Vitamins A, D, E, K2; also rich in other vitamins and minerals
  • conjugated lineolic acid (CLA) – anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory
  • palmitoleic acid – antimicrobial
  • Omega 6:3 ratios similar to fish
  • use pastured/grass-fed and organic

Shea Butter

  • Vitamins A, E, and F; also rich in other vitamins and minerals
  • catechins – antioxidents also present in green tea
  • SPF 6 sun protection
  • cinnamic acid
    • anti-inflammatory
    • lupeol cinnamate – tumor preventative
    • prevents skin damage from UV radiation
  • use organic, raw, unrefined and fair trade

Cocoa Butter

  • Vitamin E; also rich in other vitamins and minerals
  • cocoa mass polyphenols (CMP) – inhibits production of IgE (immuno globulin E), possibly assists in heart disease prevention and eases arthritis
  • high amount of antioxidents
  • may help boost the immune system and prevent cancer
  • antiseptic
  • use organic and fair trade

DIY Healing Skin Balm {Peppermint Cocoalicious} Beef tallow and shea butter normally have quite, shall we say, distinct smells.

After 5 months of trial and error, I have found a way to naturally counteract the smell.

The use of additional scents is unnecessary for those sensitive to them but the balm will still contain a slight scent of cocoa.

My favorite version includes peppermint essential oil for luscious peppermint cocoaliciousness (oils I use).

 

DIY Healing Skin Balm

Yield: 1-2 months worth with regular use

Decadent, silky, unctuous, and soothing, DIY Healing Skin Balm is the natural answer to dry, chapped, problem skin.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup beef tallow, organic and pastured
  • 1/3 cup shea butter, raw and organic
  • 1/3 cup cocoa butter, organic

Instructions

  1. Render beef suet or purchase already rendered tallow.
  2. Heat cocoa butter and shea butter over low heat until melted.
  3. Stir gently to incorporate.
  4. Pour into desired container - mason jar, soap mold, muffin tin, loaf pan, etc.
  5. Cool in fridge overnight (8 hours) to set.
  6. For easier removal from glass or metal containers, put in freezer for 20-60 minutes. It will shrink and pop out.
  7. If using a larger container with the intention of cutting bars by hand, wait until balm has returned to room temp before cutting into skin balm to avoid breakage. Heat knife under hot water - dry before use - to make cutting easier.
  8. Rub over palms to heat balm for easier application.
http://healingredefined.org/diy-healing-skin-balm/

Sources

Shea Butter Benefits – National Geographic

Shea Butter Profile Mountain Rose Herbs

Cocoa Butter Profile Mountain Rose Herbs

FAQ Vintage Tradition

Some Recent Studies on Fats Weston A Price Foundation


This post is part of Make Your Own! Monday

Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.



77 thoughts on “DIY Healing Skin Balm”

  • I am making this tomorrow for my daughter that has eczema. She is 2 momths old so I know I cant use peppermint oil. Is it just for fragance? Which other essential oil would you recomend and what amount?
    I assume this will harden to much in a jar to make it difficult to just leave it in the jar for use, so you recomend bar form?
    I apply coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil on her skin and in the water bath once a day. Should I rub this balm also once a day or massage it in for maximun benefit? She has very rough skin, especially her legs and arms. The other oils and oil baths have healped but it is still a bit rough.

    Thank you for posting this recipe and for answering my questions… I want to be able to do it all the best way possible for her.

    • Yes, the peppermint oil is just for fragrance and the fun of it. :)I would suggest not using any essential oil with her skin sensitivities and age if you don’t mind the scent of the balm. It should have a slightly cocoa scent if you use a high-quality cocoa butter. There are herbs that are healing for the skin that come in essential oil form but you have to worry about the purity of the oil, and it’s often better to not bombard the skin with too many things while it’s unhappy. ‘Less is more’ is my best policy.

      I found out the hard way about using jars. You can use a jar if its easier for you, but you should break up the skin balm with a knife to make it easier to apply. Either way, I like to break off chunks and rub between my hands to get enough for a thick layer. It’s worth the extra effort when you feel how smooth and moisturized her skin still feels 12 hours after the last application.

      Since her skin is so rough, the once daily water baths are a good idea. I would steer clear of any soaps or cleansers and apply a thick layer of the skin balm in the morning and at night. You should begin to see healing in 4-5 days.

      Best of luck!

    • Very similar. I switched out the coconut oil for cocoa butter to make it more moisturizing, and it’s divine!

      We’ve been out for a few days while I wait to test some new molds of different sizes. We tried going back to raw shea butter in the meantime, and I have been slathering both Katie and I up 3 times a day. Her sinuses are also acting up from a failed citrus trial and her poor little nose is red and raw. I am rendering tallow right now to help repair the delicate skin.

      With the skin balm, we only need to use it once a day or once every other day for skin moisturizing, and her nose went through 2 weeks of a cold without a twinge of pain or rawness when we applied it after every nose blow. Love this stuff!!

      • Jennifer, I believe that you may have created something that just may be the answer I’ve been looking for for the last 4 years. 4 years ago, I had my gallbladder removed and 4 days later, I woke up with a few dozen open sores ALL OVER my face, body, scalp. Not to mention the “fungus Among-Us” “Creepin-Crud” “Cradle Crap” Whatever you want to call it I had it! I went immediately to the dermatologist and he promptly prescribed large doses of antibiotics for 18 MONTHS straight. Not to mention the antibiotic gel, cream, and emulsion he had me slathering all over my ENTIRE body as well. All the while he admittedly had no idea what was wrong. I went to another dermo, some so-called “top doc” in her field. Yea . . . RIGHT! I was hospitalized for a WEEK and she came to the conclusion . . . that I was NUTS! Yep, that’s right . . . WHACKO, El NUTSO, A SCREW LOOSE, ONE FLEW OVER THE COO-COO’s NEST!!!! She went on to explain to me that she thought that I was using sharp objects to DIG IN MY SKIN!!!! But wait, here’s the clincher. . . she said that she believed that I was unaware of doing such an act to myself! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!! I was in shock and paranoid at the same time. Anyway, enough of that garbage, needless to say, that was 3 years ago and I still have all these nasty re-occurring sores. I went so far as to video tape myself while I slept. Nothing, no digging, no scratching, not even itching. So there went her theory. After many, MANY hours on the internet, it came to my attention that Candida Albicans can be a result from over prescribed antibiotics, as well as many other factors that I could Identify with. So now that I have bored you with my history, I was wondering if your cream could help with my skin. My only problem is that I am battling Breast Cancer, so I think trying make this myself would be difficult. When will you have some back in stock, and how much are you charging? Thanks for listening (I must have needed to get it out, LOL). Please let me know

  • Why do you caution using this if there is a nut allergy? My son has a nut allergy, but I want to switch his nightly lotion to one more organic and natural. This sounds perfect because of his eczema. Thanks

    • Thank you for asking! It caused me to look into it further and remove the caution. Shea nuts are considered tree nuts, but there has been no reported cases or documented studies that shea nut products (like shea butter) causes a reaction. The protein of the shea nut (which there is very little of in shea butter; it is primarily fat) has been repeatedly introduced to blood samples with no IgE reaction.

      That leads me to conclude that this is an unnecessary warning.

        • I’m not taking orders just yet, but I’m gathering e-mail addresses to notify everyone when they’re available for sale. I should have the last of the supplies this week and the Etsy store is almost ready. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah! I know this is a year later, but just watch your son’s reaction when using the Shea butter. I too have a nut allergy and when my eczema was bad rubbing the Shea actually exacerbated it (but this is only with a REALLY bad rash). I use it on my hair now and have no problems. But when I put it on my eczema rashes it does feel like it burns or is suffocating the skin.

  • This balm is AMAZING. It has all but healed my daughters rough and red skin. We now use it for everyone in the house…including my poor husband that has super dry hands during winter and because of the nature of his job he washes hands often and his hands crack and bleed during the winter (it is so painful)… now he uses it daily and has great results healing the cracks and releiving the pain of them.
    Thanks Jennifer!

  • I’m debating ordering supplies to make my own or waiting and ordering from you. I would rather order from you, but don’t want to wait:) I’m really anxious to try your skin balm. I’ve just started the OCM and am very pleased. It’s only been 4 days, but I can definitely see an improvement in my skin/acne. Will it be much longer until your Etsy store is selling? Thank you!

    • I’m so happy you are seeing good results so quickly with the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)! The store will open on Monday, and I will be taking preorders that should start shipping on 2/18/13. I am having supply issues. I think I order enough to fill all of the orders and have some left for extra stock, and then I get flooded with more requests. It’s put me back a bit on the timeline, but I certainly can’t complain. 🙂

      I would be happy to e-mail you also when we’re live!

  • I’m so excited to try this! Please email me when it’s available to order! Also, you said this along with ocm healed your acne scars? I have the pock-mark type acne scars and I’m wondering if that’s what kind you had? I’ve tried all sorts of things that haven’t worked :/…hoping this does because I’ve noticed a major improvement (but still a long way to go) after starting ocm a couple of weeks ago!

    • I absolutely will! We have been having supplier issues – a lot of them -, but we’re packaging the first small batch today. 🙂

      Collagen and a gentle and nourishing cleansing method have healed my acne scars. The collagen in the skin balm and your diet (think meat stocks and bone broth: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-food-allergies-baby-step-5-broth/) will help rebuild damaged skin and can help ‘plump’ it back up. It may not reverse severe damage, but it did a pretty darn good job with my light and moderate scars. OCM really helps to reduce the skin discoloration when I get new blemishes (whenever I sneak some sugar).

    • Absolutely. The saturated fat content is much lower (suet is 70-80% sat fat and lard is just under 50%), so it won’t repair as well as tallow. I think it would be a great option to try out if lard is easier to source. I haven’t tested it, so I can’t speak to the scent though. My formula masks the tallow scent, so hopefully it would work just as well.

      If you try it, check back and let us know!

    • I’m almost there! Just getting the business details and supplies in order. It’s been a crazy road.

      I am skipping Etsy and opening my own site, and I hope to have a small shipment of orders ready to ship next week as a trial run. :fingers crossed: There will be an announcement of the store opening as soon as the trial run is over and any kinks are worked out. There has been a lot more interested than I expected, so I need to make sure I have it right. 🙂

    • If kept dry and in a sealed container, they can last indefinitely. You can absolutely definitely freeze the bars to preserve them, but I’m not sure if there will be a texture change. They never last too long around here. 🙂

  • I just ordered a bar but after reading the comments I wonder if I jumped the gun… 🙁 I am struggling to find soemthing to help my dry skin and my daughter’s (who is 1 yo)…Would I be able to use this on her? Should I cancel the order and wait until the store is officially open?

    thanks!
    Jenifer

    • The cautionary comment was for a 2 month old, since their systems are so mature and she was already exhibiting signs of sensitivities. I slather it all over my daughter twice a day every day with no adverse effects if that helps. 🙂 She’s 4.5 years old and 28 lbs. If you look at the ingredients of store-bought baby lotions, you will see a synthetic chemical cocktail that is approved by the FDA and even used with approval on newborns. I feel 100% safe with this skin balm for my family, but please contact a medical professional for advice and share the recipe if you have any concerns.

      You can also choose a small test spot and apply the skin balm to it in the morning. Keep an eye out throughout the day to be sure there is no reaction. The unscented will be recommended for severe sensitivities and broken skin due to eczema and other skin conditions.

      • I hadn’t heard anything about not using peppermint oil before…I am much more comfortable using soemthing like this than, say, Johnsons & Johnsons.

        My other question is was it OK that I ordered (vs waiting until Monday)? I just saw that there was a ‘small test run’ and wanted to get some before it was gone! 🙂 LOL But I can wait a week. 🙂 just let me know.

        Thanks!!
        Jenifer

        • It’s absolutely okay that you ordered. This is just a small order to iron out any kinks before the flood gates open. I just wanted to make everyone aware in case they were expecting “professional” services from me out of the gate. 😉

    • Yep. It does take awhile to soak in, so you may want to use it as a nighttime moisturizer unless you’re hanging around the house all day. I use it both day and night, because I’m not a big fan of wrinkles.

    • The acne will ultimately need to be treated with diet, but this will definitely help with skin repair and dryness. It shouldn’t exacerbate breakouts, but there may be the rare person that it doesn’t agree with.

    • I wish I could Anna, but plants products cannot replace the animal products for the same healing properties. If you don’t need something that heals as diligently, I would suggest either replacing it with coconut oil and making it a salve, using mango butter for a softer texture, or mix the cocoa and shea butters to see if you can get a firm texture that will cut into bars. You’ll likely have to play with the ratios, but I think you can come up with something that works well for you. We used to exclusively use raw shea butter until I created this recipe with pretty good results.

  • Jennifer, I’m so excited to try this recipe! For those of us not ready to render our own tallow, can you recommend a reliable company to purchase from? In the mean time I’ll have to order one of your homemade bars. Are you making any batches with coconut oil or just cocoa butter? I like the spf factor with the oil. 🙂 Thanks!

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t have an online source. I buy mine locally from one of my farmers. Check with some local farmers and butcher shops, and you’re likely to find better sources at good prices. In the meantime, order away!

      If you are looking for more sun protection than the combination of shea/cocoa butter provide, you can look into carrier oils also. Carrot, wheatgerm, and avocado are a few that provide a higher SPF than the butters. Some zinc oxide mixed into this recipe would probably work also similar to this one from Homemade Mommy.

      I’m going to start working on a batch with zinc oxide in the next couple of weeks. I love the deep moisturizing effects with the combination of these butters too much to omit any of them. 🙂

      • Thanks! I love your suggestions about the carrier oils but between my son (who is still breastfeeding) and I, we are currently dealing with almost 60 food intolerances. Avacado and carrot on on my “high” list. 🙁 I started the OCM last night and watched your video, then searched your site for the skin balm. Glad I came across it. I will continue my search for some rendered tallow and will order some of your bars to try out as they look fantastic. Thank you so much for offering up your products and good luck with your “science experiments”, as we call them in our house! So lucky to have sites like yours, mommypotamus and cavegirl’s. Not sure where I’d be now without them. 🙂

        • You sound like right where we used to be. Keep your chin up mama! If you are following a good healing protocol that addresses gut healing, you will be on the road to health in no time. You’re definitely on the right track if you’re a fan of Heather and Liz. They both rock.

          I love that you call them science experiments. My hubby calls it ‘voodoo’. 😀

  • Thanks fo the informations ,I have 2 questions:
    1-what can I use instead of Shea butter?
    2-I saw u I the video using a cream,which I’d rather use ,would u advise on how to make it

    • This balm is very different from the one in the oil cleansing video. Changing the ingredients will change the healing qualities, but you can definitely experiment until you find a recipe that works for you.

      Tallow and cocoa butter both harden solid at room temperature, so you need to increase the amount of soft fats in your recipe. I endlessly tried whipping this one at different times during the setting process, and it was a complete fail.

      You can try coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, or more exotic oils like jojoba and tamanu. The options are pretty endless! If you find that they are not moisturizing enough, then try increasing the amount of tallow. Good luck and have fun with it!

    • I get mine through local farms or online through U.S. Wellness Meats. I always suggest calling local farms and butchers if you can find grass-fed/pastured sources.

  • Hi jennifer,

    I’d like to purchase your moisturizing bars but first would like to know the size of each so I can better gauge how many to purchase, Thanks 🙂

    • Hey Katherine! Love the name. My daughter is Katherine and named after my favorite grandmother, so I’m partial. 😉

      Are you looking for dimensions or weight of the bars? Each bar is 4 ounces, and I can get the dimensions for you if you need them. For length of use, some people can use a single bar for up to a year. We easily go through 1-2 a month in my family, since my daughter is prone to eczema and rashes and we both have dry, sensitive skin. It’s addicting!

  • Hi!
    Can you please suggest an alternative for beef tallow, as am a vegetarian and its very difficult to get in Indian market.

    • It took me 5 long months to come up with this exact formula, so I would suggest using the shea and cocoa butters and playing with the ratios. It wasn’t an easy process for me, so I’m not able to suggest easy alternatives. You can also search the Internet for other recipes that do not include animal ingredients.

      Best of luck!

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  • I just looked online for local ingredients and found I can actually get grass fed beef tallow! I am going to try this out and see if it will save my sensitive and ridiculously dry, damaged skin. This sounds like it would be so soothing so I can’t wait to try my own out. I’m going with a more summer scent though. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe because I’m so tired of having to read all the ingredients to see what gross stuff I’m trying to avoid slathering on my skin. I really appreciate your work. I’m going to get my ingredients to try the Oil Cleansing Method too.

  • Jennifer,
    I’m thinking of adding mango butter to mine. I’ll let you know how my science experiment works!
    Sarah

  • Hi Jennifer, is there a replacement for beef tallow? Would love to try out the recipe for a friend of mine who has eczema.

    • What a good friend you are, Nikita! Depending on his or her allergies, lamb tallow or pork lard are a couple of alternatives. The different fats affect the hardness of the final product, but that’s not usually a problem. Applying the balm and then wet wrapping over it is a fantastic way to help heal the outer layers of the skin while working on the underlying food and gut issues.

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