Balm for Rough Hands

My husband works outdoors all day, and his hands get very rough, especially in winter. In an effort to help him with that problem, I crafted this balm.

Beeswax and Cocoa Butter form the brittle part of this balm, but not too much. I want this balm to soak into his hands.

Shea Butter, with its naturally-occurring allantoin, is a great choice for rough skin. Did you know that Castor Oil has another common name, palm of Christ, or Palma Christi, that derives from its reputed ability to heal wounds and cure ailments? That sounds like just the kind of oil to include in this balm! Cranberry Seed Oil’s naturally occurring tocopherols and highly unsaturated profile provide nourishment to the skin and superior moisturizing qualities. And Avocado Oil is an exotic treat for the skin.

This balm is going to have several additives. Dimethicone is a silicone oil that is a skin protectant. (Note that if you make that claim on a label, you have crossed the line from being a cosmetic to being an over-the-counter drug. I consider the knowledge of Dimethicone’s properties to be a good thing, but I also consider it wisdom to not make claims to remain a cosmetic.)

Glycerin is a humectant, which will draw moisture to the skin. Comfrey Leaves Extract is emollient, healing, anti-inflammatory, astringent, promotes tissue repair, and is moisturizing to the skin. Aloe Extract is known for promoting healing, and Calendula Extract is specific for dry, rough, scaly skin.

Joining me in the workroom?

What You’ll Need


Cocoa Butter
Shea Butter
Avocado Oil
Castor Oil
Cranberry Seed Oil
Comfrey Extract
Aloe Extract
Calendula Extract


Microwave-safe Container
Screw-Top Tins


15% Beeswax
20% Cocoa Butter
25% Shea Butter
10% Avocado Oil
11% Castor Oil
5% Cranberry Seed Oil
2% Dimethicone
3% Glycerin
3% Comfrey Extract
3% Aloe Extract
3% Calendula Extract

25-gram Test Batch

3.75 grams Beeswax
5 grams Cocoa Butter
6.25 grams Shea Butter
2.5 grams Avocado Oil
2.75 grams Castor Oil
1.25 grams Cranberry Seed Oil
0.5 gram Dimethicone
0.75 gram Glycerin
0.75 gram Comfrey Extract
0.75 gram Aloe Extract
0.75 gram Calendula Extract

12-ounce Batch

1.8 ounces Beeswax
2.4 ounces Cocoa Butter
3 ounces Shea Butter
1.2 ounces Avocado Oil
1.32 ounces Castor Oil
0.6 ounce Cranberry Seed Oil
0.24 ounce Dimethicone
0.36 ounce Glycerin
0.36 ounce Comfrey Extract
0.36 ounce Aloe Extract
0.36 ounce Calendula Extract


Weigh all ingredients but the three extracts into a microwave-safe container. Heat gently, using short time bursts. Stir after each heating. Continue until all the oils and wax has melted. Alternately, you can heat the oils and wax in a double boiler.

Stir in the extracts.

Pour the balm into Screw-Top Tins and allow it to cool completely before putting on the lids.

Ingredients before melting.

Pouring liquid salve into tins.


To use, rub a generous amount of the balm over the skin of the hands. It will be pretty greasy, so do this when you have time to just be still for a while and allow the oils to sink into the skin.

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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