How Is It Not Spring Yet?

As my Seattleite reader may know, it is still cold, wet and windy in the City on Seven Hills which really can only mean one (or a few) things: I become a hermit and my feet & hands are cold and dry. I miiiight be partially responsible for the latter (because clearly wine and Doctor Who are responsible for the former) given that I regularly get Shellac on my nails. While this results in amazing looking nails that actually last as far as color and tidiness goes, it also makes them super thin and brittle as well as the cuticles pretty dry. I swear there is a point to this rambling....

HAND SALVE! Yes-- here to save my winter (and Shellac) ravaged nails is a handmade salve that smells delicious and works like a dream. (Not just for hands, I might add)


  • 1/2 c. [Organic] coconut oil (found at the grocery store)
  • 1/2 c. Beeswax (found at a hippie-dippie candle making shop in Ravenna)
  • 1 c. [Organic] extra virgin olive oil (I used half Arnica-infused olive oil and half regular olive oil, also purchased from the awesome hippie store. Arnica has been used to soothe strained muscles for centuries so I wanted to infuse a bit of that into my salve)
  • Vitamin E capsules
  • Lavender essential oil (though any essential oil will do)
  • Double boiler or saucepan & pint or larger mason jar
  • Metal stirring implement (I went with a butter knife) 
  • Smaller jars to pour your final product into

Alright, for starters, a PSA on the method. In testing this particular formula, I used a makeshift double boiler (mason jar in a saucepan) in the hopes it would save on cleanup. In my estimation, it didn't REALLY save on anything and really just meant that I had to clean the jar rather than my double boiler and that I made a mess attempting to transfer the salve from pint jar to smaller jars. But I am also incapable of crafting without making a mess. So take this with a grain of salt... or perhaps just give it a shot yourself and see what you come up with.

Combine the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax in the double boiler and begin melting. You may stir occasionally, but be sure of a few things: 1) Your stirring implement is DRY and b) You leave in in the jar until you no longer wish to stir, the oils will begin to set up and harden once it leaves the heat and may compromise the evenness of the melting if it goes in and out multiple times. 

The melting part takes FOREVER, but you don't want to let the water get to a vigorous boil, so you do have to stick around while its slowwwly melting. Once the oils have melted completely, remove the double boiler (or jar) from the heat and onto a towel. Be very sure that no water gets into your mixture, ya know, since oil and water don't really mix and all... It will pretty much look like this:

Now comes the part where I made a mess. Pour the melted oils into the smaller jars. It starts to set up pretty quickly so at this point add 10 or so drops of the essential oil and pierce one vitamin E capsule and stir into each jar. 

As the mixture cools, it will harden. Leave the lids off until it is completely cool. I put them on one of my baking cooling racks and let them continue to cool overnight just to be sure. 

This is the part no one likes... cleanup. But as you may recall from the Lotion Bars post, there is a way to clean the oil out of either double boiler or jar that is fairly effective, so if you didn't read it before, than get to it! Given many of the organic ingredients and that it is preservative-free, I would recommend about a 1 year shelf-life, though I'll be surprised if you don't go through it faster. It is effective on feet, legs, arms, hands, even on face or lips if you are very dry. A little goes a long way but it absorbes quickly and with no artificial fragrances or ingredients, is safe for the kiddos too. This project is so quick, easy and cost-effective you may never go back to store-bought lotions again!

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