I have discovered a very simple way of making an essential oil balm and I’d like to share it with you! If you’re tired of using pharmaceutical ointments and would like to try something natural, my essential oil balm recipe not only smells great, but is so soothing to the skin. You can also alter it to suit you, by changing the texture, fragrance and healing qualities.
What can I use the essential oil balm recipe for?
You can decide the properties of your own tailor made healing balm by choosing the essential oils you would like to use. Each oil has its own unique attributes and fragrance, so you can even make several essential oil balm recipes for different purposes. How about one to relax and help you sleep? You can make another to revive you, another for aches and pains and one for skin irritations.
- Essential oils
- Coconut oil
The simplest version of my essential oil balm recipe contains only two ingredients! Yes, only two. Just coconut oil and essential oils. That’s it! I tend to buy extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil as I also use this for cooking, but if you can’t find it, any coconut oil will do, as long as it is solid at room temperature.
You can alter the texture by adding a little grated beeswax if you want a more solid consistency, or if you live in a hot climate and don’t want the balm to melt. Beware of using pre-made candles are they are not always made of pure beeswax! Pure beeswax is readily available on Ebay and other internet shops.
If you’re not keen on the smell of coconut, you can buy deodorised/odourless coconut oil online.
Which essential oils can I use?
You can use any that you like, but I have a few ideas to get you started.
- For hay fever, cedar wood, chamomile and bergamot is very soothing. You can rub this into your palms and inhale the fragrance to calm an attack. This is the one I’m currently using and it also feels great as a hand moisturiser.
- Lavender and geranium oils are a good combination to help you sleep. Check out my other article on lavender oil benefits here.
- A balm made of peppermint oil is excellent for tummy aches and muscle pains! Try massaging it into your legs after a long day of walking or playing sports, or around your neck and head to ease tension.
- Sandalwood, frankincense and clary sage create a feeling of calm and openness which will help you reach a meditative state. I have found that clary sage in particular can put your mind into a completely different place from where you started. This blend also helps reduce anxiety and relieve depression.
- For a combined insect bite soother and repellent, a mixture of tea tree, citronella and lavender works very well. Citronella is my essential oil of choice for preventing mosquito bites; when I lived in Taiwan for a year, I rarely got bitten as I used to slather myself in this oil!
Let’s get to the essential oil balm recipe!
Firstly, you will need a small jar. I sometimes like to buy coloured glass ones as they prevent the oils from degrading, but if you’re keeping your concoction in a dark place this won’t be necessary. If you are not adding beeswax, you can also use a plastic jar, like the type you get moisturisers in. This is because the beeswax needs a high heat to melt, so a glass jar would be a safer option.
There are two methods, both are easy but one is almost effortless! Tip: before you begin, work out how many millilitres your jar holds, you will need this measurement later.
- Spoon coconut oil into the jar you are using until it is full. Replace the lid.
- Place the jar somewhere warm to melt the oil. I usually place mine on top of a hot radiator, or you can put it in direct sunlight or inside an oven which has previously just been switched off. A bowl of boiled water will work too, just make sure the water level is lower than the mouth of the jar!
- After the coconut oil has become liquid, check that the jar is full. If not, add more coconut oil and leave to melt and repeat until you have filled the jar.
- Add the essential oils of your choice. I use the same number of drops as the amount of millilitres the jar holds. So for a 30 ml jar, I use 30 drops of essential oil. If it is a 50ml container, use 50 drops of essential oil….and so on. This makes quite a strong balm, so if you have sensitive skin or you are making this for a child, use half the amount.
- Stir well, place a lid on the mixture and once cooled to room temperature, place in the fridge to solidify.
- Your essential oil balm recipe is now ready to use!
Mixing the fragrances
How do I know what proportion of essential oils to use for my balm? I’m afraid this is down to personal preference, for example, if you want to make a blend with three different oils, you might just want to add more of the one you like best, and less of the other two, or you may want to research which oil is the most likely to give you the benefit you want. In any case, smell and stir the mixture as you go until it smells right to you. Beware that some oils are a lot stronger than others so you may need less of those (Chamomile has a very powerful fragrance and it can overwhelm other oils if used to excess). You can also drop various proportions of essential oil mixtures onto strips of paper and smell them. It’s fun to create your own blends!
You haven’t explained how to make the balm with beeswax!
I was getting to that!
For this method you will need to grate some beeswax first if you have it in bar form. If you manage to find it in pellet from that makes life easier!
The ratio of beeswax to coconut oil is 1:3, which is one part wax, three parts coconut oil. By eye, roughly a quarter of your jar is wax.
You will need a bit more heat for this method so I normally just use my smallest saucepan on the hob and ensure you have a glass container for your balm, not plastic. Also, check the capacity of the jar.
- Place the empty jar into the middle of a small saucepan. Add water to the pan until it reaches about half way up the side of the jar. Remove the jar and start heating the water to a low simmer.
- Add the grated beeswax/pellets and fill the rest of the jar with spoons of the solid coconut oil. Leave the lid off.
- Place the jar back into the middle of the pan and simmer on the lowest heat until the mixture has melted. Try not to boil the water or it may splutter into your jar! Top up with coconut oil if necessary.
- With a cloth wrapped around your hand, very carefully remove the jar and leave it to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Add your chosen essential oil mixture. As before, I use the same number of drops as the number of millilitres of the jar. For a 30ml jar, use 30 drops of essential oil. For a 50ml jar, use 50 drops, etc. This is a strong mixture, so if you have sensitive skin or if making this essential oil balm recipe for children, use half the amount.
- Stir well, replace the lid and leave it to cool to room temperature. Transfer the jar to the fridge and leave it to solidify fully.
- Your balm is now ready to use!
Be sure to label your concoctions so that you know what’s in them! You can also make a larger batch and decant into smaller sized jars for travelling.
Have fun with your inventions and let me know what you have made in the comments below!