If you haven’t used a salve before, it is probably different to the consistency of a lotion or cream you may be used to. A salve is completely water-less (like all of the products we concoct) which means there is no need to add a preservative to the product. When water is used in skincare, it gives a lotion like texture to a product but requires the addition of a preservative to keep microbes and bacteria from developing. Some preservatives can be harsh for the skin and we prefer to steer clear of them, opting for a completely natural product.
Oil based products, also referred to as anhydrous (water-free) are not prone to microbial contamination. It is important to ensure we don’t add water to the product by using wet fingers to apply for example, due to the lack of preservative. Whilst some skincare can be up to 70% water, oil based skincare such as salves, balms and skin oils do feel different to use. For a start they are full of rich oils so we do not require the same amount of product as we might when using a lotion. They can take longer to sink into the skin and some people prefer to use them overnight when they can truly work their magic. They have many benefits, including being great value for money as you aren’t paying for a large proportion of water in your product and tend to go much further, a little really does go a long way!
Today I concocted a small batch of healing hand salves that are now for sale in our Etsy shop. It is our last batch with this year’s Dandelion infused oil which is super nourishing for the skin – hands and otherwise.