DIY Moisturizing Hand Salve





Introduction: DIY Moisturizing Hand Salve

As someone that works with her hands all the time, they tend to get particularly dry and uncomfortable. I don't like traditional lotions or using straight oil because it leaves my hands greasy for far too long. This salve sinks in quickly and won't leave your hands feeling like an oil slick.

It's also very lightly scented with essential oils, meaning the smell from your hands isn't going to transfer to whatever you're working on! :D

This DIY hand salve works in two ways: moisturizing your hands and sealing in the moisture with beeswax.

Also: this salve is great for dry elbows, feet, knees - anywhere you need it, really.

Step 1: Tools + Materials


  • 1 oz (or 1/2 cup lightly packed) grated beeswax
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • up to 15 drop essential oil of your choosing (I did 10 sweet orange, 3 grapefruit, and 2 clove)

This recipe makes about 10 oz of salve. The salve is fairly soft - if you prefer a firmer salve, you may want to add an additional 1/4 cup grated beeswax.

Regarding the oils I chose: it's the favorite blend I've come up with! It's fairly cheap and I love how avocado oil feels. I also enjoy how cheap olive oil is! However, olive oil does have a stronger smell than most so take that into consideration!

Feel free to switch out oils as you'd like, but make sure you end up with 1 cup of LIQUID oil.


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Microwave OR double boiler
  • Stand grater
  • Clean jars or tins with lids for storing finished product
  • Spatula or spoon
  • Kitchen scale (optional)

Modified from this recipe on Food 52.

Step 2: Grate and Measure the Beeswax

If you bought your beeswax in a block like I did, you'll want to grate it. If you have pastilles or pellets, you're ready to measure!

If you have a kitchen scale, grate enough beeswax to reach 1 oz.

Without it, grate enough beeswax to fill a 1/2 cup measure. Lightly pack the grated beeswax in as you add it!

(Tip for grating: instead of moving the beeswax up and down the grater, hold the beeswax in one hand and the grater in the other - keeping both in the air. Move the grater back and forth over the beeswax - this way is much easier!)

Step 3: Melt the Beeswax

I do this in the microwave, but feel free to do it in a double boiler if you feel better doing it that way!

To melt the beeswax:

  1. Add into a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup
  2. Microwave at 50-70% power, stirring every 45 seconds or so until all the beeswax has melted.

This whole process should only take a few minutes, so make sure you stay near the microwave to watch it.

Step 4: Add Essential Oils and Vitamin E

Once the beeswax is nicely melted, add in the vitamin E oil and stir well.

Then add in your essential oils and stir until everything is completely mixed.

Remember to not go over 15 drops of essential oil: the more essential oil you add, the more and more irritating it will be for your skin. We want this to soothe, not irritate. :D

Step 5: Pour Into Containers and Let Cool

Now you're ready to pour the salve into your containers and let it cool! I always let mine cool uncovered overnight - somewhere up high that my cats can't get to. ;)

Once it's cool, put on the lid and store somewhere room temperature or under for best results. (72 F / 22 C and below - otherwise things may start melting and mess with the consistency.)

I used two 4 oz mason jars and a small mint tin to hold my salve.

This salve is slightly soft and easy to apply. A little bit goes a LONG way. I often get too much for my hands and end up spreading it all over my arms too. :P

I hope you enjoy this salve! I'd love to hear what essential oil combinations you use.



    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    I love things like this. Especially when you can just take a trip to the pantry, bathroom, etc. instead of the grocery store. On another note where do you recommend for shopping for these kinds of things, I know you can get all these things easy peasy but is there any Hobby Lobby for finding these things!

    I love how you can switch things out, change it up, make it yours

    This is just fantastic, I can't wait to try it out! Boo to those greasy, chemically store bought hand lotions!

    Very fun instructable, thanks! Do you think either increasing the amount of beeswax or decreasing the oil volume would make it stay more firm at a wee bit higher temperature?

    Definitely! Increasing the beeswax will firm it up the easiest - maybe add 1/8 to 1/4 cup extra beeswax and see how that goes. :)

    I have a beard and dry skin under it. How would you suggest altering this as a beard balm. Rapeseed oil maybe? This is very close to Honest Amish Beard Balm.

    As Saybier suggested, argan oil could be a good choice! I'd also vote for jojoba oil - it's one of the only oils I use on my face. It's wonderful. :)

    Hello Arliem,

    I struggle with psoriasis and have discovered that replacing 1/2 of the live oil for Argan oil makes an amazing balm for hair and skin. I love it!

    I have been making something similar to this. I use 1 part by weight unrefined shea butter, 1 part pure cocoa butter, 1/2 part beeswax, and 1/2-1 part virgin coconut oil, depending on season. More in winter, less in summer.

    That sounds great! May have to give that a try since I have a block of shea butter sitting around. :D