This DIY vapor rub is a great natural substitute to the standard Vicks vapor rub we all got covered in when we were kids.
It's made using essential oils and beeswax and includes either coconut or olive oil as a carrier. If you choose coconut you'll end up with a slightly firmer rub. :)
Seeing as I just got sick, I've tested this out over the past two days and I'm very happy with it. I tried using it on my upper back, chest and the bottoms of my feet. Breathing's been easier and I much prefer the smell of this rub to Vicks. It also tingles MUCH less, which I really like!
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Step 1: Ingredients + Cautions
- 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil (I'm using olive because it's cheaper)
- 1 tablespoon grated beeswax
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1-2 drops clove essential oil (optional - be wary if you have sensitive skin)
You'll also need a small glass jar for storage (these are cute and cheap!) and a glass measuring cup to melt the oils.
I'm using all NOW Foods oils - this brand is reasonably priced and I've never had any issues with the quality of the oils. I use them in burners, balms, rubs, cleaners and all sorts of other things!
This vapor rub has about a 3% dilution of essential oils - if you're making this for a person under the age of 5, I recommend halving the amount of essential oils you put in.
If you have sensitive skin you should use also less of the oils - and it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut out the clove essential oil completely! I like the way it rounds out the smell of the vapor rub, but it can cause skin irritation.
Make sure to apply a little to your forearm or another easily washable area and give it a little time to make sure you won't have a reaction. If you slather it all over your chest without testing and then rash up you're going to feel much worse. It's rare but it happens!
Step 2: Grate Your Beeswax
Use the largest side on your grater - grate just enough to fit into a tablespoon. Press it down into the tablespoon to make sure you're getting an actual tablespoon's worth. :D
Step 3: Melt the Oil and Beeswax Together
I do this in the microwave to save time - just microwave it for 30 seconds at a time and stir after every stint in the microwave. Keep repeating this until the mixture is clear and homogenous.
Step 4: Add the Oils and Pour Into Your Container
Add in your oils - if you have bottles without droppers, you can use an 1/8 teaspoon measure filled almost all the way. Doing it that will give you right around 10 drops worth of oil.
Mix this well and pour it into your glass container.
Step 5: Let It Cool and Use!
The rub will become solid fairly quickly - just make sure to leave the lid off while it hardens so you don't get any condensation. Once the rub has hardened, it's time to try it out!
It won't smell as strongly once it's hardened, but rest assured that you don't need much! I apply maybe 1/8-1/4 teaspoon each time I use it. As you rub it into your skin the smell will become stronger.
Make sure to always apply with dry, clean hands and avoid getting any liquids into the rub. Make a fresh batch every cold season and enjoy! :)