Viewers of last Sunday’s Gardeners’ World show on the BBC may have spotted Freshskin Beauty’s geranium essential oil being used by presenter Frances Tophill and organic gardener Tanya Anderson in a recipe for a beautiful, natural DIY hand salve.
Made from a combination of calendula, plantain and comfrey infused sweet almond oil, along with beeswax and our wonderful geranium essential oil, this simple recipe is easy to make and packed full of nourishing skincare properties. From healing and soothing irritations to easing aches and pains, this natural salve is the perfect homemade gift for gardeners who are prone to getting their hands dirty.
Herb infused oils
To make it from scratch, dried calendula, plantain and comfrey need to be infused in a suitable carrier oil before being ready to use. This takes a bit of foresight as, once dried, the leaves or flowers of each plant needs to be covered in your carrier oil for at least 3 weeks. After a maximum of 8 weeks you can strain the oil out of the mixture to create the perfect skin nourishing ingredients for all manner of products.
If time is against you, there is an alternative to cold infusing which only takes a few hours. Simply place the herbs, leaves or flowers in a slow cooker, fully cover with your carrier oil and gently heat on a low setting for a few hours. There are lots of great guides for making herb infused oils online so don’t be put off if it all sounds a bit complicated.
The show discussed the many skin benefits of calendula, plantain and comfrey, but in case you missed them, here are the headlines.
The oil derived from calendula flowers has amazing skincare properties. It’s antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and is commonly used in products designed to help heal wounds, soothe dry skin conditions and relieve nappy rash.
Although considered a nuisance by most gardeners, the plantain weed is one of the most widely distributed medicinal crops in the world. Rich in antibacterial and antiseptic properties, oil infused from plantain leaves have long been used as a traditional cure for skin conditions such as sunburn and eczema.
Infused comfrey leaves have been used for centuries in Europe as an alternative remedy to treat inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis. Some research has claimed that this self seeding plant can relieve joint and muscle pain as well as offering would-healing powers.
Sweet almond oil
Rich in vitamin E, our sweet almond oil is perfect for helping to keep skin cells healthy. Also containing vitamin A, monosaturated fatty acids, potassium, protein and zinc, sweet almond oil is the perfect carrier oil to infuse herbs and plants in preparation for a natural skin care product.
Great for nourishing sun damaged skin, sweet almond oil helps moisturise, soften and cleanse without clogging your pores.
Geranium Essential Oil
Stream distilled geranium oil dates back as far as the Egyptians who recognised that it offered more than just a gorgeous sweet smelling fragrance. A common ingredient in skincare products, geranium essential oil has been used for thousands of years to promote radiant skin. Studies have since shown that geranium essential oil can be beneficial for treating common conditions like acne, skin infections and irritation.
Another skincare ingredient that’s use dates back to Ancient Egypt and beyond, beeswax does an amazing job of protecting the skin without blocking pores. Instead, it helps the skin retain moisture while also allowing it to breathe. Rich in vitamin A, beeswax will soothe and hydrate the skin making it the perfect base for homemade balms and salves.
Homemade Hand Salve Recipe
To make an amazing homemade hand salve just like the one featured on Gardeners’ World, follow our recipe below using a combination of ingredients available either in your garden or allotment and on our online store.
Makes 4 x 100ml pots
What you’ll need:
- Two stainless steel saucepans (One small enough to fit inside the other)
- A rubber spatula
- Digital scales
- Metal or glass containers
Hand Salve Ingredients:
- 100g Calendula infused sweet almond oil
- 100g Plantain infused sweet almond oil
- 100g Comfrey infused sweet almond oil
- 40g Beeswax
- Roughly 80 drops of geranium essential oil
How to make it:
- Add a couple of inches of water to the large pan and bring to the boil
- Put 40g of beeswax in the smaller pan and float it on top of the boiling water ensuring an even distribution of heat
- When the beeswax is melted add the herb infused oils and stir with the rubber spatula until all the ingredients have melted and combined
- Remove the mixture from the heat
- Add around 80 drops of geranium essential oil, stir well and pour into your containers.
- Leave uncovered to cool for 4 – 5 hours at room temperature