Vegan Lanolin makes the perfect gift for those who suffer from dry, cracked skin on their hands, feet, shins, knees, elbows, and even lips. It has a light cocoa butter scent that appeals to everyone — men, women, and kids. Simply package it in 1/4 cup jars or little lip balm jars, attach a customized label with directions for use, and voila . . . the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer.
— Stephanie Tourles
Want a cracked-skin remedy with an incredibly creamy texture that melts at body temperature and penetrates amazingly well? Then this is the one for you. It has all the moisturizing and conditioning benefits of lanolin without the odd smell, stickiness, and potential irritation — plus, it’s vegan! It acts as a mild antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary.
4 tablespoons castor base oil
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons shea butter, refined or unrefined
10 drops calendula, myrrh, or lavender essential oil
Equipment: Small saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, plastic or glass jar or tin
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 24 hours to thicken
Yield: Approximately ½ cup
Storage: Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year
Application: 2 times per day, or as desired
Directions: Combine the castor oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter in a small saucepan (a ¾-quart size works well) or double boiler over low heat, and warm until the solids are just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir a few times to blend the mixture thoroughly.
Add the essential oil directly to the storage container, then slowly pour in the oil mixture. Gently stir to blend. Cap and label the container and set it aside until the balm has thickened. Unlike beeswax, cocoa and shea butters take a long time to completely thicken, and this formula may need up to 24 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The salve may continue to change texture slightly for another 24 hours.
Application Instructions: Massage a dab of the balm into feet or hands at least twice daily to seal in moisture.
Bonus: This formula makes a wonderful conditioner for dry, brittle nails and ragged cuticles. Simply massage a tiny bit into each nail nightly. It also can be used as a lip balm or winter-weather facial shield during extreme outdoor exposure to protect your face.
Excerpted from Hands-On Healing Remedies © 2012 by Stephanie Tourles. All rights reserved.
Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic esthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She is the author of eight books, including Hands-On Healing Remedies, Organic Body Care Recipes, Raw Energy, Naturally Healthy Skin, 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body & Soul, and Natural Foot Care. She lives in Maine.