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Salve/Cream question

  • bluecat2012

Greetings all,

I am hoping some of you can give me some insight. When making my salves, I generally use organic, cold pressed olive oil but I am finding that it is a tad greasy. Any ideas on how to correct this or maybe an alternative oil to use that will feel less greasy? Also, I would like to transform some of my salves into creams but I don't know where to start. Any guidance would be much appreciated. I look forward to joining you all soon as Poppy Swap store owners.

Bright blessings and happy healing,

Stephanie L.

"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits." ~Eden Phillpots

Replies to this topic

  • anchasta
  • anchasta

Howdy!  I made my salves with beeswax and coconut oil with a touch of olive oil.  I like the smoothness of the olive oil, and the coconut oil keeps it softer and easier to absorb into the skin! :) If I were the measuring type, I'd share that info, but I just slop stuff in the pot and see what happens.

I've never done creams, so can't help you there.  I'm sure someone else can, though!

Head Pixie of Pixies Pocket: Honey & Electuaries:
  • admin
  • kiki

Hi Ladies!

I too am more of a salve maker than cream maker....and not much measuring happens in my house either! 

A tip I picked up way back was to start shaving the beeswax into the hot salve and then take little dips in with a spoon. Put the spoon with a dollop of salve in the freezer and wait a couple of minutes and you will have a good little sample that will tell you how hard/thick your salve has become. You can add more beeswax or oil as needed to get the consistency you want.

I hope that's helpful Stephanie! I also put your question up on the facebook page to see if we get some new ideas!

xo Kiki

~bring people herbs~
  • smlowry
  • smlowry

I use olive oil to make herb/flower oils that I then use in creams and salves. But my salves/creams also contain other oils for their various properties - extra healing, absorption, etc. If I'm using 6 ounces of oil, maybe 2 - 3 of that would be the herb/flower oil (the exception is for super healing salves that have several herb oils in them), then I'd have fun with others. I use: coconut, mango butter, apricot, sweet almond, rosehip seed, avocado, meadowfoam seed, jojoba, you get the idea. Oils like jojoba, rosehip seed, meadowfoam seed are quickly absorbed by the skin and just so luxurious they are worth the extra $. And since I make my creams/salves to sell, I want them to be very special and not at all greasy. For certain things I add a bit (usually no more than an ounce) of castor oil for when I want the cream/salve to have a nice "slip" - this is for butters or massage creams, not for creams that are used on the face.

Creams are made using a 50/50 blend of oils to waters and beaten with a blender like mayonaise. They can be tricky when you're starting out. The oils and waters (hydrosols, aloe vera, witch hazel, distilled water - not tap water!) need to be room temperature or a bit warmer and they must be the same temp as each other. Don't add cooler waters to warmer oils or vice versa. You pour the waters in slowly while the blender is going. A stick blender works better than a regular blender and I never use the blender or containers I make creams in for food or vice versa. There are many recipes for creams on line, but I first started many years ago using Rosemary Gladstars basic face cream recipe. You can use any oils you like, adding essential oils to the cooled oils before blending. And don't overdo the beeswax in either creams or salves. The exception is if you're making a lip balm - you need more beeswax so it's very firm.

Hope this helps! Good luck and have fun.


Here is an easy cream recipe:


Group 1:

2/3 cup Aloe Juice - OR -  Herbal Witch Hazel

10 drops  Essential Oil of your choice


Group 2:

3/4 cup medicinal oil of your choice (think about the purpose of the cream. Antifungal? Stress relief? Moisturizing? Pain Relief? Anti Acne?) Make your medicinal oil to suit your needs in evoo, jojoba, etc.

1/3 cup Shea Butter

3/4 oz Beeswax

1 tsp. Rosemary extract or Grapefruit seed extract


Add Aloe Juice - OR - Herbal Witch Hazel and essential oils (Group 1) in a 1 cup pyrex measuring cup and set aside. Melt and place Group 2 in a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup, set aside to cool completely. I put it in the fridge until I can't feel any warmth. Warm oils tend to make for a difficult time when "creaming" with group 1.


While using a stick blender, slowly add Aloe juice - OR - Herbal Witch Hazel and essential oils to the cooled oils until the mixture is thick, creamy and completely incorporated. If the mix does not get creamy or are separating, it could be that the oils had not cooled enough. Let stand to cool more and blend with stick blender. Spoon or pour into jars.The cream will thicken more as it cools completely.

I do not use any preservatives (except for what the herbs and EOs bring naturally), or emulsifiers. Commonly used "natural" emulsifiers are borax and lecithin (made from soy). I used borax for a teeny while when making creams and then decided I was getting an oompa loompa feeling. Borax just doesn't seem to be what I want to be putting on my skin, since 60% of what I put on my skin goes right into my bloodstream. And I have no interest in using lecithin made with soy.

Heart Happy cream making!


"Step over to the Wild Side, where the plants have always been 'Green.'" S. Jordan
  • bluecat2012
  • bluecat2012

Thank you all so much for all the tips. I am actually going to try all of these ideas to fiure out which works best for me. I love making salves but have had a couple of requests for creams. Haven't decided if I am going to go that route since my salves seem to be my top request. I look forward to perfecting my recipes and product line and joining the ranks of poppy swappers.

Long live the Blue Cat!


  • admin
  • kiki

LOVE THIS COMMUNITY!! Thanks to all who contributed and congrats to Stephanie....get your herb on girl! xo

I also like to use other oils for creams, particularly sweet almond, jojoba, coconut, pomegranate (precious oil), rose hip seed, apricot kernel. It depends for what skin type what I'm formulating. I make an olive oil cream which is mostly herbal-infused olive oil but add coconut oil to that too. And then the water phase I also like to get creative, using flower waters, like rose, lavender, rose geranium, patchouli, and green tea extract too.

One thing to consider with creams is preservation since you are adding water. With salves, oxidation is a concern but I've rarely had an issue with that. Water-based products can be a breeding ground for bacteria and such (though I've rarely had a problem there either!). Oh, and separation. It's definitely one of the trickiest products to make, hence why people use all sorts of synthetics to bind and preserve. It's not necessary though :)

~Learn about naturally caring for your skin with the wild flair and passion of the green Earth~

Does anyone use Shea Butter when making creams? I use an ample amount in one of the salves I make and its consistency is thick and hard (due to the beeswax) and not like a cream at all, but I loooovvvee the texture and feel of Shea Butter! These are awesome recipes ;) I've actually never made creams of any sort (I, too, am a salve kind of girl) but I think I would like to try my hand at some. Does anyone know of a resource for basic cream recipes, as well?

"For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep seeming and savour all the winter long:
Grace and remembrance be to you both..." --- William Shakespeare, THE WINTER'S TALE
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