So my last post on beauty remedies showed you how to make a plant-infused oil, using calendula (marigold) flowers.

Today I’ll show you a quick and easy method to transform your plant-infused oil into a balm or salve.

The advantage of a balm is that it is easier (I find) to use, unless you’re using it for a massage, though a balm can be ideal for a small area such as the feet and hands.

It is definitely less messy, no oil drips for a start.

To make a balm all you need to add to your oil is some beeswax.

You can also add your favourite essential oils, either for the scent or for their therapeutic properties.

Where to get beeswax?

There are plenty of suppliers online who sell beeswax in a pellet form (easy to weigh out and quicker to melt).

But in the past, I have used beeswax candles (they must be 100% beeswax of course, so check before you buy).

Most honey producers also sell the by-products of the hive such as pollen, royal jelly and beeswax. Otherwise try Aroma-Zone (France, online) or Neal’s Yard Remedies (UK, shop or online)

Last time I bought some from a favourite supplier of honey, I bought a block of beeswax.

Not a good idea as it turned out, it is very hard to grate or even to cut so getting the right quantity to add to a balm, for example, has proved difficult.

Stick with the candles (easy to cut) or pellets.

Anyway, here is the recipe:

Sterilize all equipment first, including your jar.

40ml calendula-infused oil

10g beeswax (about 2 tsp)

Essential oils (optional)

Simply place the oil and beeswax in a small bowl, place in a pan of simmering water and stir until thoroughly melted.

Add essential oils if using*, and mix well.

Pour into a wide-necked jar and leave to cool.

Store away from heat and light.

If you find your salve is too hard, re-melt it and add a little oil.

Likewise if it is too soft, melt and add a little beeswax.

*The recommended concentration if using essential oils is between 0.5 et 2%. 1% essential oil corresponds to 2 drops per 10 ml of base,or 1 drop per teaspoon (5 ml). So in this recipe, counting a finished 50 ml of balm, that’s 10x5ml or 10 drops (so 20 drops max. for 2% concentration).

Keep a jar handy for skin emergencies: rashes, itching, minor burns (tried it when splashed my face with hot cooking oil, it definitely works!), sore spots, dry skin, inflammation, minor sunburn, scars, chapped lips.