dimanche 17 mars 2013

The “paste-for-all”, an universal balm

Here's my translation on Caroline's post on Making an universal balm.
Enjoy and leave comments and questions ! 

Having a “paste-for-all” will always come handy. We can use it for everything : moisturizer, emollient, cicatrizing...  

I used to make creams. Because a cream is a mix between an aqueous phase and an oil phase, it will be less convenient for conservation if you compare it to a balm which is only composed on a oil phase. Moreover, a cream is an emulsion (needing an emulsifier to mix the immiscible) while a balm is a simple mixture of fatty ingredients solidified by beeswax. It is much simpler to make. If you follow the recipe, it's difficult to mess up (well, I know somebody who really mess-up her balm but that's another story!).

You can make all sorts of balms but I like THE balm which can be used for everything, hence my “paste-for-all”. I made “paste for nose”, “paste for baby”, “paste for lips”, “paste for hands” and finally I came ended up making this very convenient “paste for all”.

This “paste for all” formula can be used : 

  • as a nourishing for dry hands in the winter
  • to moisturize lips
  • healing cracked skin
  • to soothe skin and mucous membrane (including intimate)
  • to treat the diaper rash of babies
  • to close small cuts
  • to activate the healing of burns etc...

As you can see, we can use it everywhere (maybe not in the eyes) and everyone can use it.

Here is the recipe, which you can adapt to the capacity of your pot :
Beeswax : 1 unit
Shea Butter : 3 units
Vegetal oil* : 4 units

Melt the wax and the Shea butter in a water bath (“bain marie” in french), then add the oil. Then pour it into the pot which you will have previously disinfected. Then just let it solidify.

This recipe will produce a smooth balm. If you continue to mix while the balm is starting its solidification, you will get an even smoother balm with a texture close to a cream.

*What vegetal oil can you use ?
  • As balm is by definition “oily”, I suggest you choose “dry” oils.
  • Jojoba oil : protective, softening, cicatrizing
  • Hazelnut oil : softening, restorative, cicatrizing
  • Macadamia oil : soothing, cicatrizing, supports circulation
  • Inca inchi oil : relaxing, protective

Of course you can use “non dry” oils such as olive oil, avocado oil or sweet almond oil...

I at least use 2 oils in my “past-for-all” and generally 3 or 4 in order to increase the properties and make the balm more widely useful. On the contrary, you can target the usage and focus on the oils which will help you most.

A special mention of the calophyllum oil : it does strongly smell curry but it is a real gift of nature. This is probably the best cicatrizer among vegetal oils.

A last comment on beeswax:
it solidifies the oil phases but also brings its film-forming ability. As a result, the balm will leave a thin film on the skin which will isolate it from external aggressions (cold on hands, humidity in babys' diapers...) and will limit dehydration.

Making this balm is really simple and it is a really rewarding home made care. We quickly realize the benefits on the minor injuries of everyday's life.

Good cooking !

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