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December has been chilly here in London, with cold rain beating down on us for most of the month, leaving my skin feeling dry and itchy. So I decided to whip up soothing chamomile balm. It is great for dry, sensitive skin and can be easily adapted to suit your needs, too. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some spare time. Oh yes, and a pot.
Table of Contents
- What is Chamomile Balm?
- What is Chamomile Balm Good for?
- Who Should Use Chamomile Balm?
- When Should you Use Chamomile Balm?
- How do you Use Chamomile Balm?
- Key Ingredients
- DIY Soothing Chamomile Balm Recipe
- Shelf Life and Storage
What is Chamomile Balm?
Chamomile balm is a fragrant ointment formulated to soothe the skin and protect it from the elements. It is usually used during cold months when the skin is exposed to harsh cold weather and wind. When applied topically, the balm forms a protective layer, helping to shield, nourish and soothe the skin.
What is Chamomile Balm Good for?
Cold temperatures coupled with dry air and harsh winter winds strip your skin of moisture. Central heating doesn’t help either, as hot air is also low in moisture and can leave your skin dry, irritated and itchy. Chamomile balm is a handy solution for dry and irritated skin that needs protection during cold months. It soothes, nourishes and protects the skin from breaking down due to extreme temperature changes.
Who Should Use Chamomile Balm?
Due to its occlusive nature, chamomile balm is especially beneficial for those with dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin.
When Should you Use Chamomile Balm?
I personally apply balm after my lotion or cream. While lotion and cream instantly moisten dry skin, the thick balm seals all the moisture keeping the skin hydrated for longer. It works wonders for dry skin on my feet.
How do you Use Chamomile Balm?
With clean, dry hands, scoop out a pea-size amount of chamomile balm into your palm and warm it between your fingers. Once it softens, rub the balm into your skin in circular motions, spreading it thin as the balm will sit on the skin’s surface.
This balm is a simple ointment that combines beeswax, oil, butter and essential oils to add a protective layer to the skin. Here are the vital ingredients in this formula:
Beeswax – will give the balm a little bit of firmness.
Mango butter will provide the balm with a soft, buttery texture.
Chamomile-infused oil. Our ancestors have been using chamomile for centuries to soothe sensitive skin, and reduce redness and inflammation. To extract its skin-loving properties to the balm, I have macerated mine in sunflower oil. You can learn how to prepare infused chamomile oil here.
Essential oils. A combination of roman chamomile, melissa lemon balm and cedarwood essential oils create a refreshing blend.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe + instructions!
DIY Soothing Chamomile Balm Recipe
DIY Soothing Chamomile Balm RecipeDifficulty: Beginner Formulator
Chamomile balm is a blend of nourishing oils and butter that help soothe the skin and protect it from the elements. Use during cold months when the skin is exposed to harsh cold weather and wind and in need of TLC.
- Prepare a hot water bath by bringing 2-3 cm of water to a simmer over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
- Weigh all phase A ingredients in the glass beaker, place them into a bain-marie and allow them to melt gently.
- When wax and butter have melted, remove from the heat and add oils. Keep on stirring. It will prevent graininess in the balm.
- Once the mixture has cooled to under 40C, add vitamin E and essential oil. Keep string till thin trace.
- Now you are ready to pour the balm into aluminium jars. Don’t forget to label.
Skin Patch Test
- Carry out a skin patch test first to ensure you are not sensitive or allergic to the balm. Apply a small amount of the product onto a clear patch of skin, somewhere you can leave it alone for 24-48 hours (like the inner wrist). If your skin turns red, itchy, or you experience any irritations, discontinue using the product.
Shelf Life and Storage
Chamomile balm is an anhydrous product that will keep for up to a year if stored well. Please keep it away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool room or a draw. If your balm changes colour, smell or texture, dispose of it and whip up a new batch.
Please remember that swapping the ingredients in the formula will alter the final product. Consider how the ingredient you wish to switch will affect the final product’s scent, consistency, or absorbency when making changes.
Beeswax: If you prefer working with plant-based waxes, you can replace beeswax with vegan waxes such as carnauba or candelilla wax. You can learn more about them in the blog post published by Formula Botanica.
Oils: Infused chamomile oil is a star of this recipe, and I wouldn’t recommend replacing it.
Essential oils: Before swapping any essential oils, check out Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by R Tisserand and R Young to keep your formulations safe.
My balm is too soft:
Suppose you live in a hot, humid country, and the balm melts easily. In that case, you will need to increase the amount of beeswax in the formula to firm it up a little—swap a small percentage of the oil for beeswax (1g at the time).
My balm is too firm:
When you make a new batch of balm, add slightly less beeswax and more oil than the previous one. More oil will prevent the balm from becoming too hard.
Is balm a moisturiser?
The balm is a mixture of wax, butter and oil, which gives it its firm texture. Unlike lotions and creams, the balm doesn’t contain water. It works by forming an occlusive layer on the skin, sealing the moisture, and preventing water loss.
Where do you apply body balm?
The balm works great as a hand and face moisturiser, and body balm, especially on the knees and elbows. But you can also use it to nourish dry cuticles and as a natural lubricant to relieve chapped skin.
Are you looking for more ways to incorporate chamomile into your skincare? Check out the recipes below!
- DIY Nourishing Chamomile Calendula Hand Cream Recipe
- Simple Easy To Make DIY Chamomile Under Eye Gel
- Easy DIY Chamomile Honey Face Toner Recipe
- DIY Chamomile Cleansing Oil Recipe
- DIY Chamomile Lotion Recipe
- DIY Chamomile Bi-Phase Cleanser
- DIY Soothing Chamomile Lotion Bar Recipe
- Soothing DIY Chamomile Infused Oil Recipe