DIY Gardeners’ Hand Salve to the Rescue!

Gardeners' Hand Salve by The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Gardeners’ Hand Salve Helps Heal Rough Dry Skin!

This gardeners’ hand salve is great for rescuing healing rough dry skin. Do your hands, elbows, and heels end up cracked and sore? Are you tired of looking for lotions and creams that really heal your skin instead of providing temporary relief?

I’ve always had a problem with dry cracked skin, especially in the winter and during the gardening season. That’s pretty much all year. These hard-working hands are always in need of rescue! That’s why I created my own Gardeners’ Hand Salve from scratch.

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Yes, you can purchase hand salves, but they are kind of pricey. And they come in brand new containers that are either discarded or (hopefully) recycled. However, you can make your own. You’ll know exactly what’s in them and you can change the recipe to suit your needs.

Gardeners' Hand Salve in a variety of containers
Gardener’s hand salve in a variety of reused and recycled containers.

Make Your Own ‘Gardener’s Rescue’ Hand Salve to Save Money and Reduce Waste

Making your own gardener’s hand salve is great for several reasons. You save some cash, control the ingredients and scent, and reduce your waste in the process! I reuse containers from purchased bath and body products or buy metal or glass containers.

If I wish to give some as a gift, I use ‘good’ containers and ask for them back when they’re done. Then I’m happy to refill it for them! These containers can be used over and over until they’re lost or someone doesn’t return them.

Oil infused with burdock and yarrow. From my post, DIY Healing Hand Salves.

Instructions to Make this Gardener’s Hand Salve

This recipe requires oil, beeswax, and vitamin E oil. The other ingredients help to increase the healing powers of the hand salve and give it a nice scent. They’re optional and you may use what you’ve got, or go ahead and purchase some essential oils if you wish.

This recipe is very similar to my Petroleum Free Jelly...a great ointment that may be used in place of petroleum Jelly.

You may also infuse your own oils with herbs from your garden or forage for them. Be sure to dry the herbs completely first. This removes the moisture which can cause your salve to go rancid or moldy.

Gardeners’ Hand Salve

Make your own hand salve for healing rough dry skin!
Author: Lisa Lombardo


  • Double boiler


  • 1 cup olive oil great for your skin
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond oil nourishing
  • 2 – 4 tbsps beeswax beads thickening
  • 2 tbsps cocoa butter nourishing
  • 1 tbsp vitamin E oil healing
  • 25 drops oregano essential oil antibacterial
  • 25 drops tea tree essential oil antifungal
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil cooling, pain relief
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil cleansing
  • 15 drops sweet orange essential oil scent


  • Put enough water in the bottom pan of a double boiler so that it doesn't quite reach the bottom of the top pan. Place on medium-low burner and begin heating water.
  • Add the olive oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter to the top pan of the double boiler. (For a softer ointment, use 2 Tbsps of beeswax. For a stiffer salve, use 4 Tbsps of beeswax.)
  • Gently stir the mixture until the beeswax is completely melted. Turn off the burner and remove the pan from heat. Using hot mitts, remove the top pan from the double boiler and wipe the bottom of the pan dry.
  • Add Vitamin E oil and essential oils to the mixture and stir. 
  • Allow the oil to cool for a few minutes, then pour into tins or other containers. Allow the salve to cool completely. 
  • Store salve in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for best results.


You may use another oil in place of the olive oil if desired. Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and avocado oil all work well.
If you are allergic to nuts, substitute a nut-free oil for the nut-based oils. Grape seed oil or mineral oil may also be used.
You may leave the essential oils out entirely, or replace them with essential oils of your choice. 
For extra healing, infuse your olive oil with dried plantain, burdock, or yarrow leaves, or with dried dandelion flowers.
Always test products made with essential oils on a small patch of skin to test for sensitivities before applying to a large area of skin.

This Salve is Great for Everyone!

You don’t have to be a gardener or homesteader to have rough dry skin or to make your own salve. I’m so glad that I started making my own and I love giving it as a gift too!

Wondering what to do with all of the dandelions in your yard? Check out this post on How to Make Dandelion Salve to Soothe Sore Muscles and Joints!

Have you ever made your own hand salve? What do you use it for? Leave a comment!

Make this Gardeners' Hand Salve for healing your dry, cracked skin! It also makes a great #GiftForGardeners! #GardenersHandSalve

Shared on Farm Fresh Tuesdays, the Simple Homestead hop, Off-Grid Hop, You’re the Star Hop, Going Green, and Homestead Hop

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Lisa Lombardo

Freelance Writer at Tohoca, LLC
Lisa writes in-depth articles about gardening and homesteading topics. She grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a self proclaimed gardening freak and crazy chicken lady.

In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and

The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.
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