Saturday, January 12, 2013

Herbal Cracked Skin Remedy

Happy 2013!  I hope everyone is healthy and warm this winter and managing to avoid the terrible flu virus that's making the rounds . . . what a nasty bug! Winter also brings with it plenty of both indoor and outdoor dry air that saps moisture from your skin, leaving you with flaky, itchy, and even fissured or cracked skin, especially on your palms and soles of your feet.  Today I will share with you a recipe from my newest book, Hands-On Healing Remedies, (available from or bookstore chains) that will help heal and soothe dry skin in a snap. The ingredients are easy to find at your local health food store and the recipe is super-simple to make at home.  I hope it will become one of your favorite dry skin remedies.  Enjoy!

Vegan Lanolin

Want a cracked-skin remedy with an incredibly creamy texture that melts at body temperature and penetrates amazingly well?  Then this is the one for you.  It has all the moisturizing and conditioning benefits of lanolin, without the odd smell, stickiness, and potential irritation, plus it's vegan!  It acts as a mild antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (tissue healer). In addition to moisturizing dry hands and feet, it is also excellent for ragged cuticles, dry knees, shins, and elbows, and even makes a wonderful plain lip balm.


4 tablespoons castor base oil
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons shea butter, refined or unrefined
10 drops calendula, myrrh, or lavender essential oil

Equipment Needed:  Small saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, plastic or glass jar or tin

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus 24 hours to thicken completely

Yield:  Approximately 1/2 cup

Storage:  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year

Directions To Make Product:

1.  Combine the castor oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter in a small saucepan (a 3/4-quart size works great) or double boiler over low heat, and warm until the solids are just melted.

2.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir a few times to blend the mixture thoroughly.

3.  Add the chosen essential oil directly to the storage container, then slowly pour in the oil mixture.  Gently stir to blend. Cap and label the container and set it aside until the balm has thickened.  Unlike beeswax, cocoa and shea butters can take a long time to completely thicken, and this formula may need up to 24 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  The balm may continue to change texture slightly for another 24 hours.

Application Instructions:  Massage a dab of the balm into feet or hands or other dry skin areas at least twice daily to seal in moisture.

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, Hands-On Healing Remedies, Storey Publishing, copyright 2012. The information in this blog is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.


  1. Hi! I have your Organic Body Care Recipes book. Besides thoroughly loving it for myself, I am now learning from it as I develop a homemade cosmetic line. I have a burning question about your Hand & Nail Butter! I love making this, it is so easy and yet people find it so rich and healing. But even if I follow the recipe exactly, I find that after a couple days or a week or two, it develops a grainy texture! It still rubs into your skin well, but to have people reach into a grainy cream might not be what they are expecting. Am I doing something wrong? I think, when I ran out of lanolin, it didn't develop that. Is it the lanolin? I hope not, because that is my favorite ingredient. :) Thank you for your help!

  2. I was browsing the net and I found your site, I enjoyed reading every lines of your review. This is very informative.

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  5. Herbal product works best dry skin remedies for skin.nice post.