October 17, 2021 6 min read

In order to design a skin care regimen that best suits your needs, you must be implementing the right products. Whether you are just starting to embark upon your skincare journey or looking to reinvent and refine your current routine, the salve is a product worth learning more about. 

Though salve is a common product, men are not typically as educated on the ointment as they are about lotion or balm. 

MadeMan recognizes that every man’s skin is different. Your wants and needs may not be the same as the next guy’s. So how can we, a company devoted to making every man become the best version of himself, ensure that you are getting the personal care you deserve? 

To help guide you in designing your personalized routine, we want to help educate you on all of your skincare options so that you can select what best suits your unique needs. Today, we will be discussing salve.

Understanding Salve

A salve is a soothing medical mixture that is applied to the skin to heal ailments or irritants. Salve has been used in natural medicine throughout history and consists of organic ingredients — particularly waxes, oils, and herbs — that make the substance semi-solid. 

Salves are popular skin care products because of how multifunctional they are. Though different salves are designed with different functions in mind, generally speaking, a basic salve has benefits that range from healing chapped lips and rashes to soothing sunburns and eczema.

Many salves are used for their moisturizing properties. The salve will contain ingredients sourced from flowers, fruits, and roots to penetrate and moisturize the skin. This makes salves particularly useful for anyone combating environmental changes like harsh winds, cold days, and low humidity levels.

Certain salves are also used for nourishing the skin. Salves rich in vitamins and antioxidants can both sustain and strengthen the skin. 

Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons from stable molecules and damage skin cells. This combination of vitamins and antioxidants protects your skin against environmental aggressors.

Breaking It Down

As you have likely already gathered, the potential uses of salves are varied. If you are looking to use a salve for a specific purpose, you should select one that contains a mix of organic oils, waxes, and herbs that can produce the results you are looking for. 

Let’s break down some of the most common ingredients in salves. Read over their benefits to help compile a list of ingredients you are interested in trying. This will assist you in choosing a salve.

Sweet Almond: Sweet almond is used in a salve to improve one’s complexion and skin tone. It can reduce the appearance of puffiness, scarring, and sun damage.

Coconut: Coconut is used for its ability to moisturize. It contains saturated fats that keep the skin moist and reduce redness and swelling.

Sunflower: Sunflower contains vitamin E and linoleic acid. Vitamin E has antioxidants that help keep the skin looking fresh, while linoleic acid can retain moisture.

Apricot: Apricot is used in salve to help improve skin tone and maintain softness by nourishing the skin and reducing the appearance of blemishes.

Olive: Olive is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, meaning that it has several benefits when used in a salve. It can moisturize, treat irritation, and help with exfoliation.

Jojoba Seed: Jojoba seed is high in antioxidants and fatty acid content. It has several healing properties that make it effective for cleansing, soothing, moisturizing and balancing irritated skin.

Rosehip Seed: Rosehip seed is incorporated in certain salves because of its ability to offer hydration, exfoliation, and protect the skin. 

Beeswax: Beeswax contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that create a protective layer on the skin and work together as a humectant to attract and retain water and stay hydrated.

Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is often used as an ingredient in a salve to enhance the benefits of other natural products by lengthening their staying power.

Candelilla Wax: Candelilla wax is rich in vitamin A, promoting cell regeneration, and is non-comedogenic, making it safe to use on all skin types without clogging pores.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera contains several vitamins and antioxidants that soothe burns, fights acne, and perform as a natural moisturizer.

Blue chamomile: Blue chamomile is used in salve as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to reduce redness, improve dryness, tighten the skin, and protect skin cells.

Calendula: Calendula is used in several different salves for its healing abilities. It is good for moisturizing and protecting the skin and is used to help treat redness, dryness, and acne.

Chickweed: Chickweed contains many vitamins and minerals that allow it to moisturize and soothe the skin. Internally, it works as a demulcent and externally works as an emollient.

Plantain: Plantain extract is used in salve for the germicidal and antibacterial properties that allow it to combat acne and acne scarring by promoting skin regeneration.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is found in some salves to help treat acne and hyperpigmentation. 

Cocoa butter: Cocoa butter contains vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids that hydrate the skin and create a protective barrier to hold in the moisture that prevents drying. 

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus contains antioxidants, terpenes, and tannins that boosts circulation, reduces redness, and soothes your skin. It is most commonly used to treat and prevent acne.

Ginger: Ginger contains minerals, fatty acids, essential oils, and antioxidants that reduce swelling and discomfort, soothe irritated skin, and improve the skin’s ability to heal.

Thyme: Thyme is used in salve for its benefits to clean the skin’s surface of unwanted bacteria and relieve itching and tightness.

Rosemary: Rosemary can be used to help treat burns and soothe redness. 

Lavender: Lavender is used in salve to lighten skin discoloration, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and lessen acne. It is also used to help support treatment for burns and rashes.

Myrrh: Myrrh can be used as an ingredient in salve to help aid in wound healing and fight off infections. Its properties can help to soothe, moisturize, and tighten the skin.

Comfrey: Comfrey is used to soften skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and promote skin cell growth. These abilities make it a very popular ingredient for products that target anti-aging.

Arnica: Arnica is typically used to soothe discomfort, alleviate redness, and decrease swelling. It is often used in salve to treat acne and rashes.

Lemon Balm: Lemon balm contains antioxidants, terpenes, and tannins to cleanse and soothe the skin. The herb is also known to be antiseptic and antiviral and can reduce swelling and irritation.

Salve vs Balm vs Lotion

Though salve, balm, and lotion all use natural ingredients and are typically used to treat the same symptoms and conditions, there are some differences between the three.

Balms are very similar to salves. They are both non-toxic oil-based, rather than water-based, products used to treat the skin. Still, balms are thicker than salves because they typically contain more wax. 

This unique component also causes it to form more of a barrier on the skin than its ointment counterparts. Balms can retain their shape when hardened and are used most recognized as lip balms and deodorants.

Lotions are more different from salves than balms are. Lotions are not usually made with the same key ingredients as salves. For example, most lotions are water-based. Salves are oil-based. 

Lotions typically consist of a mixture of water, alcohol, and additional elements depending upon the product’s intention. Though different in texture and composition, salves, balms, and lotions are typically deemed interchangeable. 

While there are benefits to all three, using a water-based moisturizer like The Refresher that uses all-natural ingredients can be as effective as a salve made from organic oils, herbs, and waxes. 

Conclusion

Salves are a product worth considering. Choosing whether you want a salve over a lotion or a balm is a matter of preference. The important thing is that you are taking action towards moisturizing your skin and maintaining its health. 

If you decide to use a salve, remember that there is a vast selection to choose from and that you should look closely at the ingredients to select the product that will best suit your needs.

 

Sources:

A Review on Free Radicals and Antioxidants | PubMed

Ointment bases | PubMed

Dermatological ointment bases | PubMed

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