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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Hand Salve for Dry, Cracked Knuckles

3. Ah Weekly-August-blog title-Hand salve for dry cracked knuckles-1200x628-V1-1

When you have dry, cracked knuckles, it can feel like you’re constantly applying moisturizer but not experiencing much benefit from it.

 I have a hand salve that can really help!

You can apply this hand salve as often as you need throughout the day. Some people even layer it on thick before bed at night and wear gloves while they sleep, so their dry, cracked knuckles and nails will absorb as much of the healing components as possible.

This recipe makes 7 oz (196 gm) of hand salve. You can make it in an 8 oz (240 ml) glass jar or in two 4 oz (120 ml) jars.

Dry, Cracked Knuckles Salve

  • 1 oz (28 gm) Beeswax (Cera alba)
  • 1 oz (28 gm) Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii)
  • 1.5 oz (42 gm) Kpangnan butter (Pentadesma butyracea)
  • 1.5 oz (45 ml) Neroli-infused jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) Argan oil (Argania spinosa)


  1. Melt your beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup over the stove. Put the Pyrex in a soup pot that’s a quarter full of water, so the boiling water will warm the Pyrex and melt the butters and oils gently. I like to let the handle of the Pyrex hang over the side of the pot. That way it doesn’t get too hot.
  2. Add the neroli-infused jojoba. You can add this before the beeswax is entirely melted.
  3. When the beeswax is melted, add your kpangnan butter. Remelt, stirring gently.
  4. Add the argan oil.
  5. Remove the blend from heat, then add the shea butter, stirring gently.
  6. Once the shea butter is all melted, you can add your essential oils (if you’re going to add them). This blend is very healing even without essential oils, though.
  7. Pour your melted blend carefully into your jar. Let it cool for a few hours (two or three hours should be long enough).

If you’d like to add essential oils, add them just before pouring your salve into the jar. Here’s a blend that can add so much healing power to your hand salve:

  • 30 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • 17 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 14 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
  • 7 drops Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Give this hand salve a try for a few days and see how your knuckles feel. Cracked nails can take a little longer to heal, so be sure to apply this to your cuticles. (PS: Try it on your feet, too!)

If you would like an all-over body butter that can help dry, chapped skin, I have a recipe on the blog for that as well: Dry, Chapped Skin Butter.

Moisturizing Body Oil With Ylang Ylang

Founder at Aromahead Institute
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: Recipes and Blends, body butter, dry skin

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