What Is Hand Salve?

by Audrey Pannell ; Updated September 28, 2017

Rub a hand salve onto the hands for smooth skin.

hands image by isatori from Fotolia.com

Hand salve is thicker than a traditional lotion or cream. It uses wax to create a thick emollient, which surrounds the hands and moisturizes the skin. Hand salves use natural ingredients that are known to heal and moisturize.


Hand salve is a thick, moisturizing emollient used to moisturize and protect the skin on the hands. Beeswax is often used in hand salve to create a thick, protective layer over the skin. Hand salve is not meant for other areas of the body, especially the delicate skin on the face because the thick emollient may clog pores. Some hand salves contain anti-bacterial properties to soothe small cuts on the hands.


Hand salve is usually made with essential oils that naturally smooth and moisturize the skin. Olive oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, almond oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil and eucalyptus oil are commonly used. Tea tree oil, according to Home Remedies Web, is "an excellent natural remedy for hundreds of bacterial and fungal skin ailments." Eucalyptus oil also offers antibacterial and antiseptic properties, helping to heal the skin. Vitamin E is often added to hand salves to heal and moisturize the skin.


Hand salves are usually herbal and do not use many artificial ingredients. Therefore, the scent from a hand salve is derived from the essential oils used. If making your own hand salve, smell different oils and use more of the one that smells best to create a pleasant scent to the salve.

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About the Author

Audrey Pannell has been writing since the year 2000. She has written for AOL and eHow. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and also completed a certification course to obtain a teaching certificate for early childhood through fourth grade.