Skin Salve vs Balm: What’s the difference?
Do you know the difference between skin salve and skin balm? If not, don't worry –you're not alone! Because these products are so similar, they can often get confused and even experts sometimes disagree about the exact definitions when it comes to salves, balms, lotions, and body butters.
However, the purpose of all of these products is to provide a protective barrier, heal skin irritations, and give you smooth, healthy skins. We can agree that all-natural salves and balms have numerous benefits, and have been used throughout the world for their medicinal properties for years.
When you're experiencing chapped or dry skin patches, rashes, bug bites, sunburn, or other types of skin irritations, salves and balms can come to the rescue! In this blog post, we'll define skin balms and salves, explain how they are different, and discuss the products good for specific conditions.
Why Do You Need Skin Salves & Balms?
If you use lotion or moisturizer on a daily basis, do you even need to worry about a salve or balm? Well, moisturizing daily is really just a baseline for healthy skin.
Moisturizing is the process of replenishing the skin's natural moisture levels. This is important because dry skin is more susceptible to damage and premature aging. When the skin is properly hydrated, it looks plump and youthful. In addition, moisturized skin is better able to protect itself from environmental stressors like pollution and UV radiation.
Lotions and moisturizers work by creating a barrier on the surface of the skin that locks in moisture. They also help to restore the skin's natural lipid balance, which further protects against moisture loss.
While lotions and moisturizers are vital for maintaining healthy skin, sometimes you need more targeted skincare products to address specific skin concerns. We all experience skin issues from time to time, or need extra TLC, and that's where natural salves and balms can make a huge difference.
What is Skin Salve and What Are its Benefits?
Salves are thick, viscous, and often opaque ointments that are made with natural ingredients like herbs, essential oils, and beeswax. They have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, healing, and to treat a variety of skin issues.
Salves are effective at soothing and healing irritated skin and treating specific conditions. They're not meant to be used all over (like a daily body moisturizer) but can be applied to targeted areas of need. Salves are good for treating a variety of skin conditions, including:
- dry skin
- chapped lips
- insect bites
- minor burns
- cracked skin
What is Skin Balm and What Are its Benefits?
Most of us are familiar with the term "lip balm" which is different from makeup items like lip glosses or lipstick. The purpose of lip balm is to provide hydration and protection for the lips, often from the sun. Lip balms usually contain beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, or coconut oil as their base ingredients.
Skin balm is a broad term that can refer to any type of moisturizing ointment or cream that is used on the skin. Because balms typically have a wax base, such as candelilla wax or beeswax, they tend to sit on top of the skin thereby forming a barrier against the elements and locking in moisture.
How are Skin Salves and Balms Different?
Skin salves and balms are both thick, semi-solid products that are used to moisturize and protect the skin. They are similar in many ways, but there are also some key differences between the two. Salves tend to be more oily and thinner in consistency, while balms are more thick and waxy.
Salves can be better for moisturizing dry skin or treating specific conditions, while balms are better at sealing in moisture and creating a barrier against environmental irritants for general skincare. Because of their wax base, balms usually have a longer shelf life than salves. Both body balms and salves typically include herbal infusions and/or a variety of essential oils.
As a disclaimer, you should check with a dermatologist or doctor if you have special skin conditions or potential underlying health concerns that are causing skin issues. However, these products are generally safe and effective for all skin types, from oily skin to dry skin.
Una Biological Skin Salves & Balms For Special Conditions
While you can create a topical DIY salve or balm at home with carrier oils, essential oils, and herbs, you may want to save time and opt for an expertly crafted product. Una Biological offers a number of natural wonder salves and balms for your specific skin care needs. Here are a few examples.
Baby Balm is designed for your little one to avoid chapped cheeks, and diaper rash, and can also be used for minor skin irritations. And it's good for nursing mamas too! This gentle blend contains organic calendula, comfrey, and chickweed extracts. You'll also find lavender and chamomile essential oils which add a pleasant scent and boost of antimicrobial properties.
Got pesky bruises that need healing? Bruise Balm is an organic herbal salve containing arnica, calendula, St. John's Wort extract, and blue chamomile essential oil. Arnica helps heal bruises by improving blood flow which reduces swelling, inflammation, and discoloration. Calendula and St. John's Wort are potent antioxidants that help repair damaged skin tissue.
Whether your legs are recovering from a tough workout or your back is aching after a long car trip, Muscle Rub will soothe tired and achy muscles and help you feel rejuvenated. This salve can effectively reduce inflammation and increase circulation with a blend of essential oils including cypress, lavender, Roman chamomile, peppermint, cajeput, Palo Santo, and rosemary and additional ingredients to ease sore muscles.
Scars can take months, or even years, to fade away. But Scar Salve can help speed up the healing process and reduce tightness, irritation, and itching. Scar Salve can also help improve the appearance of scars and lessen the discoloration of younger scars. It's made with incredible organic ingredients that promote cell regeneration including olive oil, arnica extract, St. John's Wort extract, beeswax, Tamanu oil, Kokum butter, Illepe butter, blue chamomile essential oil, and lavender essential oil.
Getting the tattoo of your dreams is only the first step, then aftercare is key to comfort and maintaining a fresh look. Tattoo Salve is made with organic calendula, comfrey, and St. John's wort. This salve is perfect for new tattoos and ultrasensitive skin.
If you're experiencing stuffy sinuses or chest congestion, Vapor Rub will help clear you up with all-natural ingredients so you can breathe easy. Vapor Rub contains mullein, an herb that helps rid your lungs of congestion. It also features a number of essential oils including eucalyptus, Siberian Fir, peppermint, cedarwood, and cypress. You can apply to the nose, chest, or bottom of your feet.
Wound Wonder is a must-have solution for your cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, bug bites, and boo-boos. This salve contains a soothing blend of 100% organic calendula, comfrey, and St John's Wort extracts plus blue chamomile, tea tree, and lavender essential oils.
All of these organic wonder salves are offered in two options: a 2 ounce jar or a portable 0.35 ounce twist-up stick perfect for travel.
Salves and balms have a long history of use in traditional medicine all over the world. There are many reasons why you might want to add these natural skin remedies to your self-care routine. They can be incredibly soothing and healing for minor skin irritations, help protect against the elements, and can even provide relief from more serious conditions.
Our Wonder Salves are made with organic ingredients and essential oils that have been selected for their therapeutic properties. Head over to the Una Biologicals shop to check out our unique selection of Wonder Salves, and see for yourself how they can benefit your health and well-being!