Balm * Salve * Lotion * Cream * Butter
What is the differnce?
Balms and Salves are largely the same and are plant (or animal) fats* and beeswax (-traditionally). Often they contain medicinal plants (helichrisum, chamommile, plantain, yarrow, etc).
Lotions and Creams are an emulsion of plant (or animal) fats* and aqueos (water-based) components. Emulsifying wax or lecithin, are often added to stabalize the blend - and texturizers like borax are often used.
Butters are usually a blend of plant-based solid fats* - and often in fairly equal parts.
Where this all gets super fun is all the additives - - or steeping the oils beforehand.
This blend is melty from the heat of the skin, has a lovely 'slip', and absorbs quickly.
I like to start with a whipped plant butter base (equal parts shea butter, coconut oil, liquid fat (apricot kernal, sweet almond oil).
When deciding on 'additives' like argan oil, sea buckthorn seed, baobab and essential oils, I prefer to be guided by the needs of the season or individual skin care needs.
--- oooo now we can talk herbal infusions (basically steeping or creating a tea with medicinal herbs (straining) and blending into the Balm * Salve * Lotion * Cream * Butter
* fats? Dont' be afraid: chemically there are fats that are heatlhy for our skin. Jojoba is a wax. And essential oils are mostly NOT oils.
monique herzig, alchemist, aesthetician