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Salves, Balms, and Body Butters .... What's the difference?

With so many similar products on the market it can be so confusing to choose! Especially when they all seem so similar in nature. So what are the differences?

Salves, balms and body butters all have one thing in common ... no water. They are what's called an anhydrous formulation. Which means they are all highly moisturizing, thicker and firmer than a lotion.  

A body butter is a blend of one or more butters (such as shea, cocoa, mango, etc) with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, coconut, apricot, etc). Sometimes a small amount of beeswax is added in to give it a firmer texture. It is then whipped with air to achieve a fluffy, light consistency. The result is a highly moisturizing product ideal for people with dry skin.

Balms typically contain medicinal properties and have a smooth & oily consistency. They consist of one or more oils (olive, jojoba, almond, etc) that have have been infused with medicinal herbs and combined with wax. They are thicker / harder than salves due to their higher wax to oil ratio. 

Salves are very similar to balms. They are most often made using an herbal infused oil, wax and often additional herbs and essential oils are added.  However, the wax ratio is typically much lower than a balm, making the consistency softer and easier to spread. The softer consistency allows the salve to be more readily absorbed into the skin, making them a great choice for healing. 

At Copper Soap Works, I make salves because of their softer consistency and ease of spread-ability. You want to make sure your skin is absorbing every last bit of healing goodness, right? They are a blend of local olive oil (from Mangini Ranch), mango butter and beeswax.

The Lavender Hand Salve goes on silky soft, and leaves your hands feeling moisturized all day long thanks to the beeswax. The beeswax creates a protective layer that locks the moisture in. Mango butter 

Ache Away Skin Salve is a blend of three different herbal infused oils: plantain, calendula and dandelions. The dandelions and plantain were carefully foraged in the backcountry of Calaveras & Alpine counties.  The calendula is grown in my garden. Each herb was specifically chosen for their healing properties. Dandelions in particular are excellent for soothing sore muscles. A blend of four different essential oils known to aide in pain relief and inflammation are then added. As an added bonus, the mango butter and beeswax will leave your skin silky soft and moisturized.

Itch Be Gone Skin Salve  is jam packed with plantain, lemon balm and calendula infused olive oil. Three healing herbs known to reduce inflammation and heal the skin. Plus my custom blend of five essentials oils makes this one potent salve to give you relief from bug bites, rashes, and dry itchy skin.

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