Last Updated: December 29, 2022

5 best healing & moisturizing salves.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 10 min read

Since before people began keeping historical records, creams, ointments, and pastes have been rubbed on the skin as a medicinal treatment, from soothing dry, cracked skin to healing open wounds. Throughout the centuries, people got a sense of what worked and what didn't. It probably only took one try to figure out that the plant we call poison ivy does not make a good treatment for an itchy rash. It did probably make for a good practical joke.

We categorize these creams, ointments, and pastes as salves. Salve is a catch-all term for any substance that is topically applied to heal or to soothe. For instance, all ointments are considered salves, but that doesn't mean all salves are considered ointments. Whatever form a salve takes, we all know the healing comfort of rubbing a cool, hydrating cream on our skin to take away the pain.

Look below to see what salves Grove has to bring you comfort and healing.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Tree To Tub Anti-aging Shea Butter Hand Cream - Lavender

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Plant Based First Aid For Sensitive Hands

As much as you want to, you simply can’t wash away dry sensitive hands. They’re a unique, beautiful part of you! But the secret to loving the skin you live in, is to find a product that loves it too!

And now, with this Vitamin B5, Rose Water, Lavender and anti aging Shea Butter Hand Cream, your hands …

3.4 oz
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2. Little Moon Essentials Aching Head Rub

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Hats off to this Little Moon Essentials Aching Head Rub! If you find yourself suffering from stress-fueled headaches or any type of headache, this migraine relief balm will provide you with the relief you’re looking for. It’s made with 100-percent pure essential oils such as lavender and marjoram, as well as menthol to help provide cooling relief …

1 Oz
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3. Seed Phytonutrients Deeply Hydrating Hand Salve

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This Seed Phytonutrients Deeply Hydrating Hand Salve is rich in natural oils including sunflower, camelina, coconut, and castor oil. It's specially formulated for quick absorption by dry and cracked hands. Treat your skin to richly moisturizing nourishment that’s vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free, and silicone-free. With a natural fragrance and …

2.5 oz
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4. LOLI Beauty Date Nut Brûlée

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A cleanser, moisturizer, and body balm all in one, LOLI Beauty’s Date Nut Brûlée is nature’s way to treat your skin, lips, and hair. Made with 100% vegan and organic ingredients, this beauty balm is loaded with nourishing minerals, protective vitamin E, and skin-plumping fatty acids. It’s the ultimate multitasker!

Made with organic date nut …

3.4 Oz
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5. Naturally London Calendula Infused Healing Foot Balm with Brazilian Cupuacu Butter

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We recommend jumping feet first into using this Naturally London Calendula Infused Healing Foot Balm with Brazilian Cupuacu Butter. Why you ask? Because this foot repair cream is made with organic ingredients like Brazilian Cupuacu butter, beeswax, and Bulgarian lavender. Plus, it’s scented with 100% therapeutic-grade essential oils, and it’s 100% …

1 oz
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What is salve?

Salve is the word used to describe a mixture applied to the skin for the purpose of healing. A salve begins with a thick base — such as wax, animal fat, or thickened plant oils like coconut oil. Healing herbs, extracts, and minerals are added to the base and mixed in to form a thick compound. The semisolid mixture clings to the skin and topically delivers healing properties.

Most salves have a pleasant aroma, so the sensory advantage is evident right away. Salves also begin to soothe the moment they're applied — you feel the cooling relief of a hand salve immediately. With orally administered medicine, on the other hand, there is a waiting period from the time you take it to the time you begin feeling better, as it needs to cross the blood-brain barrier.

What are salves used for?

Salves have been used for centuries to heal wounds, relieve burning, take away pain, and promote physical healing, but prescribed use largely fell by the wayside with the rise of modern medicine and antibiotics. Recently, however, more practitioners have begun turning to the natural ingredients in salves for a non-invasive, topical solution to neutralize toxins, heal wounds, and give comfort.

What's the difference between salves and balms?

Balms fall into the category of salve. However, a balm is a much harder semisolid than a salve ointment or a cream, so it can retain its overall shape. Both lock in moisture and provide immediate relief, but generally, a balm will offer a slightly more protective barrier on the skin and require a bit stronger application to fully melt into the area where applied.

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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