Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

Homemade Eczema Salve Recipe

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Skin & Hair Care | 4 comments

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about her 5 year old niece who suffers from painful eczema that covers her back. She’s had it most of her life and doesn’t complain about the pain anymore, but she flinches whenever someone hugs her or pats her on the back.

I didn’t know much about what causes eczema or how to treat it, so I went looking for information to find a way to help. What I learned is that eczema is a chronic skin condition that results in dry, cracked skin which is often further irritated by bacteria that gets into the rash when scratched. It can be hereditary, or it can be caused by everything from diet to stress to allergies. Unfortunately, it’s not curable, but it is managable.

The best way to manage eczema is to be kind and gentle to your skin by:

  • wearing cotton or other soft fabrics.
  • taking warm baths with colloidal oatmeal.
  • patting, instead of rubbing, yourself dry after a bath.
  • using gentle cleansers.
  • moisturizing regularly.
  • used a gentle laundry detergent.

In previous articles, Kim and I have discussed how many commercial products use strong antibacterial chemicals and petrochemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils and coats it with chemicals that don’t allow your skin to breath and recover. The chemical fragrances often added to both personal products and cleaning products can also be very irritating to the skin. Anyone with skin problems should be reading labels and leaning toward more natural, gentle products.

My research and a conversation with a local woman who makes personal products led me to two recommendations for this little girl. The first was to try Grandma’s Lye Soap or, from the same company, Secrets of Suzanne’s Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Soap. At the time I had been testing out Grandma’s Lye Soap to write a review and, from experience, I knew how gentle and moisturizing their all-natural soap is.

My second recommendation was to use an eczema salve made with shea butter, coconut oil and tea tree oil. The shea butter and coconut oil act as moisturizers and they nourish the skin. The coconut oil and tea tree essential oil are also antibacterial and fight the infections that make eczema outbreaks more painful. Tea tree oil is also a very safe essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin, without dilutions and is safe for children.

Eczema salve ingredients for recipe

I made the eczema salve for the family and got a heartfelt thank you from the little girl because it helped so much. For everyone interested in the salve recipe, I’ve posted it below. I don’t know if the family switched soaps yet. They had used natural soaps in the past but stopped when the local soapmaker they bought from closed the business.

Get More Help Managing Your Eczema

If you want more information about eczema, visit the National Eczema Associations website.

Also, as luck would have it, Grandma’s Lye Soap contacted us recently because they also want to help children with eczema by sharing their soap with those who may need it but might not have access. Through the month of May they will gladly send any family who is unemployed and has a child suffering from eczema a full size bar of Grandma’s Lye Soap at no charge. Grandma’s knows how miserable eczema can be for little ones and they don’t want any child to suffer. Contact Grandma’s by email at to request your free soap. You don’t need to provide any proof of unemployment, just an honest need for the soap.

Eczema Salve
Adjust the amount of coconut oil for the season. This recipe is perfect for the winter but since coconut oil is a liquid above 75 degrees use less of it in the summer. If you change the recipe, adjust the tea tree essential oil appropriately too. Use 5 drops of tea tree essential oil per .25 ounces of product.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. .5 ounces shea butter
  2. .5 ounces coconut oil
  3. 20 drops tea tree essential oil
  1. Melt shea butter and coconut butter in a double boiler.
  2. Remove from heat, add tea tree oil and mix well.
  3. Pour into sterile container.
  1. Yields 1 ounce.
A Green Routine

Nicole knows making small changes for the greener add up over time and hopes you’re inspired to make some changes of your own after reading her articles. She focuses on easy, green, homemade personal products and green living tips for city dwellers. Nicole lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can find her on twitter at @_nlg_.

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  1. joan gagliardi

    you’re great grandmother (grammy) had eczema really bad,wish we had this info back then and I hope it helps this little girl and anyone else out there.

    • Nicole

      I didn’t know grammy had eczema. We are hoping this recipe and soap program help some people too. Thank goodness for the Internet where we get information about and access to so many helpful things 🙂

  2. Mary

    Could I add aloe Vera to it from the whole leaf?

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