So, I’m ill. And it sucks, big time. I’ve also managed to pass my illness onto my boyfriend, so I have him to look after as well as myself – he doesn’t cope too well when he’s sick. However, our cold germs have given us the opportunity to try out my homemade sinus clearing balm and I’m happy to say that it has worked really well on both of us!
This vegan decongestant balm is loaded with powerful, feel-good essential oils but contains none of the petrochemicals you typically find in store-bought versions.
We applied it liberally to our chests before going to sleep, and around our nostrils during the day. Although the balm hasn’t relieved us of all cold-related suffering, we are definitely experiencing less congestion since using the balm and we don’t have chapped noses from overusing tissues, so I’m calling this one a success!
We were delighted to find out that this balm works well for helping headaches too. We rubbed a little on our temples and it created a soothing cooling effect, helping to relieve our sore heads.
I used a combination of six essential oils, mainly because I’m indecisive and crap at being selective when it comes to essential oils, but mostly because they all offer great benefits.
Wintergreen oil is super at killing pain, as well as smelling amazing. It is quite potent however, so it should be used sparingly. Lavender oil has calming and pain relieving properties and I absolutely adore the smell, so I had to include it. Tea Tree oil is an antiseptic, so its inclusion creates a balm that’s perfect for rubbing on chapped, sore noses. The camphorous scent of Eucalyptus oil makes a powerful decongestant, and when combined with the menthol aroma of Peppermint oil, the two pack a powerful punch when it comes to clearing sinuses. Finally, I added some Spearmint oil because it’s an antioxidant and I’ve absolutely fallen for the combined scent of Spearmint and Peppermint after making my Double Mint and Shea Butter Lip Balm.
I used a combination of candelilla wax and jojoba oil as the base but quite honestly, you could easily swap these for any low-scent waxes and carrier oils. Be warned that if you use beeswax you will need double the amount to make the balm nice and firm. My substitution suggestions would be carnauba wax and sweet almond oil, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand and tweak the amounts until you achieve a consistency you like. A good way to do this is to put a couple of spoons in the freezer for five or ten minutes and when your ingredients have all melted, drip a couple of drops onto one of the spoons. The balm will solidify instantly and you can judge the consistency. If it’s too hard add more oil, if it’s too soft add more wax. Easy peasy!
The only other thing to add is a small drop or two of Vitamin E, which helps to prevent the oils from going rancid as well as adding skin repairing benefits. This is entirely optional, but I like to include it in balms I don’t intend to use frequently, and hopefully I won’t get ill again for a very long time!
My supplies are all from Akoma Skincare apart from the Wintergreen oil, which is from Naissance on Amazon. Links are included in the ingredients list for convenience.
Sinus Clearing Balm
Step 1: Weigh the jojoba oil and candelilla wax in a small, heatproof glass jug and place in a pan of boiling water.
Step 2: Allow the wax to melt, stirring gently with a spoon. The candelilla wax has a high melting point, so don’t worry if it seems to be taking a while.
Step 3: When the wax has melted, carefully remove the jug from the water and allow to cool slightly (not solidify!) before adding the essential oils and the vitamin e, if using.
Step 4: Pour the balm into a 15ml lip balm tin and allow it to solidify. The time this will take depends entirely on your ambient home temperature, but I’d leave it for an hour to be on the safe side.
Step 5: Make a cute little label and stick it on the lid.
Step 6: Apply liberally if you are unfortunate enough to catch a cold, and breathe a big sigh of relief when you no longer feel like your sinuses are full of cotton wool!