What is a salve?

The moisturizing magic of Lauren’s All Purpose has left us wondering: what exactly is a salve and how does it moisturize so deeply?

Conjuring images of apothecary bags and botanical pharmacies, salves were especially popular in 1800’s America and considered a precursor to today’s over-the-counter ointments.

Technically speaking, a salve is a topical moisturizer used as protection or to promote healing. But unlike lotion which has a high water content, salves are an anhydrous formulation, i.e. waterless moisturizer. Their consistency is soft enough to penetrate the skin but also thick enough to create a protective barrier and lock in moisture. Salves typically include herb-infused oils to soothe and heal skin conditions.

Think of salve as a liquid, herbal bandaid protecting your largest organ, your skin!

The word salve, pronounced with or without the “L”, is used interchangeably with balm and ointment. The real difference between them all though is not in their uses but in their preparation: All three are a combination of herbal oils and fatty wax but salves tend to have the least amount of wax, making them the softest and most easily absorbed. (Say goodbye to the after-shower lotion slick!)

Lauren’s All Purpose Salve manages to maintain that delicious whipped feel thanks to its lack of wax: its shea butter substitute keeps skin incredibly soft while its fatty acid content rapidly creates moisture. And unlike beeswax, shea butter is edible making LAPS true, organic skin food. Feed your soul and heal yourself with a tender touch.

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