Homemade Vapor Rub for Kids and Adults
Everyone needs a little help when they’re sick, and Vapor rub seems to be a huge staple for cold treatments. But did you know that traditional Vapor rub does your body more harm than good? That’s why I’m giving you this simple DIY Vapor rub recipe to help restore your sinuses while keeping your nose nice and moisturized.
I don’t know about you, but my nose always gets dry and cracked when I have a bad cold. All that friction from blowing and wiping my nose turns it into a cracked, flaky, sensitive mess! Sorry if that’s too graphic for you, but I’m sure some of you can relate. This DIY Vapor rub will keep your nose moisturized while clearing up your sinuses with aromatherapy. So let’s jump straight into the recipe!
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My Natural DIY Vapor Rub Recipe
If you find that you just can’t make this recipe, this vapor rub for adults and this one for children is just as safe to use as this recipe. I have all of the things you’ll need down below, with links to Amazon for your convenience. You’ll also notice that my measurements are a bit smaller than other recipes you’ll find. This is because I’m a firm believer of smaller batch sizes. Especially for a DIY like this.
If you only get sick a few times a year, this Vapor rub will go bad before you run out. You can reduce the amount of Vapor rub you’ll be throwing out by making a smaller batch instead. But if you have kids that get sick much more often, my honest opinion is that you can still use this smaller size and not have to worry about it going bad at all. When it comes to natural DIY’s, you win some and you lose some.
Keep in mind that this recipe involves using essential oils, so please be careful around children! It’s best simply not to use essential oils on children under 2 years old, and children between 2 and 12 years old need a heavier dilution. You can read all about this on my essential oil safety guide to keep you and your family safe. But don’t worry, I have dilution rates for children and adults below.
For these DIY Vapor rub recipes, you will need:
- 1 tablespoon cosmetic grade beeswax pellets
- 1/4 cup Almond oil or Jojoba oil
- Mini-sized mason jar
- Container that can withstand boiling temperatures
- Small saucepan
For the Essential Oils, You Will Need:
- 10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil for adults, 2 drops for children 2-12 years old
- 10 drops Peppermint essential oil for adults, 2 drops for children 2-12 years old
- 10 drops Rosemary essential oil for adults, 2 drops for children 2-12 years old
- 10 drops Lavender essential oil for adults, 2 drops for children 2-12 years old
- 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil for adults, 2 drops for children 2-12 years old
- Start by filling your saucepan about halfway full with water and set to a light boil. Put your boil-proof container in the water before it really starts to heat up to prevent it from breaking as a result of the severe temperature change. I just used a regular-sized mason jar, and it worked great.
- Once the water is simmering, add in your beeswax pellets and carrier oil and melt them together, stirring occasionally. Take the container out of the water and lit it sit for a few minutes once you’re left with a clear liquid.
- Add in the correct amount of essential oils and stir once more.
- Transfer everything to your mini mason jar and let the mixture cool completely.
- Apply to your nose and chest as needed!
Some Pro Tips and Tricks with Making Your Own Vapor Rub
Keeping your utensils and containers clean while the mixture is still hot is absolutely crucial! Otherwise, the beeswax can make cleaning a nightmare when it hardens. I made this rookie mistake when I tried my DIY lotion recipe for the first time, and it took me days to get everything clean again! Always have a napkin nearby when you make this DIY Vapor rub to wipe your stirring utensil every time you use it! And be sure to wipe out your boil-proof container as best you can after you pour your mixture into the mini mason jar.
Try to use glass containers instead of plastic if you can. I don’t trust plastic much these days because of the chemicals that can leech into the things you’re trying to store. I go into more detail on why this is in my post on how to detox everyday use home products. If you love to make your home and beauty products like me, you know that mason jars are your best friend!
Most other recipes will ask you to use olive oil or coconut oil as the base, but I think there are better options. Both options are great, but I think that using almond oil or jojoba oil is better because they’re some of the best moisturizers for your skin. They’re light enough that they won’t leave a heavy, greasy film on your skin. Plus, they mimic your skin’s natural oils very closely, so it will help repair your dry skin!
The Only Essential Oil Company I Trust
I know that this recipe involves a lot of essential oils. So you want to make sure that you use high-quality oils without spending an arm and a leg. That’s why I recommend Rocky Mountain Oils if you’re new to the essential oil scene! They really helped me step up my game, and understand how essential oils can improve our quality of life.
You can read my full Rocky Mountain Oils review if you want the full run-down, but they are my favorite essential oil company! They’re not an MLM company, so you won’t have to deal with pushy salespeople at those awkward parties no one actually wants to go to. In fact, their customer service is experts on aromatherapy that can help you with questions, concerns, or simply picking out an essential oil for something specific.
I didn’t realize how low-quality my essential oils were until I received my first order. They all smell like the real deal, whereas my old essential oils smelled very fake. You don’t want to put anything that’s fake in or on your body. I mean, that’s why you’re here in the first place! But their orange essential oil actually smells like the fruit, and their peppermint essential oil smells like the actual plant, instead of the candy-like smells I got before.
If you’re in the market for some new oils, or want to give essential oils a try, I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Oils. They’re great for anyone at any stage of their natural living journey. They definitely helped me understand essential oils better, and gave me new ideas on how to use them every day. And they’re much better ingredients to use than all that crap that goes in your traditional Vapor rub.
The Toxic Chemicals in Traditional Vapor Rub
One of the main ingredients in Vapor rub is camphor, which is a chemical that is related to bengay and topically applied to the skin. While it may seem harmless to adults, a decent amount of this stuff can prove deadly to children. (source) But not matter what your age, camphor can cause great damage when applied to mucous membranes, a.k.a. your nostrils.
But that’s not the only ingredient that can wreak havoc on that sensitive skin area! Ingredients like menthol and petrolatum are major issues for different reasons. Menthol is actually in this recipe too, because it comes from the peppermint essential oil. But you’re using the right amount of menthol here. In most traditional Vapor rubs, there is too much menthol that can overwhelm our lungs and cause irritation.
The same goes for petrolatum. This ingredient is a mineral oil that can create a barrier on the skin and trap bacteria, letting it grow and fester. In other words, you’re just inviting a slew of bacteria to hang out on your enflamed, dry, cracked nostrils. You don’t want that!
Not to mention that most Vapor rubs contain some kind of fragrance. And you know how I feel about fragrance if you’ve been following Essential Moves to Wellness for a while. “Fragrance” is a cover-up word that companies can legally use to substitute for the separate ingredient list that give their product its scent. The scary part is that those separate ingredient lists can be up to 3,000 ingredients long, and include things that have not been tested for humans and are very toxic!
I don’t mean to scare you into trying this recipe. You just deserve to know what you’re putting on your skin when you’re already sick as it is. It’s truly life-changing when you figure out what you’re actually putting on your body, and it’s so empowering to find ways around it! Just start small and work your way up.
My First Reaction to this DIY Vapor Rub
I was so proud of myself for making this DIY Vapor rub in under 15 minutes when I was feeling like I got hit by a truck. I was lucky to have everything on hand already and just enough almond oil to make it. It took little to no brain power to make, which was great because I didn’t have any to spare at the time.
When I got sick as a kid, we never actually had Vicks Vapor rub in the house. Instead, we had Mentholatum, which I still have vivid memories of smelling and nearly getting knocked over from that overpowering menthol smell. But I sucked it up and actually applied it below my nose to help keep it moisturized.
Looking back, I’m sure that I was borderline overdosing on menthol fumes alone when I got sick. And now I’m happy to say that I’ve found something much better. The smell of my DIY Vapor rub is pleasant and not overpowering at all! Which came as a shock, considering how much essential oils I put in there.
But my favorite part of this DIY Vapor rub isn’t the smell, but the amazing moisturizing power! The almond oil is absolutely perfect for this. I only need to put this on my nose once, and I’m good for at least half the day. And what’s more, it actually healed my dry, cracked nose! The stuff that I used before only provided temporary relief and moisture, but that actually healed my skin! I only needed to apply this stuff for a full day before my nose was back to normal.
Final Thoughts on Natural Cold and Flu Treatments
I’ve only recently started to dabble in natural cold and flu treatments, and I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised! My colds are much shorter now, and the relief comes just the same as before, if not better. There are hidden chemicals in just about everything, and most of them are doing nothing good for your health. It’s just a matter of slowly learning and replacing the bad with the good.
This DIY Vapor rub greatly exceeded my expectations in just about every area, from the creation process to the actual execution. My nose gets very dry and cracked from constant blowing and wiping, and it’s no fun to be sick with a nose that feels like it’s on fire. But this stuff came to the rescue and greatly improved my quality of life while I was sick recently. My nose was healed in less than a day thanks to the moisturizing almond oil!
I highly recommend you think ahead and make this now so you’re ready for your next cold. Or it could make a great gift for someone who’s going through a hard time with a cold. You could turn it into a whole gift basket with this natural Vapor rub, some tea, elderberries, and some tissues. How cute would that be?
Would you make your own Vapor rub now that you know how bad traditional Vapor rub is? Let me know in the comments below!
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