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A DIY vapor rub to help soothe winter coughs and colds

(Photo: Indie Lee)

It’s sort of inevitable this time of year—a winter cold strikes your BFF, or that person next to you in barre class, and boom, you’re stuck with a runny nose and itchy throat. So why not brave the season prepared?

Natural beauty pioneer Indie Lee created this DIY cold remedy that’s a lot healthier than the salves commonly sold in drugstores.

“Many of the vapor rubs on the market today have petroleum as an ingredient, which should be avoided because although it’s good for locking in moisture, this unnatural ingredient forms a seal over the skin so pores can’t eliminate dirt and toxins,” says Lee. It’s also on the dirty dozen list of ingredients to avoid in beauty products.

Her recipe swaps out petroleum for coconut oil instead, and mixes in active essential oils like peppermint and niaouli, which is used in aromatherapy because of its excellent antiseptic and stimulating qualities, explains Lee. “[The balm] will help provide relief from pain, reduce chest spasms, suppress cough, and stimulate the immune system,” she says.

Not to mention, it’s going to make you smell minty fresh while its working its healing magic. —Molly Gallagher

Indie Lee’s Homemade Bad Cold Balm

DIY Vapor Rub_Indie_Lee_Cold_Balm
Your very own vapor rub. (Photo: Indie Lee)

1/2 cup of coconut oil
2 Tbsp of beeswax pastilles
20 drops of tea tree oil
15 drops of eucalyptus oil
10 drops of peppermint oil
10 drops of lemon essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of niaouli essential oil

1. Melt the beeswax pastilles in a double boiler.
2. Once the beeswax has melted, add in the coconut oil, and essential oils, and stir until the mixture becomes clear.
3. Pour mixture into a 4 oz. glass jar.
4. Let the mixture cool completely (1–2 hours) before applying.

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