Lip balm has got to be the easiest home made cosmetic possible. I think it’s my favourite and the most fun. There are so many variations you can play with and enjoy. It’s just a pity it takes so long to get through a batch!
The basic recipe is:
1 part beeswax
1 part coconut oil
1 part almond oil
1% essential oil of choice (optional)
The beeswax needs to be melted in a double-boiler, crockpot or a pyrex jug in a pan of water on the stove. Then mix in your oils. Add the essential oils when the mixture has cooled a bit.
Poor the mixture into lip balm containers or twist up sticks. Then leave the lip balm to harden.
If using twist-up sticks
You can purchase twist-up sticks here or use old ones that you’ve collected. A standard stick needs 5ml of mixture (just so you know how much mixture to make, no need to measure into the sticks). If pouring into a number of sticks, it is easier to pour if the sticks are tied together in a bunch with an elastic band. Be warned that the mixture will start to harden when separated into small quantities (I.e. in a syringe or pipette) so it’s best to pour straight out of a jug. It gets easier with practice.
If making just for yourself you can store left over mixture in a larger glass jar. You can heat the mixture and pour it into your stick when you need some more.
If using jars
When using jars you might prefer a softer texture so I suggest halving the beeswax quantity.
Some examples of essential oils you could use are peppermint, cinnamon, grapefruit or lemongrass. 20 drops of essential oil is approximately 1ml.
Care must be taken with essential oils. Citrus essential oils are photo sensitising (could cause your skin to burn in the sun). Extra care should be taken if the lip balm is for children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women (peppermint can reduce supply). Here are some links to information on essential oil safety: Hippy Homemaker, Belly Belly and Mommypotomus.
The fun part comes in replacing these oils with a variety of other choices. Mango butter anyone? Cocoa butter? You can get beeswax which hasn’t been refined and still smells of honey. You can try a little honey in it. You can infuse your oil with ginger or chamomile or mint before making it up.
There are many different oils that can be used including olive oil, grape seed oil and apricot kernel oil. But did you know that such a thing as strawberry seed oil exists? Unfortunately not in Australia but you can get blackberry seed oil and red raspberry seed oil instead which have a yummy berry smell and are completely natural. What I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as strawberry essential oil or apple essential oil, so the strawberry/apple-scented whatever’s you bought the other day are completely synthetic along with most of the scents used in cosmetics.
My next batch will definitely have red raspberry oil in it. Not just because I love the smell but because one study found that red raspberry oil provides a UV protection of 28-50!! I’m not going to rely on this for sun protection but it can’t hurt to super-add my lip balm.