You know how cravings can strike out of nowhere... Well earlier this week I had one of those cravings but instead of food it was for a specific flavor of lip balm, all of a sudden I just HAD to have a creamsicle flavored lip balm. So I was promptly off and rummaging through my collection of natural skincare ingredients. Shortly after, my double boiler was set up and my kitchen counter cluttered with bottles of oil and tubs of butter. I tested several formulations, there are three factors I examine when formulating a lip balm:
- Texture; I prefer a firmer texture, I'm not a fan of soft, slippery, extra glossy balms.
- Function; I'm not looking for a superficial lip gloss here, a balm needs to perform well. It should protect delicate lips from harsh environmental elements and have the ability to assist in healing dry, peeling or cracked lips. Ideally, it should also contain nourishing ingredients that can help smooth lip lines overtime.
- Ok this one is a little superficial but... it has to smell good! When it comes to body care, I'm such a foodie! Sounds weird? Maybe but it's true... I love bathing, slathering and smothering my body in decadent dessert flavored/scented body products.
So there's the breakdown of my lip balm theories and ideals, now let's get down to the science of making this decadent lip treat.
DIY Lip Balm (Vanilla Creamsicle) RecipeIngredients:
1 Tbsp Beeswax
1 Tbsp Cocoa Butter
1/2 Tbsp Shea Butter
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I used Monoi brand infused with vanilla)
1/2 Tbsp Kukui Nut Oil
1 Pump Vitamin E Oil
Thin Slice of Lipstick (in color of your choice, bright shades work best)
4 Drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil (I use 6 but don't overdo it if you're not use to essential oils)
- Want a vegan lip balm? Substitute the beeswax for one of these vegan-friendly waxes: Candelillia, Carnauba or Palm wax.
- For a softer balm add an extra tablespoon of a carrier oil of your choice.
- Don't have the oils I used? No worries! There are plenty of other nourishing carrier oils that are perfect for lip balms! Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, argan oil, just to name a few but if you want more options check out my post on carrier oils here.
- Too many ingredients for your budget? Experiment with just the butter as a natural lip moisturizer.
- Want to keep it all natural? Skip the lipstick and try a pinch of beet powder for a natural tint of pink. (Just don't use too much, unless you want a lip stain!)
- No refrigeration required, the wax keeps the balm nice and solid in most conditions. Though I wouldn't recommend leaving it in a hot car all day, even wax has it's melting point.
- How long will it last? Up to 1 year with a natural preservative such as vitamin e. But keep in mind if you're using a pot (rather than tube) you want to keep it clean and hygienic. I like to use a cotton swab or utensil to scoop out a bit rather than my finger. If you do use you finger, at least make sure your hands are squeaky clean before dipping in. The last thing you want is your luscious lip balm turning into a petri dish of bacteria. (Gross!!) Now these will last a long time but as a balm-aholic I typically go through mine in about 3 months.
- Aren't citrus oils phototoxic? Not all are phototoxic, but they tend to be all grouped together as phototoxic most likely as a safety precaution to avoid confusion. However, I prefer the scientific approach to essential oils, an excellent book is Robert Tisserand's and Tony Balacs' "Essential Oil Safety" they have conducted scientific tests on essential oil phototoxicity. They state that expressed bitter orange essential oil (Citrus aurantium) is phototoxic, while expressed sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is not phototoxic. But again, if you are ever uncomfortable with an ingredient I use in any recipe, just don't use it, there are always plenty of other options.
- Sensitivities/Allergies: As with any product, store bought or homemade, if you experience any kind of irritation or sensitivity, discontinue use immediately! If you have any sensitivity to citrus oils or essential oils, skip the sweet orange oil. The balm will still be delicious with or without adding a scent/flavor.
- No recipe is set in stone, have fun with it and make it your own!
In a double boiler, bring water to a simmer (not boiling), place wax in the heat safe dish and melt, being careful to avoid getting any water into the dish. Next add butters, then your oils. Remove from heat, add vitamin E, lipstick if you want a tint of color and finish with your essential oils or flavoring. Pour into lip balm tins, pots or tubes and that's it... let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy your homemade natural lip balm!
Step-by-step instruction video
Where I buy my ingredients:
Beeswax from a local bee keeper. (You can buy it on Etsy too).
Vitacost for oils and butters,
Get $10 OFF your first order here: Vitacost
Sign up and pass on the savings to friends and family. Vitacost prices beat paying retail any day!
Another great source for ingredients is Mountain Rose Herbs
Lip Balm Heart Tins I purchased on Etsy from MiniFood
Enjoy and happy lip balm making!!