Updated: Jan 21
Lip balms are a must in our household. We have tried them all and a well known store bought brand used to be my favorite, you know...the one with the red and yellow packaging. Until I discovered that I had to use it continuously to keep moist, soft and un-chapped lips.
As you all know by now, I love making all natural products for my family and chap stick was no exception. It was only natural (get it?), that I try my hand at making natural lip balms. So I started my journey where most diy'ers do, Pinterest. Yep, that's right. A ton of my research is done between Pinterest and Youtube, books too but I love to find a simple and basic recipe and tweak it to my own preferences and make it my own and both platforms are a great place to start if you're new to this.
While swiping late at night I ran across a simple recipe that involved honey and cinnamon. I loved the idea of honey but wasn't sure how the grainy cinnamon would feel sliding across my lips. I do use cinnamon in my cold process soaps and while it adds a lovely reddish-brown hue, I know it wouldn't bode over well with my family, they tend to be a bit picky. That's perfectly fine with me, at least I know what they do and don't like and it helps me narrow ingredients down.
I quickly captured a screen shot of the recipe on my phone and the next day took inventory of what I already had on hand. I had most of the ingredients from making soaps, body butters and salves already on hand, all I needed were the containers and flavoring to bring my creation to life (inserts Dr. Frankenstein laugh here), okay so this wasn't the hardest recipe I have ever attempted but I like to think of all my creations as my little monsters.
That morning I patiently waited until 9am to make a quick run to our local crafting supply chain store. They had everything I needed for a small test batch. I snatched the lip balm tubes, filling tray and spatula thingy. They had a base but remember I make all natural products so I skipped the premade tub of base and headed to the next store for flavoring. The recipe I was inspired to make used honey and cinnamon but I wanted to have more options so I visited the baker's aisle and quickly found the tiny bottles of flavoring, made by LorAnn Oils. The night before I did some searching for what seemed to be an eternity and I found that she had pretty decent reviews and decided to chance it with her stuff. You can find some of her oils here. She has a decent variety of flavors and they tend to blend well with my natural oils.
Now, at home, I gathered all my supplies and headed to the kitchen, the room I spend most of my time in. I decided for the first batch I would use the microwave method to melt my oils and see how it goes, after all, it was a small batch of 12 I was making and didn't want to bring out the double boiler for such a small amount. Like always, I gathered my materials and arranged them so that when I had the oils melted and ready to pour I wouldn't waste any time arranging the lip balm tubes. I have learned that wax and oils set up pretty quick and I didn't want clumpy lip balms.
The filling tray I got, like this one, was a little tough to maneuver. The tubes kept slipping out each time I inserted the next and I had to do a little magic trick to get them to all stay under the tray, kind of like pulling the table cloth from under the dishes. After a few minutes of fumbling around, I finally got it. From that point I poured my ingredients into my 8 oz. glass Pyrex measuring cup and heated up everything in 30 second increments, so as not to burn anything. It took about2-3 minutes to get everything nice and melted. I saved the flavoring for last as I didn't want to lose the potency of the flavor in the microwave. Not sure if that would even happen but hey, I figured what the heck and it couldn't hurt.
Beeswax (yellow or white) - 20 mL or approx. 4 tsp
Shea butter (white or yellow) - 15 mL or approx. 3 tsp
Coconut oil virgin - 10 mL or approx. 2 tsp
Sweet Almond Oil - 10 mL or approx. 2 tsp
Flavor oil - 11.1 mL or 3 bottles of 0.125 fl. oz.
Makes approx. 12 0.15 oz. lip balm tubes
I removed the hot oil filled glass cup carefully with oven mitts as the glass was hot and I certainly recommend doing this so that you don't risk scalding your hands. Once on the counter I opened my little bottles of flavoring, and I mean little, and poured it right in. It popped and fizzled a little, I suppose from the alcohol content in the flavoring. Once that little fireworks show was over I stirred it up with a little wooden popsicle stick and began pouring.
Now this part is easy but hard for someone like me with ADHD. It requires the focus of a Jedi Master for about 10 seconds per tube. I know it sounds easy but you would be surprised how many thoughts run through my mind in that 10 seconds. I had to clean up a few spills in the end and I used a shop paper towel and rubbing alcohol. I find that that combo works wonders in cleaning up greasy or oily spills, especially if beeswax is involved.
Once the tubes were filled, it took all of 5 minutes for the liquid oil to set up and harden and the tubes were ready to cap and distribute to my family for their final approval. I saved the clean up task for after the oils had hardened, otherwise I would have just made a bigger mess. And that was it, my all natural lip balms were ready to go. I laid down wax paper onto my workspace beforehand which made clean up sooo much easier and I highly recommend doing that before making anything with oils and wax, as it can be pretty tough to clean up and you don't want to ruin your kitchen counters.
My family loved the lip balms and we decided it was worthy of adding them to our store. They have been a big hit with our customers and I love getting creative with the flavors, like Banana Pudding, Strawberry Lemonade and I plan on making a few more like Butter Rum. After making a few batches with the craft store filling tray I decided 12 at a time wasn't enough and it was a pain in the you know what trying to get them to stand up in the tray so I did some digging around and found this, and while it is a test tube tray, it has been a game changer and I can make up to 50 tubes at once. I purchased and designed lip balm labels from this site. They are a great site to find unique labels and allows you to edit them.
Making all natural lip balm is one of the easiest recipes I have tried and if you're curious and want to try your hand I would say start small and get some small batch supplies at your local craft store and start from there. You can use a variety of different oils like coconut, coco butter, avocado, grapeseed. Beeswax is the ingredient that is going to bind all the oils together and harden them into the firm balm so don't skip that ingredient!