Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 pots (15 ml each)
Lip balms are fun and easy to make. You only need a few ingredients: a liquid vegetable oil, such as sunflower oil or sweet almond oil; a vegetable butter, like shea butter or cocoa butter; and a wax, which is usually beeswax or candelilla wax for a vegan option. Those are the key ingredients to make a soothing, conditioning balm for your lips. You can leave it unflavoured, or you can add flavour using lip-safe flavour oils or essential oils. If you wish, you can even sweeten your balm with a few drops of stevia. And if you want to add a bit of colour to your lips, you can use lip-safe micas or colourants. Don’t use food colouring!
Here is a quick and easy recipe that I that I often use as my base. It uses 1 part beeswax, 2 parts butter and 3 parts oil. It’s an easy formula to remember: 1, 2, 3!
ONE: Add the oil and beeswax into a heat proof glass jug, such as Pyrex (available at your supermarket, Briscoes or the Warehouse), and melt it on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Depending on the microwave, you might have to leave it in for longer or shorter to melt the beeswax. You can substitute the beeswax for candelilla wax if you want a vegan option, just remember to only use half the amount of candelilla wax. For this recipe, this would be 1/2 tablespoon candelilla wax.
TWO: Add the butter that you are using, I’m using cocoa butter here. If the butter isn’t melting completely, or if you notice the mixture starting to cool down and solidify, just pop it back into the microwave again for another 20 seconds.
THREE: Next stir in your flavour oil or essential oil of your choice. Make sure these oils are lip-safe! Not all fragrances are approved for use on lips! Check with the supplier if you are not sure. The most common essential oils that are safe for lips are: peppermint, spearmint, anise, sweet orange, rose, lavender, vanilla absolute, rosemary and tea tree.
Most citrus oils are considered photosensitising and should not be used in lip balms, especially here in New Zealand where the sun’s rays are stronger than in the Northern Hemisphere. There are exceptions, however, grapefruit and lemon essential oils can be used in very low doses (max 6 drops in one tablespoon of oil), and sweet orange essential oil is considered a safe oil and can be used in lip balm.
FOUR: Pour the mixture carefully into your lip balm pots and leave them to cool down and harden completely before putting the lids on. If you put on the lids while balms are still warm, you risk getting condensation on the inside of the lids.
Basic Lip Balm
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (i.e. olive oil, sunflower oil)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable butter (i.e. shea butter, cocoa butter)
- 1 tablespoon beeswax (or use 1/2 tablespoon candelilla wax for a vegan option)
- 2 ml lip-safe flavour oil or essential oil
- optional: 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of lip-safe mica or colourant
- 6 lip balm pots (15 ml)
- Add the oil and beeswax in a heat proof glass jug (i.e. Pyrex) and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Once the beeswax has melted, stir in the shea butter. If the mixture starts to solidify, pop it back into the microwave for another 20 seconds.
- Stir in your choice of flavour oil or essential oil. If you are planning on adding colour to your lip balm, add this as well and give it a good stir. Make sure your mixture is completely liquid before you pour it.
- Carefully pour the mixture in container and leave to harden and cool down completely before putting the lids on.
Where to get your ingredients from
- vegetable oils: supermarket
- butters: Pure Nature, Go Native
- beeswax / candelilla wax: Pure Nature, Go Native
- essential oils: Pure Nature
- flavour oils: Pure Nature
- pots: Arthur Holmes