Lip balm is a really easy MAKE-IT-YOURSELF project. A simple mixture of waxes, oils and other additives, balms soothe, hydrate and protect lips. I like to make my own, and flavor them with essential oils. I make them as gifts for my family and friends. You can put them in tubes, pots, or tins. My favorite containers are little pots. I buy them from Essential Supplies, but I have listed a few other places to buy containers at the bottom of the page, under resources.
To get started, collect all of your
supplies and have them ready to use.
- beeswax or other wax
- oil: Almond, Olive, Castor, Primrose or any combination of these
- essential oils
- additives: Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, etc...
- sauce pan
- glass measuring cup with pouring spout
- spoons or spatulas
- lip balm tube holder -optional, but nice to have for filling many tubes
- lip balm tubes, jars, pots, tins, or whatever you are using as a container
- shrink bands for sealing containers if you will be selling your lip balms
- newspaper to cover your work surfaces
- paper towels for cleaning up
Set up all the supplies you'll need on a countertop covered in newspaper. You'll be glad you did this because lip balm can be hard to clean up if you make a mess. I would recommend working in the kitchen as close to the stove as possible. Be sure you have all your supplies ready, including the containers you'll be pouring into. Once the mixture is melted, you'll need to work quickly, so the mixture doesn't harden before it has been poured.
- Almond oil is a nice oil to use.
- Castor Oil will make your balm glossy.
- Stay away from hydrogenated oils because they are unhealthy.
- Vitamin E Acetate is an antioxidant natural preservative, and extends the shelf life of your product. Make sure to use it in every recipe. I use vitamin E oil that comes in gelatin capsules. They are easy to puncture and squeeze into the mixture.
- If you prefer a sweet lip balm, add some honey.
- If you like tinted lip balm, add some of your favorite lipstick to the mixture. If you want to experiment with making your own colors you can purchase Iron Oxide, Mica Powder, or D&C colors to add to the mixture. Mica Powders will add a shimmer to you final product.
- Avoid artificial flavors. There are many natural essential oils that can be used which will increase your lip balm's healing potential.
Choosing Essential Oils:
Use one, or a combination of any of these can be nice as well.
- Tea Tree is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities.
- Lavender is soothing and healing for chapped, dry lips.
- Rosemary is invigorating and antiseptic.
- Peppermint and Spearmint are cooling.
- Sage is very healing and beneficial for chapped lips.
- Cinnamon is warming and very antiseptic
- Ginger is sweet, spicy and warming.
Fill the saucepan partially, about a 1/3 of the way, with water. Turn burner on medium, and place glass measuring cup in the water. Add wax, oil, and other additives (vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter) from any of the suppliers below. Follow this guideline: 2 parts wax to 4 parts oil, or you can play around to try to find a consistency and combination that you find most pleasing. A mixture containing more oils makes a glossier lip balm, while a mixture containing more wax and butters creates a more matte lip balm. Stir continuously until it is melted and well mixed together.
Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add a few drops of essential oil to the melted base. It is important that you add your essential oil after you melt the base. If you add the flavor before you melt the base, it will lose its potency in the heating process.
Using the very same measuring cup that you melted the base in, pour your mixed and melted concoction into your containers. If you're using tubes, fill only to the top of the inside screw. Once the mixture has cooled, finish filling the tube. Pour almost all the way to the top, for a rounded look. This process avoids the risk of cracking that can occur when filling the tube all at once. If you're using jars or tins, just pour all the way to the top in one pour.
You can make labels, either on your computer or hand drawn. If you're planning on selling your lip balm, there are some FDA guidelines that you need to keep in mind when creating the labeling and packaging. You can find the FDA's Cosmetics Labeling Guide here: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-lab3.html#clgk. Have fun!
A great source for Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.
Mabel White Home Living Corp.
This company has an extensive selection of everything you need, including shrink bands to seal tubes and jars, plus instructional videos.
Majestic Mountain Sage
They carry vegan base and the tube holder here. They also have a nice stock of lip balm supplies.
This blog has good illustrated step-by-step instructions for making lip balm that features the double-boiler method of melting the base.
The Chemistry Store
They sell lip balm tubes, and all the other basic and special lip balm making supplies.
They carry many different container options for lip balms.
Lip Balm Supplies Dot Com
This store has many different options for making lip balms, as well as container options.