I’m a self-confessed lip balm junkie, so what business I have making the stuff when I have more than I can use already, I don’t know. Excess isn’t green. But I figure that my predilection for lotions and potions is a fairly minor eco-sin in the greater scheme of things, and it’s good to know how to make the things I use.
If you look through a bunch of lip balm recipes, you might be a little intimidated by the apparent precision necessary. Don’t be. It’s not an exact science, and it’s hard to go seriously wrong. Lisa at Style Essentials was kind enough to send her [ridiculously simple] lavender lip balm recipe my way. It called for just three ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, and essential oil. (No preservatives are necessary, though you can add a drop or two of vitamin E if you’re concerned.)
Of course I improvised, keeping the basic ratio (2 parts solid to 4 parts oil) the same. I ended up using approximately 1 part plant butter to 1 part beeswax to 2 parts oil, and I’m quite happy with the consistency (smooth, not too soft, but reasonably melty). You can probably use any good quality, skin safe oil (safflower, jojoba, avocado, almond, etc.) and plant butter (shea, cocoa, mango) combination and achieve decent results. The honey seller at the farmers’ market sells beeswax for $1 for a one ounce stick, making this a pretty inexpensive DIY project. A food scale would probably be helpful, but I managed without one.
For containers, I cleaned and reused small plastic sample jars and metal tins I had lying around. Do not boil (even briefly!) the clear ones that mineral makeup samples come in — the lids will warp. Yes, I found this out the hard way.
These are the exact formulas I tried this time. Endless variations with different butters, oils, and scents are possible. Have fun!
Lip Balm Recipe #1: Creamsicle
2 TB meadowfoam oil
1/8 oz beeswax (not having a food scale, I cut up a 1 oz bar into eighths)
1/8 oz mango butter (crumbly, so it came to about 1 loosely packed teaspoon)
5 drops organic orange (or tangerine or mandarin) essential oil
3 drops vanilla absolute
Place oil, beeswax, and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until completely melted. Turn off heat, allow mixture to cool slightly (5 minutes or so? just to decrease evaporation of the essential oils), and stir in essential oils. The vanilla absolute will have to be whisked in fairly briskly because it is not oil soluble. Use a plastic dropper or spoon to put the melted solution into desired containers. Let cool before capping. Yields about 4 small 1″ diameter jars.
Notes: the meadowfoam oil feels quite slippery. Consistency is slightly softer than recipe #2.
Lip Balm Recipe #2: Lavender Vanilla
1 TB sweet almond oil
1 TB kukui nut oil
1/8 oz beeswax
1/8 oz mango butter
6 drops organic lavender essential oil
2 drops vanilla absolute
Same instructions as above. I’m not as happy with the lavender/vanilla scent combo and am not sure I would try it again (lavender mint might be more interesting). The kukui nut oil has a slight but noticeable scent.
You know how lip balm takes a long time to use up? Even though these were pretty small batches, it would take me a long time to use this much lip balm on my own, so I’d like to offer creamsicle lip balms to two of my subscribers. (If you really want a lavender one, you can choose that one instead.) Sorry, but due to the beeswax, they are not vegan.
How to enter: be an RSS or email subscriber and leave me a comment telling me how you subscribe. That’s it. Dead easy.
The giveaway ends next Friday, June 3rd, or thereabouts. Winners will be chosen randomly.