First, I would like to be honest…I am OBSESSED with lip balm. I have quite a number of them strewn about my apartment. There is one in all of my handbags, and I collect at least 5 of them from various pockets on laundry day.
Everyone asks me if it is difficult to make lip balm, and the answer is no. You can make a lip balm with just three ingredients! Making a lip balm that feels nice on the lips, goes on smoothly, etc. can take a bit of work. My formula took about 2 years and many, many trials before I was happy with it.
If you love lip balms like I do, then I am happy to help you get started!
The basic formula for a lip balm is 1/3 hard oils (oils/butters that remain solid at room temperature.) 1/3 soft oils (oils that remain liquid at room temperature) and 1/3 wax.
Hard Oils: Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Kokum butter, Mowrah butter, palm oil.
Soft Oils: Olive oil, Canola oil, Almond oil, Avocado oil, Grapeseed oil.
Waxes: Beeswax, Soy wax, Candelilla wax, Carnauba wax.
Creating a recipe by properly weighing your ingredients can avoid a lot of confusion down the road. A tablespoon of olive oil will not weigh the same as a tablespoon of beeswax, so weighing ingredients as you add them will help create an accurate recipe. This will help when making changes and taking notes. You can find basic kitchen scales at your local hardware store, supermarket, etc.
So, you will need your soft oil, hard oil, wax, a small saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip,) a scale, pipettes, lip balm tubes, rubber bands, a clean plastic container w/a lid, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and flavor oil (optional.)
Let’s start with 1oz olive oil, 1oz cocoa butter, 1 oz beeswax…
In the saucepan, melt all three ingredients on the stove over low heat. Mix well (I like to use popsicle sticks to stir,) remove the pan from heat and leave it to harden up. You can place the pan in the fridge to speed things up. Once it hardens up, scoop a bit off with a toothpick and try it out. If you want to add more olive oil, melt everything again on the stove, mix in (and take notes!) a bit more olive oil (maybe 1/2oz,) wait for the mixture to harden up, and try it again. It may take a few trials, but once you get the consistency that you are happy with, then you are ready to pour the balm into tubes.
Pour the mixture into the plastic container, leaving 1oz in the pan. Set the plastic container to the side. Lip balm mix can harden pretty quickly, so if you need to, place the saucepan back on the stove and melt again. Keep a close watch on the pan to prevent any scorching! Once melted, remove the pan again, wait a few minutes, then and add any flavor oils. If you are adding flavor, using your pipette, measure out 1/2ml and add to the 1oz mix in the pan.
1oz of lip balm mixture will fill 6 standard lip balm tubes. Take the 6 tubes, and gather them together with a rubber band. This will keep them steady and upright, making it easy to pour the ingredients in the tube. Slow and steady wins the race! Take your time and carefully pour the mix into the tubes. Don’t try to move the tubes, and leave them to harden up. Later on, you can clean up any spills with rubbing alcohol and paper towels. If the mix hardens up before you finish pouring all six tubes, just put the pan back on the stove, melt again, and continue.
The most important thing is to keep track of how much additional oils/wax you used. Let’s say you added an additional 1/2oz olive oil and 1/4oz cocoa butter. Now you know that your final formula would be 1.5oz olive oil, 1.25oz cocoa butter, and 1oz beeswax.
Of course, you still have more lip balm mix in the container, this will be the final lip balm base. Place the lid on the container, and store in your craft cabinet. When you are ready to make more balms, just scoop out 1oz, melt in the saucepan, add your flavor oil, and pour your balms…that’s it!
You can label the tubes with a permanent marker, or print a label on paper, cut to size, and attach it to the tubes using clear packing tape.
You can pick up some ingredients from the supermarket or health food store. Or, here is a site with just about everything you need to get started: From Nature With Love
You can make your balm with many different ingredient combinations, so have fun and experiment. Just make sure you keep proper notes, so if you come up with a winner, you will be able to make it again. You can use a combination of oils too, so let’s say you want your 1/3 liquid oils to include grapeseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and almond oil? Instead of using 1oz olive oil, you can start with 1/4oz of each. The possibilities are endless, so enjoy making your lip balms!