DIY Easy Lip Balm Recipe
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Update: This post was published before the mission at Late Summer Mama became dedicated to going zero waste. These pictures will be updated to reflect this philosophy as soon as possible. Please use tins instead of plastic tubes whenever possible. For more information on plastic pollution visit the plastic pollution coalition.
Have you ever made your own lip balm before?
If you haven’t, like many other homemade skincare products, you’re missing out. Nothing compares to it especially when you can customize a natural lip balm recipe to your own preferences. One of my favorite cosmetics to make is lip balm and it makes for a wonderful and cheap gift. Almost anyone can use it and I always receive an immense amount of praise and gratitude for them.
The best part of all? It’s very easy to produce. So to get you started into this wonderful world of homemade cosmetics, I’m excited to share with you my DIY easy lip balm recipe.
It’s better than chapstick or other cheap store-bought lip balms with a whole host of parabens, paraffin (which is petroleum by the way), and other synthetic dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. And it’s a lot cheaper than buying all natural lip balms like Burt’s Bees and just as good.
It’s just three ingredients (beeswax, mango butter, and coconut oil) and a few essential oils for extra benefits and fragrance. All you need to make this is a double boiler, tins or lip balm tubes (if using tubes, get a lip balm tube tray), and a match (I’ll explain later). That’s it!
How to Work With Beeswax
If you followed my last post on how to make body butter, you will be familiar already with the steps involved. It’s a very similar process: you melt your wax, butter, and oil in the double boiler; mix all the ingredients together; add your essential oils; and pour it into the tins or tubes. It’s that easy!
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will make the whole process much easier when making this lip balm. As I stated before, this is a beeswax lip balm recipe. And beeswax can be a bit of a pain to work with at the beginning.
Beeswax is such a good element to use in lip balm. It gives the balm staying power and acts as a protective layer to hold moisture in and reduce dryness. But unlike petroleum-based products, beeswax won’t suffocate the skin and it has some vitamin A which will exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin (or lips in this case). It’s no wonder that beeswax is a favorite ingredient in many natural lip balms.
But beeswax takes a little getting used to as it doesn’t quite act like butters and oils when melted.
For one thing, beeswax doesn’t hold heat very well and even transferring hot beeswax to a container at room temperature will cause it to solidify a bit on contact. This is why hot beeswax will instantly coat your finger if you touch it. This can be very annoying if you are trying to mix it as it will give you little pieces of chunky beeswax floating around. The best solution I’ve found to this is to transfer it to either a warm glass or metal container with a pour spout or use that container for melting it.
For example, I have a metal universal double boiler that I used to melt all my ingredients in one pan. I keep a smaller separate saucepan with water on the neighboring burner at a medium heat with a glass jar.
I melt my butter and oil first and pour the amount I need into the jar. Then I melt my beeswax in the double boiler and transfer the amount I need to the same jar.
Since the jar and oils are already warm, you shouldn’t get any solid pieces. But if you do, just turn up the heat a bit and it should melt those pieces down in no time.
Then I transfer everything in the jar back to my double boiler for easy pouring. If you have a glass measuring cup, you can skip putting it back into the double boiler and pour using that instead.
With all this transferring, be careful to avoid getting water in the mixture. I usually keep a kitchen towel handy and wipe the bottom of the boiler and jar before I pour every time.
Also, use metal measuring spoons for the same reason. Once you put the spoon in the beeswax, it will instantly coat the spoon. I usually just leave it in there until it reaches equilibrium with the wax and then take out the amount I need. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.
Another quality about beeswax worth mentioning is it expands when in liquid form and shrinks when solid.
What does that mean for you?
When you are pouring it into the tubes or tins, it will shrink just a bit when it sets. So expect to have to add a tiny bit more lip balm to fill out the container at the end. And don’t worry about it if the top looks uneven or messy. I’ll address an easy fix for that later.
The last trick I want to mention about beeswax is the cleanup. Any tool or container you use with beeswax cannot be rinsed with soap and water. Instead, you’ll just instantly coat it with wax and that will be difficult to remove (speaking from personal experience). The easiest way I’ve found to clean off beeswax is to wipe it off with a paper towel. It’s a bit wasteful but it works.
Second to that, use boiling water to melt the wax. But don’t pour it down your drain! I just pour it outside on a patch of dirt with no plants or insects.
This is a lot of information but don’t let this intimidate you. Beeswax isn’t difficult to work with once you understand these things about it.
How to Make Homemade Lip Balm
There are a few other things I want to mention when making your very own lip balm. Whether you are making this easy lip balm recipe or going for something more complex, there are some little tricks that I’ve picked up over the years that will make the process much easier.
When you are testing out a new recipe, there’s a simple way to check to see if the finished product is the consistency that you want without pouring the whole batch into the tubes or tins first.
Take a metal spoon and place it in the freezer before you start. Once you have everything mixed, take this spoon and dip the edge into the mix. It will instantly harden and you can see and feel what your lip balm will be and adjust the ratio if it’s not quite right. It’s a real money and time saver!
Unless you plan to measure your ingredients by weight (which I do highly recommend), there is a good chance you will have leftover melted oils at the end you did not use. You could waste a serious amount of time trying to find places to house them while they cool or waste a bunch of money by throwing them away. You will also probably want to keep them separate from the others so they remain pure.
You can use some glass jars or other heat-resistant container but that will be problematic when you want to transfer back to their original containers especially in the case of the beeswax. I like to keep a silicone ice cube tray or candy mold handy for storing my leftover wax, butter, and oil. You just pour what you don’t use into the mold and let it set in there. Once it’s solidified, it pops right out and is ready for storage. Of course, if you are using another oil that stays a liquid at room temperature, just use a jar to let it cool before pouring back into its original bottle.
Essential oils are a great natural alternative to synthetic fragrances but make sure that the essential oils you are using are safe for lip products. I usually tend to stick to culinary herbs like peppermint or cinnamon. But even with those, make sure your brand is safe to eat and not phototoxic.
The other thing to be careful about is how much you use. The suggested usage rate is between 1-3% of the total weight or 1-2 drops per tablespoon of lip balm. Naturally, this will need adjustment depending on which essential oil is used, it’s potency, and your sensitivity. I usually err on the side of less starting out. You can always add more but you can’t take away.
Another alternative to essential oils if you have the time is to infuse your oil. For the lip balm I made in these pictures, I infused my coconut oil with vanilla beans. Not only does it smell great but it is completely safe to eat.
The other thing of note worth mentioning is the presentation of the finished tube or tin. No matter how good your pour is, inevitably there is going to be some tubes or tins that come out looking less than perfect and smooth on top. An easy fix for this is to take a flame and melt the top down. It will re-set looking much better after.
I think that covers it all! Let’s get started!
DIY Easy Lip Balm Recipe
- 3 tbsp. beeswax
- 2 tbsp. mango butter
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 5 drops carrot seed oil (optional)
- 7-14 drops essential oil (optional)
- 1-3 drops vitamin E (optional)
In a double boiler, melt your mango butter, coconut oil, and beeswax.
While the oils and wax are melting. Place your tins on a baking tray or set up you lip tubes in the lip balm tube tray.
Once the butter, oil, and wax have melted, remove from heat. Add the carrot seed oil, essential oil, and vitamin E if desired.
Carefully pour the lip balm into the tins or tubes. And immediately transfer them into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to set. If needed, top off once more and let set.
With your match, melt the tops of any tins or tubes that are uneven or messy looking. Then cap all finished tins or tubes.
These will last up to a year (or longer if you use vitamin E).
This recipe makes 3.5 fluid ounces of lip balm which makes about 18 tubes or 7 tins (0.5 oz.).
This recipe will make a lip balm in a consistency similar to Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm. If you want a thinner spreading lip balm, reduce the beeswax down to 2 tablespoons.
If you make an infused oil, omit the essential oil.
You can use cocoa or shea butter instead of mango butter at the same ratio if desired.
I really hope you like this easy lip balm recipe! It’s customizable so you can make your perfect lip balm at a fraction of the cost it would be to buy. Plus, once you’re hooked on a homemade lip balm, this will open up a new host of other lip products you could make. You could try tinting your lip balm, make a lip shimmer, or even lipstick. Oh, the possibilities…
Plus, this lip balm would make a perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays (you’ve still got some time!). But even after Christmas, this lip balm makes a great gift for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and anniversaries. Just get ready to receive a ton of compliments!
Also, if you are interested in making other skincare products, I have a homemade whipped body butter recipe that might be what you are looking for.
So what kind of lip balm would you like make? Or what is your favorite recipe?
I would love to hear from you!
Likewise, if you have any questions about this recipe, please leave me a comment below and I’ll gladly get back to you.