Introduction: Make Your Own Lip Balm

Growing up in the desert, I became an early user and somewhat addicted to lip protection. I always had a tube of the stuff in my pocket.

One day, I realized that commercial lip balm was made of nasty petrochemicals and started looking for alternatives. There were a lot of pricey boutique brands and I tried a few, and then I found a product made by Chapstick, which was made with several exotic butters, like shea and aloe. These moisturized my lips while protecting them from the drying effects of wind and sun.

But, alas, all good things come to an end, and Chapstick stopped making them. The last ones are now available, but very pricey, up to $10 a tube.

So I decided I'd try to make my own.

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

As a beekeeper, I have plenty of beeswax, which I figured would make a nice base. I thought I'd start with a simple recipe, so I got some shea butter and coconut oil that was sitting on the counter in the kitchen. Both of these are solid at room temperature, so I thought they would make a nice combination, along with the beeswax base, so as to not melt too quickly in my pocket.

Step 2: The Fancy Filler Thingee

If I had thought ahead, I would have saved my spent tubes, washed them out, and used them. Instead, I found a handy little kit here. This kit has 24 tubes ready for filling, plus a holder and a little spatula, which I didn't need to use for this project. In all, the whole kit cost less than two of the nearly extinct tubes of Chapstick Naturals.

Step 3: Melt Everything Together

Before you start melting things, you'll want to make sure to load up the filler thingee. Once the mixture gets hot, it'll start to cool off quickly, and you'll want to make sure you have the filler ready to receive the glorious concoction.

Start by melting the beeswax. I used a makeshift double boiler consisting of a small pan of boiling water and a 1/2 cup metal measuring cup.

If you've never worked with beeswax, you'll want to know about the properties of this wonderful substance. Think of wax, and then think of honey. And then think of how that wax would be if it were as sticky and messy as honey is. And then think of the last time you spilled honey, except imagine if that honey wanted to stay where it landed. I hope you're getting the picture.

You'll want to make sure that you keep the beeswax where you want it, and not let it get all over your stove and counters. If you get messy at this point, you'll be spending more time cleaning up than you spent making your lip balm.

It's really not that bad, just be careful.

I ended up with about a third of a cup of beeswax, and so I added another third of a cup of shea butter and a third of a cup of coconut oil.

All that goes into a small pan over low heat until it's mixed, just a couple minutes.

Step 4: Pour Into the Tubes

Once everything is mixed, gently pour it into the tubes. Be careful; the mixture is pretty hot by now.

Let it cool while you clean up your mess.

Step 5: Take Them Apart and Enjoy!

Once they're cool, just break them from the filler thingee and put a cap on each one.

You'll notice that there's a little dimple in the center of each tube. This is caused by the fact that warm wax is less dense than cool wax. Candlemakers are familiar with this phenomenon, seeing the dimple form and the top cave in a bit. Not to worry, though; the first time you apply the concoction to your lips, you'll never see the dimple again!

Step 6: Lessons Learned and Future Plans

This is about the most simple natural recipe I could think of. Next time, I might add some mint, or other natural flavors depending on what sounds good. It would probably be best to add essential oils so everything mixes well.

This is a total of one cup of mixture, and it made 18 tubes. That's several years of personal use, so I'm sure I'll be giving some away. I would probably have been better off just making a smaller amount and experimenting a little bit.

Can you think of other additives that might be fun?

Comments

author
ShareekahN made it! (author)2015-03-29

it didnt work

author
barkingdogbraclets made it! (author)2015-03-10

das cool!

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hsnetby7 made it! (author)2015-02-28

I don't know why my original message repeated so many times. Sorry about that. I have been playing with some different recipes using "parts" to try to get a softer balm. I am almost there. True, any balm will melt in the car in summer, but they all pretty much melt, even the commercial ones. My latest one recipe is/was --

1 part each beeswax, jojoba oil and almond oil;

3/4 part coconut oil;

2 parts shea butter and

half a part sea buckthorn oil (just cause I had it handy)

It is pretty close to a nice texture that softens and stays for a while. Next time I plan to get some vitamin E and I wonder if I can get some kind of oatmeal oil or extract or something? My previous favorite balm had oatmeal in it, somehow.

author
hsnetby7 made it! (author)2015-02-15

Yet again, I found a favorite lip balm and they stopped making it. I bought the tubes noted here and a kit with ingredient. I used a similar recipe - beeswax, shea butter and almond oil, it's a little harder than I like it. I even doubled the amount of oil. What ingredient will make the balm creamier? And, how did you melt balm out of old tubes without making a huge mess? (Microwave? Double boiler thing?)

author
permie made it! (author)permie2015-02-15

As far as melting old stuff out of tubes, I didn't even bother. I tried one, and it never all came out. And then there's the problem with the little screw wearing out. Just not worth it. That's why I bought the new tubes along with the filler thingee.

For my latest batch, I used the oblong tubes. These are much better, as they allow you to sculpt the wax with your lips. Plus, they don't roll of the table. and they fit a little better in your pocket.

author
permie made it! (author)permie2015-02-15

There's a problem when using all-natural ingredients. You've really just got one hardness. So in the winter, it's pretty hard. But in the summer, if you leave the tube in the car, be prepared for a liquid mess when you take off the cap. The commercial tubes solve this problem by using all kinds of nasty chemicals to stabilize the mixture.

One solution is to make one recipe, with lots of butters, for the winter, and another recipe, with more beeswax, for the summer. Or, just keep a tube of the summer recipe in your pocket all winter.

For my latest mixture, I added a little bit of spearmint oil. That seems to have made it a little softer in the winter. We'll see what happens in the summer car!

author
hsnetby7 made it! (author)2015-02-15

Yet again, I found a favorite lip balm and they stopped making it. I bought the tubes noted here and a kit with ingredient. I used a similar recipe - beeswax, shea butter and almond oil, it's a little harder than I like it. I even doubled the amount of oil. What ingredient will make the balm creamier? And, how did you melt balm out of old tubes without making a huge mess? (Microwave? Double boiler thing?)

author
hsnetby7 made it! (author)2015-02-15

Yet again, I found a favorite lip balm and they stopped making it. I bought the tubes noted here and a kit with ingredient. I used a similar recipe - beeswax, shea butter and almond oil, it's a little harder than I like it. I even doubled the amount of oil. What ingredient will make the balm creamier? And, how did you melt balm out of old tubes without making a huge mess? (Microwave? Double boiler thing?)

author
hsnetby7 made it! (author)2015-02-15

Yet again, I found a favorite lip balm and they stopped making it. I bought the tubes noted here and a kit with ingredient. I used a similar recipe - beeswax, shea butter and almond oil, it's a little harder than I like it. I even doubled the amount of oil. What ingredient will make the balm creamier? And, how did you melt balm out of old tubes without making a huge mess? (Microwave? Double boiler thing?)

author
AJE2 made it! (author)2015-02-05

my custom mix i use is my old chapsticks, for color and base, jasmine, witch is common where i live, shea butter and old eos "eggs" i melt them togeather dry the jasmine and cruc it into a fine pouder and mix it togeather pour into the "egg" set in the freezer for 12 hours then use and enjoy

author
MissZindzi made it! (author)2015-01-31

I imagine that orange and vanilla would work, almost like Creamsicle flavor. Or for a more sophisticated Creamsicle flavor, you could do vanilla and blood orange.

author
JanetF1 made it! (author)2015-01-03

I live in West Africa where shea butter and beeswax are common and cheap! I made this tonight with olive oil and a little vanilla essence. I'm hoping it'll taste like ice cream. I'll have to wait till later to see if I put enough in to be able to taste it. I only made a small amount, one teaspoon of each ingredient with 5 drops of vanilla.

author
JanetF1 made it! (author)JanetF12015-01-03

Mmmm. Tastes great! I've yet to see how it will behave out of the fridge, it may melt too much in this heat. It has a lovely creamy texture.

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deangera10637 made it! (author)2014-06-08

Amazing back story thx

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mdaughtry2 made it! (author)2013-12-20

I use this recipe as well minus the Shea butter. I add vitamin E oil and vanilla and peppermint extract. If I want a little color to it I add a small chunk of lipstick to the melting process!

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arete01 made it! (author)2013-11-24

I am certanly making your beewax lipbalm: I can not use industrial ones becouse they dry my skin. thank You for sharing

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PoniesSwag made it! (author)2013-10-02

Vitamin E as a healer and a preservative.

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birthmark made it! (author)2013-09-26

Nice one. I've made a lip (and skin) balm with a beeswax and olive oil and it works well too. I added few drips of cooking orange and vanilla oil and it smells beautifully.
I also use the same mixture (but in different proportions and without scents) as a wood finish.

author
permie made it! (author)permie2013-09-26

Good idea, birthmark. There are so many uses for the oils that most people think are just for cooking.

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Ty Mashaw made it! (author)2013-07-31

I'm on accutane and I go through almost a tube a month. This is perfect. Thank you!

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zamrin made it! (author)2013-07-25

hmm can you use honey as an alternitive to the honey?

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zamrin made it! (author)2013-07-25

ooo you can add kool aid for the taste :D

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jamob made it! (author)2013-03-29

Mint would be a great additive! How would a non beekeeper obtain beeswax? Great instructable!

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blodefood made it! (author)blodefood2013-04-18

Some health food stores and stores that sell earthy, natural products could have beeswax.

author
omnibot made it! (author)omnibot2013-03-29

Stores for art-supplies have beeswax.

author
permie made it! (author)2013-04-02

Status Report: After using the product for a week, I can tell you that it works well. My concern was that it would melt in my pocket. That's why the beeswax. That hasn't happened, and it looks like you can increase the proportion of softer butters or oils and still have a stable product. No word yet on how it handles a hot car, but perhaps I'll make an update later in the summer!

author
Viaticus made it! (author)2013-04-02

menthol! helps to relax the skin and allow the balm to works it way deeper into the tissue.

Awesome post - I want to try your recipe very soon!

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andrewroids made it! (author)2013-03-29

very cool!

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bluesnake4 made it! (author)2013-03-29

Hmm, maybe some raspberry syrup.

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rimar2000 made it! (author)2013-03-29

Very interesting. Some winters my lips break, too.

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