I'm a lip balm fiend, as are my sister and my mother-in-law. In fact, most of the people I know (male and female) have a strong fondness for lip balms—particularly in the winter months when we get all chapped and sore from talking too much while traipsing about in snowstorms. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of cash on these lip-lubing accoutrements, why not concoct your own? They're super-easy to make, and you can customize them to suit everyone's tastes.
There are a plethora of lip balm recipes available online to choose from—do a quick search on Pinterest for “lip balm recipe” and you’ll see what I mean—so you have oodles to sort through. From personal experience, I’ve found that guys tend to prefer minty, soothing balms while girls like sweeter, more fragrant ones, but that’s a generalization — you know your loved ones best, so go with the scents/flavors you think would make them happiest. The basics of lip balm creation are really simple: you need a fat (vegetable-based butter or oil), and a wax (beeswax, or carnauba wax if you want to keep it vegan). Flavoring agents and essential oils are optional, but with the two ingredients listed above, you’re in lip balm heaven.
What you’ll need:
- Oils/butters and wax (as your recipe dictates)
- A small pot and a large pot for melting/mixing (or a double-boiler)
- A whisk or spoon to stir it all (the whisk is better)
- Glass droppers
- Pots or tubes to contain your amazing lip balm of awesomeness
I generally prefer the little metal screw-top or slider tins for my balms, but if you’re a tube lover you can find tubes (and tins) at a number of online retailers like The Sage and Etsy, and of course, Mountain Rose Herbs. Mountain Rose Herbs is also where I happened to find my favorite lip balm recipe:
Lemon Coconut Lip Balm
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
- 1 Tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Beeswax or Carnauba Wax
- 10 drops Lemon essential oil*
Chop or grate your wax quite finely, and scoop it into your smaller pot (or pyrex measuring cup) along with your butters and oils. Heat about 2″ of water in the larger pot/double boiler, and once it’s warm, place the wax-filled pot inside it, ensuring that the water doesn’t spill into the smaller pot at all.
Keep the water on medium-high heat until the wax and oil mixture has melted, whisking or stirring it gently to dissolve it evenly. Once it’s all melted, remove it from the heat, set it aside, and add your essential oils. (Note: The scent of them will dissipate a little bit, so feel free to add a few more drops than listed in the recipe if you feel it’s necessary. If you find that the mixture is starting to firm up, put it back over the heat to melt into liquid again.)
Use your dropper to transfer the liquid balm into your empty containers, and let them cool overnight (or about 10 hours) before closing them. Add cute labels as desired, and moisten up everyone’s lips to your heart’s content!
Lead image by The Crafty Goat