Monday, December 12, 2016

How to Make Lip Balm

One of the easiest things to make with beeswax and regular cooking oils in your kitchen is lip balm.

There are lots of very fancy an expensive oils (Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Mango Butter, Coconut Butter, Shea Butter, Jojoba oil, etc).

I have all these oils and I have used them all.  As an esthetician I did plenty of manicures and pedicures using Almond Oil.  I have to be honest, the very best oil I found to moisturize is Olive Oil.  And it's so cheap and easy to find.  You probably already have some in your home for cooking.  Sunflower Oil is really nice to moisturize as well.

So start with these simple oils that you can get at the grocery store.  Let's use up some beeswax to moisturize the lips during the cold winter, make some presents for Christmas and maybe even sell some to pay some beekeeping bills.

First up, below is a list of suppliers where it's easy to get a few things you might purchase to make the lip balm - those plastic screw-up tubes and/or metal tins with screw on or slide out lids.

None of these containers are necessary to make lip balm as you can use your own.  Mint tins, cold cream containers, etc., there are many containers you can save when you empty them to use.  Save this list of suppliers for future recipes that I'll be sharing, for example to buy those lovely oils listed above.

Candian suppliers:
New Directions - Canada
Voyageur Soap & Candle

USA suppliers:
New Directions - USA

Great instructional videos:
This video is from Soap Queen at the USA supplier Brambleberry.  They have tons of videos which are excellent instruction for visual learners (like me).

You only need a small quantity of wax to make lip balm.  Basically you heat wax and a kitchen oil together and pour it into a container where it cools.  The amount of wax determines the hardness of the balm - the less wax you use makes an ointment or salve (recipes on those soon).

A balm should melt on contact with the lips but if in a roll-up tube it shouldn't be so soft as to melt in your pocket.

Flavours aren't necessary but do add a dimension of interest and most clients expect some type of flavour smell.  Essential oils such as spearmint, peppermint and licorice are good to use and are inexpensive to buy.  You can purchase a food grade Vanilla fragrance at the suppliers above.  Don't use vanilla extract because it's water soluble and won't mix with the wax.

For a touch of sweetness, unfortunately honey can't be used because it doesn't stay suspended in the wax because it's water soluble.  Instead, sugar-free natural Stevia is a good choice.  There are many artificial flavours available but they won't have any sweetness to them.

Soft colour powders called mica can be added to make the balm like a lipstick.

Here's a recipe to make about 22 lip balm tubes.

3 tbsp Beeswax
6 tbsp Olive Oil
4 tbsp Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp Avocado Oil

5 capsules Vitamin E Oil (from vitamin section in drug store)
20 drops Spearmint Essential Oil
1 tbsp Stevia (or more to taste)

Add all the oils (except Vitamin E and Essential Oils) to a double boiler or heat safe glass container for microwave.  Heat them slowly until melted.
Have your containers ready for when it's time to pour
Add the essential oils, stevia and vitamin E oil to the hot mixture & stir.
If you chill a spoon in the freezer, you can dip it in your warm wax mixture.  It will harden immediately.  You can then test it on your lips to see if the consistency is what you like.
Once you're happy with it, pour into your waiting containers and let cool

I'd love to hear if you've made lip balm and how it turned out.

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