Monday, March 19, 2018

Homemade Beeswax and Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

Beyond the occasional batch of bath salts and soaks, I've struggled to get into DIY beauty and bath products. I don't use a lot of cosmetics or creams, but I do use A LOT of lip balm. It's incredibly easy to make your own all-natural lip balm and you can experiment with flavours, add-ins, colours, and more. The basic supplies may be available from your local grocery or natural products store, or you can source them online through local specialists or large suppliers. Save and reuse containers where you can to reduce waste and save money. Win win!  If you don't have any of the ingredients, it may seem expensive at first, but it is very affordable in the long run and you can use the same basic ingredients for tons of other neat DIY care/beauty products.

My base is a very simple 1:1:1 mixture of wax, butter, and oil. See tips below on adjusting consistency. It's very easy to scale the measures below to suit your desired batch size, and if you aren't sure what volume your containers are and want to make a specific size batch, you can do a quick check using water to fill and measure the volume. Easy peasy! Ingredients (by volume of equal measure, not weight) for my base mix are as follow:
1 part of beeswax Save effort cutting/grating by buying as pellets or pastilles.
1 part of cocoa butter
1 part sweet almond oil
A few drops of vitamin E (optional)
A few drops of flavour oil and/or suitable essential oils (optional) 

Melt the beeswax and cocoa butter slowly over low heat. I have a small saucepan that I use specifically for these sorts of projects and not for cooking, but you can also use a heat-safe glass container in a double boiler.  Stir in the sweet almond oil (and/or coconut oil until melted) and optional add-ins. Place your clean dry containers on a stain resistant or protected surface, where you will pour the balm and leave the containers untouched until set.  Carefully pour your melted balm mixture into the containers. The mixture will shrink a little as it hardens, so feel free to fill them up as high as you'd like. No touching!  It's hot and messy! You can wipe the outside of your container after the balm sets if you are a spilly pants (like me...).  Leave until complete set. Wipe if/as needed, add the lids, and enjoy or gift!

  • When choosing ingredients shop for a suitable grade/quality - important for any cosmetic, but extra important here as the balm is going on/in your mouth. :) If using essential oils, in addition to being pure or food-grade, avoid anything that may cause skin reactions or increase photo sensitivity.
  • Consistency will vary with ingredients and your ambient conditions, but not to worry - you can remelt and adjust at anytime if needed! You can also melt the residuals of an almost empty balm container from your last batch into your new batch if you wish.  
  • If you prefer a looser creamier mixture, you can re-liquify and add a little more liquid oil or less beeswax/butter. For a firmer mixture, add more beeswax/butter, use less oil, or swap some/all of the sweet almond oil for coconut oil. Make a note of your preferred custom mix for future batches and please do feel free to share in the comments here for others who might be looking for different textures or ingredient swaps. Thanks! :)
  • Want to add colour? You can add mica powder to customise tints, experiment with natural colourings (must be oil soluable), or scrap the dregs of a favourite lipstick into the mix to melt!
  • Want to add shine? Use a few drops of castor oil in the mix.
Swaps and substitutions:

  • Wax - I haven't used an alternative wax like candellia (vegan), but it is feasible if you adjust the volumes to account for the former consistency. 
  • Butter - Substitute with an alternative solid butter with a body melting temperature. I like cocoa butter in lip balm, but use shea and mango in heal balm and doggy paw balm.  They're softer than cocoa butter so adjust for consistency if/as needed.  Personally, I find coconut oil too soft at room temperature for a direct swap, but it can work beautifully for butter or oil when you want to alter consistency or melting point.
  • Oil - Substitute with an alternative liquid carrier oil. 

Note: There will be a brief pause in our usual posting cycle for Easter break. Regularly scheduled posting will resume the week after Easter weekend. Have a wonderful end of March, and we'll see you again in April!

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