Lip balms are one of the first handmade cosmetics that most people create. They are easy to customize and a cinch to make. They also make great gifts, party favors, and are perfect for group projects. Even the simplest natural balm will usually receive rave reviews from those who are used to commercial petroleum based lip balms. Unlike many commercial lip balms, a natural formula can help to soothe, heal, and protect your lips, not just seal them beneath a layer of sludge.
A lip balm base can be created using this simple formula:
The ratios will change slightly depending on the Butter, Wax, and Oil you choose. For example, Beeswax is much softer than Carnauba Wax. If you use a vegan wax such as Carnauba Wax or Candelilla Wax you will probably need to add a little more Oil and Butter to compensate. Some Butters are softer than others as well. For example, Kokum, Cocoa, and Illipe Butters are very hard at room temperature, while Shealoe, Aloe, and Macadamia Nut Butters are soft and creamy. The best way to create a lip balm base that you’ll love is to experiment! Try starting at the ratio above using your favorite ingredients. Let your mixture cool, than readjust as needed. If your balm is too soft, add more wax. If it is too hard, add more Oil or Butter. Once you achieve the perfect base you can choose some additives to further enhance your lip balm.
There are many ingredients you can add to color, scent, or enhance your lip balm. Lecithin and Lanolin Oil are two additives that can give your lip balm and extra creamy texture that most people love. You only need to add a tiny percentage of either of these additives to enhance the lip balms texture. Try adding soy based Lecithin at or animal derived Lanolin Oil at 1-4%. Vitamin E Oil (400IU/g) can also be a useful addition to your lip balm. This potent antioxidant is very beneficial to the skin, making it a helpful addition to any lip balm. Vitamin E Oil (400IU/g) should also be added at a very small percentage to your formula. *About 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of Vitamin E Oil (400IU/g) per ounce is enough to add the products properties to your formula.
Scent & Flavor
Lip Balms can also be scented in many ways. Certain Essential Oils can be used in lip balm formulations but they must be chosen with care. Many Essential Oils can be damaging to the sensitive skin of the lips or toxic if ingested. Be sure to research any Essential Oil thoroughly before adding it any product, especially a lip balm! Some Essential Oils that work well in lip balms are:
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Peppermint, Chocolate Essential Oil
- Spearmint Essential Oil
- Cornmint Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
Mint Oils will add a refreshing, tingling sensation to your lip balm. This is a very popular, natural way of scenting lip products. Synthetic Flavor Oils are an un-natural, but lip safe alternative to these natural Essential Oils. Flavor Oils come in a wide variety of scents. Unlike their name suggests they do not actually add a taste to lip products. Instead they enhance the scent. If you want your lip balm to have a flavor, you can add a sweetener such as Stevia Powder in conjunction with a Flavor Oil. When a lip balm is sweetened it tricks the mind into thinking it is tasting the scent. For example, a lip balm that is scented with Raspberry Flavor Oil, and sweetened with a product like Stevia Powder will create the illusion of a raspberry flavor. While there are other sweeteners available, be sure to only scent or sweeten your lip balms with oil based, lip safe products. Ingredients such as honey or baking flavors are not compatible with lip balms.
Adding color to your lip balms can be a fun way to enhance your product. Lip balms can be colored naturally by infusing one of our Natural Tinting Herbs into the oil you are using. While these natural herbs will add a color to the balm, it will not leave a color on your lips. Pearlescent Micas can be used to incorporate sheer color into your lip balm. Be sure to choose only Micas that are marked as “lip safe”. Please view our Mica Safety Chart to help you select an appropriate mica for lip products. You can add a very small amount of Mica to add a touch of color to your lip balm or you can add a heavier amount to create a balm that will leave a sheer color on your lips. Begin experimenting with a very small amount of Mica to achieve your desired color and shade.
The type of packaging that will be ideal for your lip balm will depend on the texture that you have created. If you’ve created a soft lip balm you can package it in one of the following small jars or tins:
- 1/4 oz. Clear Dome Jar
- 1/8 oz. or 1/4 oz. Dome Cream Jar
- 1/8 oz. or 1/4 oz. Flat Cream Jar
- 4 ml Crystal Jar
- 1/2 oz. Silver Tin
If you’ve created a very firm lip balm you may prefer to package it in one of our Lip Balm Tubes.
To create your lip balm, simply heat the Oils, Wax, and Butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Once the mixture is fully melted remove the mixture from the heat. Give the mixture a few moments to cool before adding any additives, colorants, Essential Oils or Flavor Oils. Once the mixture has cooled slightly add any additional ingredients and quickly transfer the hot mixture into Lip Balm Tubes or Jars. While the balms cool they will develop sink holes. You may want to reserve a small amount of lip balm mixture to remelt later on and top off your jars or tubes.
*Please note that if you are using a different strength of Vitamin E Oil you will need to adjust the usage rate. Vitamin E Oil comes in many strengths and can be harmful if it is over dosed.