1.11.2013

Homemade Lip Balm

Several years ago, in a land far, far away when I was the mother to just one, I started playing around with making some of my own skincare products.  I've always loved experimenting in the kitchen, and found myself experimenting with oils and beeswax when the lip balm I'd been using non-stop for years stopped working.

It took a while and several experimental batches for me to come up with a combination of oils I liked.  Once I had settled on some oils, it also took a long time to determine the beeswax to oil ratio - trust me, this can be trickier than you'd think.  What often happened was that either the lip balm would feel great but it was too soft and I'd go through a tube in a few weeks.  Or, it was too hard, and didn't transfer well.  You need a balm that's hard enough to stay put, but that also has enough oil-to-beeswax ratio to melt at body temperature.

I eventually started selling the balms (along with other homemade skincare products - I've made everything from lotion to soap) and have quite the small following of lip balm users.  ;)

I recently made some minor adjustments to the oils I use.  The oil-to-wax concentrations are the same, but the oils I use are different.  I've been quite satisfied with the results.  Sorry, I'm not going to give you the recipe... BUT, I will share the ingredients.  ;)

I use 3 different fats - lard (yes, lard... it works wonders), 
sunflower oil and aloe oil.  It is advisable to use a solid, a 
semi-solid - in this case, aloe oil, though I have used coconut
oil in the past - and a liquid.

I melt the beeswax first, and then add in 
the melted oils.  I don't think its necessary, but
I usually wait to add the essential oil until after the 
beeswax and the oils have been mixed.  This morning,
I used spearmint.

And then, we pour.  As you can see, this can be messy.
I also fill my tubes in 2 pours.  There is not necessary, but
I've found that if I use one pour, there is typically a hole
in the top layer of the balm.  It is completely a visual thing
but I don't think it looks as professional with a hole in the top.

 A single-pour tube.

A double-pour tube.

The finished batch.  The two tubes near the bottom are the
"extras" that will be for personal use only.  As a doula, I like
to carry a quality tube of lip balm in my doula bag - I'm yet to
attend a labor where the mom did not need it.  So, I figure, make
a mass volume, and always have a few tubes on hand.  Hey, it is 
way less expensive than buying a tube of Burt's Bees!

The finished product (different batch).

So, in case you've ever wondered what making lip balm looks like, there you have it.  As you can see, it is quite a messy process, but clean up isn't too horrible.  As long as you don't let the lip balm in the measuring cup start to solidify, that is.  It is easiest to pour any excess into the trash can and then thoroughly wipe out any excess with a paper towel and then wash it by hand.

Much of the time, there is some spill on the outside of the tubes - this occurs during the 2nd pour.  I simply let it harden and then use a paper towel to clean the tubes off.  If there is still some residue, I go ahead and cap the tubes and use an all-natural, homemade cleaning solution and a paper towel to get any excess off before I add labels.

And this, friends, is a day in my home.  

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