Homemade Lip Balm – Why?
Why make homemade lip balm? It’s
cheap inexpensive at the store, so why bother one may ask. It’s a good question, but for me it’s not *all* about money. Yes, that definitely factors in my decisions, but it’s not my only factor. A somewhat larger factor for me at this time is health. Part of that is cutting out as many additives that I can. And part is knowing what precisely is in the items I put into, or on, my body.
I follow quite a few blogs through Feedly. Actually quite a few more than I can read on a daily basis. So I like to skim through, and open the ones that hit my interest on that particular day. For this one, my inspiration came from The Prairie Homestead blog. One of her entries talked about finding a good, natural lip balm for a good price. She ended up making her own. Hers has peppermint oil in it. I’m really not a fan of peppermint in any shape or form though. And while she does say you can substitute, I started looking around the web for a simple lip balm recipe.
I ended up finding a very basic one on The Nerdy Farm Wife (link to the blog entry here). I ordered just small amounts of the necessary items, and waited patiently for the two whole days it took to ship here! With this recipe it’s listed in simple parts that I could work with. So I pulled out my handy digital scale that I use for my sourdough, and weighed my ingredients into a clean glass jar. For my recipe, I used olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, lavender essential oil, and vitamin E oil.
Why These Ingredients?
When I start a new project, I tend to go overboard. I buy everything I think I will need, and then only use a portion of the items. So this time I decided to buy the bare minimum, and see if I can do this decently. I used olive oil because I have quite a bit of that (and my sweet almond oil that I bought two years ago to try using for lotion went bad – I never used it!). I did buy the shea butter and a small quantity of beeswax. And the lavender essential oil because I like the smell of lavender. And I figured if this doesn’t work, I can always use that in my oil diffuser. I was going to use my old vitamin E oil, and as you probably already figured out that went bad as well. That one was over five years old! So I did buy a small amount of that as well.
The Day (Hour) of Creating
Once it was all here, plus the 25 empty lip balm containers I ordered as well, I gathered everything together and set about to try it. Of course, you would think I would wait until after the holidays – or at least until after Christmas when it’s a little quieter in our house. Nope. I did it on Christmas eve when my daughter was over cooking for our Christmas eve dinner. What can I say. . . Christmas eve is the day my shipment of ingredients arrived!
The first thing I found out is that getting the beeswax in a bar is a pain to work with. I had to shave off pieces as I was weighing the necessary amount. I ended up with a rather large piece that took a while to melt down. Next time I use these bars, I’ll cut it into smaller pieces. Then when I’ve used them all, I’ll buy the pearls! I added the Shea butter and olive oil and set my glass jar in a pan with some water, and set about to melt everything over a low heat.
Once it was melted, I took it off the heat and let it cool a bit. Then I added my vitamin E oil (about 1/8 teaspoon), and a few drops of the lavender essential oil. The I took some empty tubes (I made a small amount to start with), put a rubber band around them, and filled them up!
What I Learned
First, I made a mess! For my next batch I am looking at either a small funnel and a test tube stand to hold them in, or a special holder with a scraper to fill them nicely. Since I would like to do this with my granddaughter, I opted for the special holder and scraper. I’m ordering those today!
As for the portions of the ingredients, it’s a little on the soft side. Not too bad, but enough that next time I’m going to add more beeswax to the formula. I’m going to start a log, like I do for my beer (and for the short time I made Kombucha at home), and keep track of my changes and ingredients.
I’ve also found that I really like doing this! I’d also like to try some muscle balms and maybe some lotions that do not require refrigeration or preservatives. I’ve been spending some time looking up various items online, and I think I’ve found a few to try. I’ll be ordering a few more essential oils, and flavor oils (you can’t use fragrance oils for lip balms) and trying out some new recipes.