Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Lip Balm

I suffer from terribly dry lips.  In the winter they crack and bleed and look just awful.  Unfortunately, my oldest son inherited my lovely dry skin and suffers from the same problem.  I've always settled for less than natural chapsticks for myself, but when my son started needing something to moisturize his little lips, I began a search for safer alternatives.

ChapStick brand lip balm is some seriously nasty stuff.  The original flavor even contains the controversial carcinogenic oxybenzone.  The full list of ingredients is:  arachidyl propionate, camphor, carnauba wax, cetyl alcohol, D&C red no. 6 barium lake, FD&C yellow no. 5 aluminum lake, fragrance, isopropyl lanolate, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, light mineral oil, methylparaben, octyldodecanol, oleyl alcohol, paraffin, phenyl trimethicone, propylparaben, titanium dioxide, white wax, propanol.

Gross!  I wouldn't eat any of that stuff or feed it to my kids, so why would I want to rub it on our lips, where it could potentially end up inside of our mouths?

Burt's Bees is a common "natural" brand that is a little better for you.  The ingredients for the beeswax lip balm are:  beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, and limonene.

These ingredients aren't horrible, but I know that the oils and extracts that companies like this use are not food-grade.  I wouldn't fry my eggs in the canola or soybean oil they use in this product, so I don't want to taste it on my lips.

I had finally found a great locally-made chapstick at our local bulk foods store, but the Amish man who made the stuff moved out of the area and it was no longer available.  After my son ruined my last tube of this wonderful stuff, I decided to look at the ingredients and see if it was something I could handle making myself.

I felt really silly for paying that $2.99 after taking a look at how simple it is - beeswax, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract.

The beeswax is to help solidify the mixture.

The oil is obviously the moisturizer.  As you may know, I'm a huge fan of coconut oil for its nutritional benefits.  But coconut oil is also antimicrobial and anti-aging because of its high lauric acid content.  It's great for skin and can even help heal bruises and rashes.

The honey is what preserves the lip balm.  Not only does the honey taste good, but it will keep the mixture from molding.

The vanilla is for flavor, but you could use anything in its place.

For my balm I decided to use peppermint oil instead of vanilla.  I like the soothing and calming effect that peppermint seems to have on me.

My recipe:

10 T coconut oil
3 T beeswax
1 T honey
30ish drops of essential oil

I placed the coconut oil and beeswax in a double broiler and melted it down.  It would be much faster to grate or chop your beeswax.

Once everything melted I added my honey.  Make sure your honey completely mixes with the oil.  It's going to naturally want to separate, so it takes a little work to keep it mixed.

Once you take it off the stove, add your essential oils.  If you add the oil while it's on the heat you run the risk of breaking it down and losing the scent.

From here I filled my containers.  I prefer a lip balm that I can use my finger to apply, but my son needs it in a tube or we'll end up with grease everywhere.  You can order empty tubes online.

For this batch I filled empty lidded paint cups that I got at Hobby Lobby 12 for $2.99, so they end up costing a quarter each.  The great thing is that they can also be reused when I make my next batch.

I use one of my kids' medicine syringes to fill them.  Something like this is especially helpful for filling the tubes.

You want to make sure you stir your mixture before filling each container.

The recipe I posted above filled 15 of my containers.  I figured my cost to be a little over fifty cents each.  Why would I ever buy lip balm again??

This stuff is rich and creamy and really stays on your lips for a while (that is if you can keep from licking it off your lips - it tastes wonderful)!

These would make a wonderful Christmas gift for friends and coworkers.  You could even slap a cute mailing label around the container to dress it up a bit.

The total time to make these was less than twenty minutes and it was so easy my five year old could do it.  In fact, when his empty tubes arrive in the mail I plan on having him make his own batch (with a little supervision).

After this project I have realized just how much money you can save by making your own moisturizing products.  In the next week I plan to make some diaper rash cream, lotion bars, belly butter (to prevent stretch marks on my pregnant belly) and cream for my second child's eczema.  I'll make sure to share my results after some experimentation when I settle on recipes that work.

I think we know what everyone around me is getting for Christmas this year! :)


Nowheymama said...

This is great!

I think it would also be a perfect craft for a 'spa' birthday party! :)

Anonymous said...

Do you have a Pinterest Account? I would love to pin this recipe, and was wondering whether you have any others.... Great idea!

Tara said...

I hadn't checked over here in awhile and I'm so glad I did! I too know what people around me are getting for Christmas! I am obsessed with coconut oil too. I'm gearing up to just go ahead and buy a large bucket of it . I feel like this lip balm would be great to have in my diaper bag too because it could easily be used as a diaper ointment. I'm all about multi-use items.

Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hi I was wondering where you bought all of your ingredients? Thanks