Monday, November 17, 2014

Making Lip Balm

Yep, you read that correctly. I have been making lip balm (and lotion, but I will save that for another post)!

It all started on an outing with my mother-in-law, Judy. We both have the same favorite commercial brand of lip balm, Burt's Bees. We were in a store and looking at the different types included within that brand, and somehow the conversation turned to coconut oil. Judy watches the Dr. Oz TV show, and I think she saw something about the benefits of coconut oil on that program. She was saying how good it was for your lips and skin, and that any good lip balm would have it. We checked, and Burt's Bees does, but...

That got me to thinking; are there recipes for things like lip balm on the internet? So I googled, and there are many! Next, I went to Amazon and ordered the ingredients I would need. Once everything arrived, I took bits from the recipes that I thought sounded like they'd work, and put them together in my own recipe. It took a little experimenting, but I have found what I like best.

So, what would a person put homemade lip balm in? My first experiment, I happened to have a couple of nearly empty lip balm tubes, so I filled them. Then knowing Amazon has just about anything you could ever think of available, I checked there and found some empty little containers with lids (think the little pots of Carmex). Looking further, I discovered that yes, they sell empty lip balm tubes!

A lot of people just use plain coconut oil on their lips. At room temperature it is solid, so digging a little out of the jar works ok. But coconut oil has a very low melting temperature, something like 76° F. Since our bodies are warmer than that by about 20°, it isn't very convenient to carry in a tube in your pocket. With my first batches of lip balm, I pocket tested them to make sure it wouldn't melt and leak out of the container. That would not be convenient, and might ruin clothing (ever accidentally send a tube of lip balm left in a pocket through the dryer??? It's not good). Thankfully, my lip balm passed the pocket test with flying colors.

Picky about lip balm, I am so spoiled now that if I have to use any other than my own, it just does not feel as nice. Even my previous favorite Burt's Bees no longer does the trick. I also find myself needing more lip balm sooner than I would if I were using my own. So this weekend, I made 15 tubes of peppermint lip balm, my personal favorite (the first batch I made with orange essential oil, and that is also good). It was a painstaking process, but I toiled and persevered, and in the end I had the perfect product! Ok, I admit that may be a slight took all of 5 minutes! Yep, just 5 minutes of my time will keep my family in lip balm for quite awhile.

This is a small double boiler pan that holds probably a couple of cups is all. Using the microwave is not a good idea for this project. Melt the ingredients together, give everything a good stir (I use a wooden popsicle stick), and carefully pour into the empty lip balm tubes. 

Once the lip balm cools and solidifies (this happens fairly quickly), put the caps on, wipe away any dribbles, and store until you're ready to use.

The ingredients are coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, and peppermint essential oil. That's it! Very smooth and moist, not the least bit waxy feeling. I love this lip balm!

Here's to no more chappy lips!