Top Tips for making lip balm
Say goodbye to chapped and sore lips when you start making your own natural lip balms.
And it so Easy to do, with really simple ingredients.
All it takes is five minutes.
Use completely natural ingredients and your lips will be soft, supple and kissable in no time.
I’ve got a great healing recipe to share with you, but first lets think a bit about what you’ll make:
Here’s a video to tell you all about lip balm making
Why do we need balms for our lips?
Our lips take some battering, especially in harsh winter weather with all those drying winds.
Unlike the rest of our skin which has it’s own oil producing system, lips don’t have their own natural oils which is why they need so much help from us in the form of balms, salves and scrubs.
And it’s also why they don’t thank us for using products that dry them out further or make them fight against alien chemicals.
Did you know that many shop-bought lip salves actually create worse cracked lips? that’s why you find yourself constantly having to apply more, or searching for stronger formulas.
All that changes when you switch to natural lip balms with caring, nurturing ingredients. They are far more effective, kind and lasting.
Why should we use natural lip balms?
Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, it’ll end up in your blood stream and being digested just like food is.
That’s even more true of what’s on your lips, which you readily ingest
Make sure you know the ingredients of your skincare; don’t put anything on your lips that you’re not prepared to eat.
What good things that go into a great, natural lip balm?
- the kind that softens and protects your lips?Your balm basically needs to be a combination of oils and waxes:
- oils to soothe and soften and also, if you chose the right ones, for their therapeutic benefits
- wax to protect from the elements and seal in moistureTo these you can add:
- natural butters: which will give a creamier consistency, making it lovely to apply and helping to create wonderfully soft and kissable lips
- essential oils: for scent, flavour and their therapeutic qualities
That’s basically it, although, once you get interested, there are some good natural herbs that you can use which are best infused in the oils to bring out their healing qualities.
…and you can start experimenting with added beneficial ingredients like vitamins (especially B and E), natural healers like propolis, honey or herbal tinctures, and SPF enhancers…
…or you can have fun adding sparkle or colour using natural ingredients like alkanet and beetroot
Want to know a bit more about these wonderful ingredients?
Wax – The best wax provided by nature is beeswax. As well as smelling wonderfully calming, this is a lovely ingredient to handle and blends easily with the oils when you melt them together. As it cools and sets, it gives firmness to your balm – so the amount of wax you put in will affect how solid your final product is.
For bees wax is a vital building material for their hives; for us wax is a wonderful natural protector.
Beeswax contains compounds that are also found in human skin so it’s got wonderful affinity for us.
It’s hydrating and conditioning as well as acting as a UV inhibitor.
If you prefer not to use beeswax, there are other vegan options. The best of these is candelilla wax. If you chose to use this, however, you will need to halve the quantity of wax in your recipe (or, of course, double the amount of oils) otherwise it will set far too firm.
Candelilla is extracted from the leaves of the candelilla shrub which is native to northern Mexico and southwest US. It has a similar melting point to beeswax so can be used in similar ways, just beware the quantities.
Oils – Natural plant oils are wonderful ingredients to use in skincare and cooking. They’re typically pressed from the life-creating seed of the plant so they’re saturated with healthy goodness and vitality.
I’d always recommend using a combination of different oils – perhaps two of three together – so you benefit from their different properties.
There are a host of oils you can choose from, all with different beneficial properties. My preference is to seek out oils from plants that have grown as close to home as possible. I believe that ingredients from a temperate climate are better adapted to skins living in a temperate climate.
That’s why I’d recommend simple oils like rapeseed, sunflower and camelina, some of which you might even have in your kitchen cupboard already.
Rapeseed oil because it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – these are essential fatty acids. They’re called essential because they’re vital for our cell functioning. However, our bodies don’t naturally produce them which is why we have to find ways to add them to our bodies through diet and skincare.
Sunflower seed oil because it is soft and smooth and promotes plumpness in the lips. But it’s also a long oil (meaning a little goes a long way) so it needs to be combined with shorter oils to keep your lip balm controllable.
Camelina seed oil (from the wild flax plant) has really high levels of omega 3 fatty acids as well as being hydrating and moisturizing. It penetrates the skin easily so can be absorbed quickly. It’s a great emollient, which means it reduces evaporation to ensure the skin keeps its water content, and hence its softness. And camelina oil gives a glossy luminescence. It has a slightly almond-like taste.
You’ll often find lip balm recipes that use coconut oil. It’s a great oil for the skin but requires a bit of experience to use as it has a tricky melting point of 24 °C (76 °F) which can mean it fluctuates readily between its oil and solid states depending on the temperature of the room. It can be a bit frustrating and messy to find your lip balm liquefying so I prefer to use easier, home grown oils.
Butters – Natural butters vary in their hardness – something like cocoa butter can be very firm, while shea and mango butter are much softer. All of them make great additions to your lip balm, but if you chose to use the firmer ones, you might increase the amount of oil you use to ensure your final product is not too firm.
I really like to use walnut butter, it’s another temperate climate product and it’s intensely rich in Omega 3 Oils and high in linoleic acid. It’s an effective moisturiser without being greasy and is so gentle it’s ideal for sensitive or chapped lips.
Essential oils – Chose your essential oils with care. Peppermint, orange and vanilla are popular choices for lip balms. I like to add a drop or two of tea tree oil – not too much as it can be overpowering – as this is antibacterial and antiviral so great for cold sores and generally keeping the lips in good condition.
Some of the hotter essential oils, like cinnamon, can increase blood flow to the lips causing them to be plumper, but some find them irritating so use with care.
Lemon is another favourite of mine as it’s fresh, sweet and cleansing and it helps focus and concentration. It is very energising and refreshing and can help with infections like cold sores. It has a clean, sharp and light scent and a slightly sweet tinge.
Herbs – If you want to start adding some real flower power to your products, there are lots of native herbs that can really help with lips. Sage is good for chapped lips, chamomile and calendula are both soothing and comfrey is healing and softening, it helps sensitive skin become more resilient so can counteract dryness and cracking.
So, now you know all about what goes into your lip balm, how to actually make it:
How to make lip balm
You need very little equipment. The most important thing is to be able to provide gentle heat to melt and combine all your oils and waxes.
By this I mean not putting them directly into a saucepan but instead using a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water. This way they can heat gently in the steam but will not burn.
See more about this here
You’ll need a spoon, whisk or spatula to stir with and a sterile pot with a lid to put your balm into.
I tend to make about 50g of product at a time – this allows for large enough quantities of each ingredient to handle easily while not over-catering for your needs. Although you can work to tablespoon and teaspoon measurements, is best to use scales and weigh the ingredients, but small quantities require micro scales to be accurate.
A 50g pot will last about 6 months in constant use. You can get stick holders for lip balms, these will take about 4.5g of balm so you can fill several from one batch.
Your basic ratios for ingredients should be:
3 parts oil
1 part wax
1 part butter
So, this could be
3 tbsps (45g) combined natural oils
1 tbsp (15g) beeswax
1 tbsp (15g) butter
Add about 5-10 drops of essential oil to each tablespoon (15g) of balm
But you can make your own variations on this.
Here’s a recipe you can use right away …
a great softening and lip-comforting balm combining lots of the beneficial ingredients mentioned above:
I call it …
LEMON BALM FOR LIPS
4.5g comfrey infused sunflower oil
12g rapeseed oil
3.5g camelina oil
19.5g walnut butter
10 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil
You’ll see this recipe has more butter than the standard ratio, to increase the creaminess of the final product. The proportion of oil has been reduced to compensate.
I’ve also gone easy on the essential oils as they’re quite powerful and I like the natural flavours of the oils, butter and wax to come through too.
You can try making this Lemon Balm for Lips right away as I’ve prepared all the ingredients in handy kit.
I want you to be able to have a go at making your own products as quickly and simply as possible. That’s why I’m happy to put the effort in sourcing ingredients and weighing them so you can get really quick and easy results. The kit has everything you need – oils, beeswax, butter, essential oils, and a pot with a lovely label.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, come back and tell me and I’ll share more recipes for you to try.
Your best move for nourishing your lips, keeping them hydrated and protected and super soft and kissable.