Saturday, December 30, 2006

How to Make Your Own Lip Balm & Recipe

Making your own lip balm is incredibly easy and fast.

1 part unbleached beeswax
1 part carnuba wax
5 parts liquid oil

essential oils (optional) - teatree, lavender, orange, peppermint
Vitamin E oil (optional)

First thing to do is put a small metal spoon in the fridge - you'll see why.

Microwave method
Measure out the carnuba wax into a microwavable container. I like using glass Pyrex measuring cups. They're easy to clean up after. Measure out your preferred oil. I like jojoba oil because it's a liquid wax and it keeps longer without your product going rancid. Sweet almond oil and avacado oils are really nice in lip balms as well. You can use olive oil or any cooking oil. Keep in mind that some cooking oils have a stronger oil scent.

Microwave on medium for short burst of time (20 secs each) until the carnuba wax is almost completely melted. Stir between microwaving. Add in the beeswax and microwave the same way. You don't have to microwave the container until all the wax is melted because the rest of the wax will melt as you stir. Carnuba is a harder wax and takes longer than beeswax to melt.

Bainmarie method
Measure everything into a heatproof container and heat over a hotwater bath until everything has melted. Stir gently as not to get water in your mixture.

The rest...
Take the metal spoon out of the fridge. To test your lip balm's consistency, gently touch the mixture with the bottom of the spoon. You'll see how hard or soft your lip balm will be. At this point, you can adjust by adding more wax or liquid oil. If you're using lip balm containers, you'll want a softer consistency. For lipstick tubes, you want something a bit harder but not hard enough to rip your skin off. Adding more carnuba wax will make your mixture really hard. I like adding beeswax instead.

Once everything has melted and mixed, you can add in a few drops of your favourite essential oils. Teatree oil has great antiviral properties and great for winter use. Lavender is really soothing for chapped lips.

One excellent combination is a few drops of sweet orange and a bit of cocoa powder. The only drawback to this combination was that it made me hungry all the time.

Vitamin E can be added at this point for extra moisturizing properties. Make sure you get the real stuff (100% alpha-tocopherol) & not the synthetic stuff (d-alpha-...).

You can also leave the balm plain and enjoy the nice honey scent. That one is my favourite lip balm.

Once all the extras have been added, pour into lipstick tubes. Those can be found online if you do a search. Cranberry Lane sells them locally and online. Magestic Mountain Sage is another good place.

I usually make a large-ish batch and fill only two or three tubes at a time. If you let the mixture cool, you can keep it in the fridge for later use if you store it in an airtight container. Just remelt the balm the same way and pour into your clean tubes. You can reuse the tubes if you clean and sterilize them beforehand.

Clean up
Cleaning up is easy. Wipe your utensils and containers with a paper towel to remove excess balm. Wash with dishwashing soap and water. Your stuff will still be food safe. You're not using anything that you haven't eaten before.

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