DIY Easy Lip Balm Recipe with Beeswax
One of my favorite cosmetics to make is lip balm and it makes for a wonderful and cheap gift. Almost anyone can use it and I always receive an immense amount of praise and gratitude for them. The best part of all? It’s very easy to produce. So to get you started into this wonderful world of homemade cosmetics, I’m excited to share with you my DIY easy lip balm recipe.
If you haven’t ever made a lip balm before, like many other homemade skincare products, you’re missing out. Nothing compares to it especially when you can customize a natural lip balm recipe to your own preferences. And later color it…
It’s better than chapstick or other cheap store-bought lip balms with a whole host of parabens, paraffin (which is petroleum by the way), and other synthetic dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. And it’s a lot cheaper than buying all natural lip balms like Burt’s Bees and just as good. Plus, you can control where you source your materials from to make them as sustainable as possible.
It’s just three ingredients (beeswax, mango butter, and coconut oil)! If you plan enough time in advance, you can infused your coconut oil with vanilla. Of course you can use an essential oil instead if you don’t have any vanilla beans handy too.
All you need to make this is a double boiler, tins, and a match (I’ll explain later). You can use lip tubes if you prefer them. However, I heavily advise not going this route for a couple reasons. One, plastic is just so awful on the environment right now and completely unnecessary for lip balm. Two, lip tubes are difficult to stand up on their own so it’s a good idea to also buy a lip tube tray. Third, phasing plastic out of your life is better for your health as well.
How to Work With Beeswax
If you followed my last post on how to make body butter, you will be familiar already with the steps involved. It’s a very similar process: you melt your wax, butter, and oil in the double boiler; mix all the ingredients together; add your essential oils (if using); and pour it into the tins or tubes. It’s that easy!
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will make the whole process much easier when making this lip balm. As I stated before, this is a beeswax lip balm recipe. And beeswax can be a bit of a pain to work with at the beginning.
Beeswax is such a good ingredient to use in lip balm. It gives the balm staying power and acts as a protective layer to hold moisture in and reduce dryness. But unlike petroleum-based products, beeswax won’t suffocate the skin and it has some vitamin A which will exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin (or lips in this case). It’s no wonder that beeswax is a favorite ingredient in many natural lip balms.
Tips for Using Beeswax
But beeswax takes a little getting used to as it doesn’t quite act like butters and oils when melted.
Beeswax will solidify on contact.
Beeswax doesn’t hold heat very well and even transferring hot beeswax to a container at room temperature will cause it to solidify a bit on contact. This is why hot beeswax will instantly coat your finger if you touch it.
This can be very annoying if you are trying to melt all your ingredients separately and mix them together afterwards. Since your oils melt at different temperatures, you might get little pieces of chunky beeswax floating around. The easiest solution I’ve found to this is to use either a double boiler with a pour spout or a glass measuring cup. That way you can melt and pour all your ingredients in the same container.
Also, use metal measuring spoons for the same reason. Once you put the spoon in the beeswax, it will instantly coat the spoon. I usually just leave it in there until it reaches equilibrium with the wax and then take out the amount I need. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.
Beeswax expands when in liquid form and shrinks when solid.
What does that mean for you?
When you are pouring it into the tins (or tubes), it will shrink just a bit when it sets. So expect to have to add a tiny bit more lip balm to fill out the container at the end. And don’t worry about it if the top looks uneven or messy. I’ll address an easy fix for that later.
Beeswax is difficult to clean up.
The last trick I want to mention about beeswax is the cleanup. Any tool or container you use with beeswax cannot be rinsed with soap and water. Instead, you’ll just instantly coat it with wax and that will be difficult to remove (speaking from personal experience). The easiest way I’ve found to clean off beeswax is to wipe it off with a paper towel. It’s a bit wasteful but it works. And you can compost the paper towels too.
Second to that, use boiling water to melt the wax. But don’t pour it down your drain! I just pour it outside on a patch of dirt with no plants or insects.
This is a lot of information but don’t let this intimidate you. Beeswax isn’t difficult to work with once you understand these things about it.
Tricks for Easier Lip Balm Making
There are a few other things I want to mention when making your very own lip balm. Whether you are making this easy lip balm recipe or going for something more complex, there are some little tricks that I’ve picked up over the years that will make the process much easier.
The Cold Spoon Test
When you are testing out a new recipe, there’s a simple way to check to see if the finished product is the consistency that you want without pouring the whole batch into the tubes or tins first.
Take a metal spoon and place it in the freezer before you start. Once you have everything mixed, take this spoon and dip the edge into the mix. It will instantly harden and you can see and feel what your lip balm will be and adjust the ratio if it’s not quite right. It’s a real money and time saver!
Consider Buying a Silicone Ice Cube Tray or Candy Mold
Unless you plan to measure your ingredients by weight (which I do highly recommend), there is a good chance you will have leftover melted oils at the end you did not use. You could waste a serious amount of time trying to find places to house them while they cool. Or waste a bunch of money by throwing them away. You will also probably want to keep them separate from the others so they remain pure.
I like to keep a silicone ice cube tray or candy mold handy for storing my leftover wax, butter, and oil. You just pour what you don’t use into the mold and let it set in there. Once it’s solidified, it pops right out and is ready for storage. Of course, if you are using another oil that stays a liquid at room temperature, just use a jar to let it cool before pouring back into its original bottle.
About Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great natural alternative to synthetic fragrances but make sure that the essential oils you are using are safe for lip products. I usually tend to stick to culinary herbs like peppermint or cinnamon. But even with those, make sure your brand is safe to eat and not phototoxic.
The other thing to be careful about is how much you use. The suggested usage rate is between 1-3% of the total weight or 1-2 drops per tablespoon of lip balm. Naturally, this will need adjustment depending on which essential oil is used, it’s potency, and your sensitivity. I usually err on the side of less starting out. You can always add more but you can’t take away.
Another alternative to essential oils if you have the time is to infuse your oil. For the lip balm I made in these pictures, I infused my coconut oil with vanilla beans. Not only does it smell great but it is completely safe to eat.
Back to the Match
Remember the match mentioned earlier?
The other thing of note worth mentioning is the presentation of the finished tin or tube. No matter how good your pour is, inevitably there is going to be some tins or tubes that come out looking less than perfect and smooth on top. An easy fix for this is to take a flame and melt the top down. It will re-set looking much better after.
I think that covers it all! Let’s get started!
*v – vegan
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
DIY Easy Lip Balm
- Double Boiler or Glass Measuring Cup
- Metal Measuring Spoon
- Metal Spoon
- 0.5 oz. Lip Balm Tins
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- 2 tbsp. beeswax
- 2 tbsp. mango butter
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1-3 drops vitamin E optional
- In a double boiler, melt your beeswax first.
- Once melted add the mango butter and coconut oil.
- While the oils and wax are melting. Place your tins on a baking tray or set up you lip tubes in the lip balm tube tray.
- Once the butter, oil, and wax have melted, remove from heat. Add vitamin E if desired.
- Carefully pour the lip balm into the tins or tubes. And immediately transfer them into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to set. If needed, top off once more and let set.
- With your match, melt the tops of any tins or tubes that are uneven or messy looking. Then cap all finished tins or tubes.
- These will last up to a year (or longer if you use vitamin E).
Where to Buy?
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Whenever possible, it is always a good practice to buy from a local store near you. Just please try to buy products packaged in glass instead of plastic. It’s even better to find it in bulk to reduce waste.
However, who you source from is just as important. So if you have to buy online, here are some companies I suggest. These companies have been chosen because they are small businesses (it is always good to help these guys out) or larger companies that are committed to fair trade, ethical practices, and/or committed to sustainability.
I will also list the State or Country this businesses reside in so that you have the option to locate a shop close to you.
- Nutley’s (UK)
- Always Native (OR)
- AnnasCrawon (AUS)
- Segundo Bazaar (CA)
- Nakpunar (NJ)
- Zelie All Natural (NC)
- Margin Colab Supplies (TN) *has some oils too
- Mini Food (UK)
- Scentsible Crafts (RI)
- Schweineschnuten (DEU)
For Oils and Butters:
- Mountain Rose Herbs (OR) *have tins and beeswax too
- Better Shea Butter & Skin Foods (TX)
- Bulk Naturals (MI) *has beeswax as well
- The Plant Guru (NJ) *beeswax too
- 3CayG (FL)
- Caliber For Life (AR)
- Weeping Willow Oil Co. (ME)
- Purevine Products (NY)
- Wild Herb Supplies (AR)
- Naturals by Nana (MI)
- Etsy has many shops for mango butter
- Gardner Bees (MN)
- Basic Honey (FL)
- Anything Bees (CA)
- Hungry Bear Farms (NY)
- Etsy has many local beekeeper shops
Did you give this recipe a try?
Tag @sustainablesauceresses on Instagram and hashtag it #sustainablesauceresses.