Friday, 6 November 2015

Easy to Make Home Made Lip Balm

I use a fair bit of lip balm here in Brisbane in the winter. I looked at the label of the last one that I bought and decided that I wasn't keen on putting so many petroleum based products so close to my mouth. I had a look on the net and saw so many easy recipe's that I just had to try it.

Here's what I did...

First I started collecting lip balm cases and cleaning them out. Once I had actually made a batch - I realised how easy it was and decided to buy brand new tubes from e-bay and make them for Christmas presents. This post shows how I made these batches.

I found these clear tubes for around $12 for 50 clear tubes. Depending how fancy you want to get, there are tubes of all colours and sizes as well as pots in metal and plastic. There a hole world of lip balm bits on ebay!

All my Italian honey bee keeping friends were out of wax and so I got this 500gm block from ebay for $19 including postage. Its way more than I need for this project but I will use it for other projects soon so its not all wasted. The Coconut oil came from the supermarket for $6 for a 500gm jar. Its also too much but I use coconut oil for everything so I always have some around!

First melt about two tablespoons of coconut oil in a jar in a water bath. I use a jar as I have found that bees wax is impossible to get out of almost any container easily. I use a small jar and then if I cant get the wax out, I can ditch the jar and its not a problem.

Then add the same amount of beeswax and melt them together. I find here in Brisbane that I need a fairly solid balm as the 40 degree heat can soften the balm in a stick so much that you cant twist it out. Its easy enough to twist the whole lot out and remelt it and add more coconut for a softer balm in the winter or colder places and extra bees wax for a more solid stick. If you are using pots you might want to make it a bit softer. 

I use a takeaway chopstick to stir my creations as again - its hard to clean utensils. I can reuse this stick until it breaks without ruining any cutlery.

While the wax and oil are melting together, decide on your lip balm flavour. There's lots of ideas out there. I have discovered that whilst real vanilla essence works well, any flavour and colouring needs to be oil based or it wont mix in. It separates when it cools down even though it looks mixed in when its heated..

Some Flavour ideas:
  • Chocolate (Cocoa)
  • Chocolate mint
  • Lemon (Citric acid, vitamin c tablet, lemon myrtle leaves steeped in the wax and oil mix)
  • Chai (Cinnamon, ground cloves, powdered ginger, chai tea bag steeped in the hot wax and oil mix)
  • Rum
  • Vanilla (Vanilla Essence)
  • Coconut (the coconut oil will smell great without anything in it)
  • Peppermint
  • Manuka honey
  • Edible glitter
  • Coffee (coffee grounds)
  • Spice (ground spices)
  • Cranberry (Dried cranberries macerated in the hot mixture for 20 minutes)

Once you have mixed your flavouring and colourings into the jar you are ready to fill your tubes (or pots) I found the easiest way was to fill a syringe with the molten liquid and then use that to pipe into the tubes. Its the cleanest, no spill method that I have found to fill the tubes. I got mine from a vet to give the dog some medicine years ago.

The wax will quickly set in the tubes and leave little dimples as it contracts. For appearances sake and to get a little extra into the tubes I save a syringe full after I have filled them and then top them up after they have set and the tops will then be flat instead of having the dimple in the middle.

To melt the wax that hardens in the syringe I pop it back into the hot water bath for a moment and then shake off the water, fill the syringe and fill or top up the tubes.

Use a pair of disposable chopsticks (or a pair of tongs) to get the syringe out the water bath to protect your fingers!!

When making experimental batches or batches that you want to colour and/or flavour differently, start with the mellowest flavour and colour and then as you fill the tubes you can make the new batch over the old batch and the new stronger colour and flavour will overpower the one underneath. This will save you from having to clean out the jar after making a dark chocolate mint to make a pale yellow vanilla!

 I started with Vanilla, then made, Lemon Myrtle, Chai, Rum, Cranberry and finished with dark Chocolate.

Next I will label them and use them as Christmas presents and Christmas Cracker gifts. As I made them I kept track of the ingredients so I could put them on the label.

There are a few label templates out there to save you from working out the dimensions from scratch!

Have fun making your lip balm. Don't forget to come back and let us know how it all went in the comment section - We'd love to know what flavours and colours you came up with!

Score card:
Green-ness: 4/5 for making your own lip balm. 5/5 if you use pre used tubes or recycled containers though! 
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for a handmade gift that is custom made to your needs and really cheap to boot!
Time cost: If you make a single batch, maybe 30 minutes from go to whoa. If you muck around making lots of colours and flavours, you could be there all day!
Skill level: Very, very easy. Just don't spill too much wax as you will be very good at cleaning up if you do!
Fun-ness: This was a very pleasant afternoons fun mucking around with lemon myrtle and cranberries trying to get the colours and flavours out of them!


Lois said...

My grandson has a horrible habit of licking his lips year round and in the winter this causes very chapped lips. He has to carry a container of chap stick with him and I hate that he uses a commercial petroleum product so often especially being so young. The granddaughters love to use "chap stick" because they like the idea of makeup. So I have been wanting to make my own and give them as gifts to the children for Christmas but have been procrastinating on finding a recipe. So thank you for both the recipe and the easy tutorial. Now I have no reason to procrastinate any longer.

Practical Frog said...

Glad to be of assistance!! Its really easy to make too - Have fun making it with them! - K x

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