Making lip balm is one project I’ve been wanting to do with our beeswax. It is relatively easy and foolproof. The success of a lip balm has more to do with preference than with messing up a recipe. (This reminds me of a time when I made chocolate truffles as Christmas gifts. The raspberry truffle would not set, so it didn’t work as a rolled truffle, but it was great as a topping on ice cream!) So, hard or soft, the ingredients in lip balm will still keep the chapped lips away.
There are many recipes out there for lip balm but most have three basic ingredients: a wax, a butter, and an oil. Fragrance is optional, but fragrance comes in an oil anyway. I had the beeswax. I ordered two butters online from Soapgoods.com: natural cocoa butter and processed shea butter. I bought almond oil and apricot kernel oil at the health food section of the grocery store. I also bought (from believe it or not LipBalmTubes.com) 100 lip balm tubes, shrink wrappers, and a cool (but necessary!) holder for filling the tubes.
I chose a formula calling for 1 part wax, 2 parts butter, and 1 part oil. To make 8 oz. of lip balm (which filled 80 tubes), I used the following:
2 oz. beeswax (weighed on a kitchen scale)
4 oz. cocoa butter or shea butter (also weighed on a kitchen scale)
3 tablespoons of oil (apricot kernel oil with the cocoa butter, peppermint infused almond oil with the shea butter)
In a double boiler, I melted the wax (broken into little bits), then added the butter in small pieces. When that was all melted, I stirred in the oil. Working fairly quickly, I poured the liquid into a pyrex measuring cup with a spout, wiped out the double boiler with a paper towel, and then poured the liquid into individual lip balm tubes.
As the liquid cooled it solidified in the measuring cup, so I microwaved the cup 10 seconds at a time just to melt it again for quick pour. Some people do the entire process with the microwave, but there are enough warnings about microwave explosions to keep me cautious!
So…I have two flavors. The first (with the icky handwritten labels) is “Cocoa” because it was made with cocoa butter and smells chocolatey. The second one is called “Maybe Mint” because the peppermint infused oil was not as pepperminty as I would have hoped and you can maybe tell that there is mint in it. The shea butter is unscented so there really is no discernible fragrance. Both balms are firm like Chapstick. The advantage is that they have a long staying power and won’t make John look like he’s wearing lipgloss. I think I would prefer a slightly softer version that glides a little easier. Next batch I will use more oil. Julie is going to remain faithful to her Vaseline, so I’m not too concerned with her opinion. : ) I would, however, appreciate comments and opinions from the rest of you once you’ve tried it.