Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Tutorial For the Best Lip Balms Ever

Here is my secret recipe for my super wonderful and famous (to my friends and family) lip balms.  They are the best ever.  I am not just being conceded.  They really are the best. They are a treat for your lips.  I am going to tell you how I make them.  I don't have pictures now.  I may add some to this post later.

I totally cheat on making my lip balms.  I use Majestic Mountain Sage's  Lip Solutions and doctor them up with just a few ingredients.  There are a few formulas to choose from.  My favorite is the Shea Butter formula.  But I also like the Mango Butter formula.  These bases are $8 a jar, (plus shipping) and each jar fills about 55 lip balm tubes.  You could use the bases just as they come, but I like my lip balms a tad firmer than the base alone.  So I add beeswax to firm it up a bit.  You could also use Candelilla wax if you'd like. It has a higher melting temperature than bees wax.  Some people like it for hot areas so it won't melt in hot weather as easily.  I also like to add a tiny bit of Allantion.  Allantion is a powder that helps skin heal quickly.  It is pretty amazing stuff.  The final thing I add is a little bit of Peppermint Essential oil.  I love the cool feel it adds to lip balms.

Here is my recipe.  Feel free to adjust the measurements as you please.  I never really did follow a recipe until my husband wrote down what we used as we made lip balms one time.  He likes exact recipes, and I like to just wing it.

Melt the base in a pan of water on the stove, or in the microwave.  You want to melt it, but not over heat it.  Overheating could kill the properties of all the beneficial oils in the lip balm.  So stir often.  If you use the microwave, stop it every 30 seconds or so and give it a stir.  

Add the Allantion to the base and stir the best you can.  It doesn't mix in very well, but I don't worry about it.  It usually mixes in well enough and I never notice pockets of it in my lip balms.

Melt the beeswax in the microwave.  Stop the microwave every 30 seconds or so and stir it so it does not overheat.  Again because you don't want to kill the beneficial properties of the beeswax with too much heat. Beeswax needs to be quite hot before it will melt.  So be careful.  You will need a hot pad.  I use a small glass dish to melt mine in.  I have also used a glass or ceramic mug.  This is hard to clean out when you are done.  But with enough hot water and scraping, it will eventually clean out of your dish.

Add the peppermint.  Make sure your lip balm base is not too hot, because Peppermint Essential oil has a flash point of 160 degrees F.  That means it will evaporate if it reaches that temperature.  Then you won't have the benefits of the peppermint in your lip balm.  Sometimes I like to use Double Mint Essential Oil from Pine Meadows in Provo, Utah.  The Double Mint is a blend of Peppermint and Spearmint that is softer than just peppermint alone.  It seems sweeter to me too.  In fact, Pine Meadows also has some nice lip balm bases too.  I use them about the same as I do the Lip Solutions.

I like to test what the lip balm will be like when it is cool before I put it into tubes.  The way I do this is I drip a drop onto a plate and then let it cool.  It cools very quickly.  Then I rub my finger in it to see how hard it is.  If I want it harder, I add more wax.  Then I rub it onto my lips to feel if it has enough peppermint.  If it is not pepperminty enough, I add more.  A little peppermint goes a long way so be careful you don't overdo it.

Use a disposable Transfer Pipette to squeeze the hot melted lip balm into Lip Balm containers.  My kids like tubes because it keeps dirty fingers out of the lip balm.  But I think the little jars are cute and fun to use too.  (Be sure to order lids if they don't come with the tubes.)

The best way to fill a lip balm container is to not fill it completely all at once.  If you do that, as it cools, it will make an ugly little sink hole at the top and not look pretty.  I love the look and feel of a fresh new lip balm that is slightly domed over the top of the container and smooth, with the slightest little dimple in the center.  The way to get this finish is to fill your tubes almost to the top of the screw stick on the inside of the container.  Let the balm cool till it is opaque.  Then top it off again with more hot melted lip balm, filling it till the tube is so full that it domes over the top of the tube slightly.  As the balm cools it will turn smooth and shiny with the pretty little indent in the center.

Be sure your second layer of lip balm is hot as you add it to the top.  If you add it when it is just warm and still melted,. then it will not bond with the first layer of balm and break off later as you are using it.   As you fill your containers, you will most likely need to reheat the jar of balm in the microwave for a few seconds every now and then.  Or if you used the stove to melt it, just keep the jar in the hot pan of water.  It will stay hot longer.  If it gets too hot when you microwave it, you may even want to add a little more peppermint.  You can always test it again by dripping it onto a plate and letting the drip cool.

After your balms are cooled in the containers.  Wipe the outside clean with a damp paper towel, being careful not to mess up the pretty finish of the top, and put the lids on.  I like to shrink wrap my tubes and store them in the refrigerator in a ziplock baggie until they are needed.  It will keep them fresh for a very long time.  I am not sure the shelf life of a handmade lip balm, but I think if it was clean and unopened and stored in the fridge, you could probably store it for a year or so.  Since they are made with food grade oils, most of the oils probably have a shelf life of 6 months if not refrigerated.  So storing them in the fridge greatly improves the shelf life.  Sometimes I like to decorate my lipbalm tubes with cute little stickers.  It makes them fun and cute and people love them that way as a gift.

That is it!  If you give these to your friends and family, they will never again be satisfied with regular store bought lip balms again.


If you ever want to try making a lip balm from scratch, and not use a pre-made base, here is a rough formula for designing your own recipe.

40% Liquid Oil -such as Sweet Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Grape Seed, Hemp, Macadamia Nut, Sunflower or Soy.

25% Solid Oil - such as Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Almond Butter or Lanolin.

20% Wax - such as Beeswax or Candelilla wax

15% of Brittle Oil - such as Cocoa butter, Kokum Butter or Palm Kernel Oil.

These percentages are by weight.  Try any combination of oils to equal the percentages.  The oils listed are just a suggestion.  You can use any combination of any food grade vegetable or animal oil.  It is pretty fun to experiment with this as a guide


  1. very neat! u need to add a pic of ur finished lip balm product!!! thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thanks Traci. I will add pictures soon.

  3. Love you Daughter, you are very talented ;-D

  4. Katrina--do you sell these? I think you should come to Reno, stay at my house for a week so we can reconnect, and while you are here, you can teach me and my Beehive Class how to make your cool stuff. Miss you, cousin!

  5. How do you make the labels for the tubes? Regular paper? Sticker? Some specialty plastic thing?

  6. Tawnja, I can't tell you how much I would love to come down for a visit. I think that is a great idea. And I'd love to teach you and anyone else how to make these. I also teach anyone who wants to learn how to make soap. I love to share this stuff cause it is so fun! I added a few pictures to the lip balm tutorial. Brent and I made 100 lip balms and I took pictures. My husband is so handy to have around.

    And for labels, I don't often label them. I have put cute decorative stickers on them before. I like to do that, especially when I am giving them as gifts. I do know some people put labels on theirs, but I haven't ever tried it. I think a regular paper label would get greasy, so I think a plasticey one would be best. But I am not sure where to get them. If I find out, I will let you know. I also made these for Relief Society birthday gifts. And the Relief Society seal sticker looks very nice on them. I have also made little temporary paper labels that I tied on with a pretty twine or string.