Home Made Vegetarian and Vegan Lip Balm
Over the years I’ve dabbled with making my own vegetarian skin care. It all started when I discovered the delights of aromatherapy and then as my interest in natural skin care evolved it was an obvious progression to experiment in this area too. It has helped me to understand the world of natural and organic skin care so much better and appreciate the work and difficulties surrounding the manufacture of natural beauty products.
One of my all time favourite things to make was lip balms, tinted ones to be precise. Always struggling to find the right shade for me I decided to make my own. Many years ago I purchased a natural lip gloss kit thinking it would be a gloss when it fact it was actually more like a firm lipstick, not what I wanted at all. I experimented with the ingredients until I found a consistency I liked and then continued to make ‘my shade’ (and some that were definitely not my shade) for a few years.
Recently I have developed the amazing ability to lose my purchased lip balms and having lost two in a matter of weeks, one of which was the gorgeous Hurraw SPF balm , I decided to resist the temptation to raid the stock room again and resurrect my lip balm making skills.
I had a few different recipes to choose from this time and though I’m vegetarian, I decided I wanted to make a vegan and, as far as possible organic, lip balm. Luckily I had some jojoba wax from a previous make your own skin care experiment which can be used as a replacement for the beeswax quoted in most of the recipes. Aware that we had some raw ingredients on our website which had or are due to come to their best before dates, I decided to use some of them too. All I needed was some empty lip balm tubes which I found on eBay. If you don’t mind your balm in pots you can always re-use any old balm pots/tins you’ve kept – cleaned of course!
- 15g Jojoba Wax
- 10g Organic Cocoa Butter
- 4 teaspoons Organic Jojoba Oil
- 1 teaspoon Raspberry Seed Oil (I wanted to include an SPF factor, apparently this is a natural UV filter with a high (28-50) SPF, though I’ve no idea what the SPF value of my oil is).
- 5 drops peppermint oil (recipe says 10 drops of spearmint oil but I didn’t have that and I thought 10 drops would be too much anyway).
- A teeny tiny bit of mica colouring just to give the balm a hint of a tint. I used mother of pearl Bordeaux Red, though no pearl actually involved so it is vegan. This actually has a best before date of July 2003 but seeing as the ingredients are just mica and iron oxides I figured it would be okay!
How I made it
- Gently melt jojoba wax and cocoa butter in a double boiler (aka a small glass jug in a pan of water).
- Add the jojoba oil and raspberry seed oil and just make sure it is all melted and combined.
- Remove the jug from the water and add the oils and colouring.
- Pour into the empty tubes (I didn’t bother with instructions to stand the tubes in a tray of cold water to fill them, quarter filling them and leaving to cool slightly before adding more). The balm will shrink down as it cools and sets though so make sure you have enough to go back and do a little top up.
- When cooled put in the fridge to harden (I left the lids off).
The recipe says it makes 5, 5g tubes, mine are 4 point something grams and it made 8 plus, looking at it now, there’s probably enough for almost another one left in the jug.
After adding peppermint oil and colouring, the mixture has just turned slightly pink-ish
Most of my raw ingredients – I forgot the bottle of Raspberry seed oil
As you can see from the photograph below, I wasn’t particularly good at pouring and did manage to spill a bit on or down the tubes, thankfully it comes off easily enough. Hats off to all those professional lip balm makers out there who manage to pour and fill perfectly!
Once fully set they turned a paler shade of pink
The lip balm has set well, has a nice texture and applies well. Staying power is good. 5 drops of the peppermint oil was enough, you get a nice tingle when you apply it. Any more and it might have felt unpleasant. It does have quite a glossy finish when applied.
13 mile walk in 20+ centigrade heat. Kept my lips protected and moisturised and I didn’t need to reapply it very often. I kept the balm in my pocket while I was walking and it did not melt, hurrah!
Thoughts for next time
Add more colour! I was cautious with the amount I added. Next time I’d like to make it with a little more so it can double as a lip colour.
Adjust the wax/butter/oil ratios to make the balm a little bit firmer.
If I wanted to make the lip balm unisex I’d want to reduce the glossiness, adjusting the ingredients as mentioned above might help with this.
Have you ever made your own vegetarian or vegan skin care or cosmetics? How did it go? Were you pleased with the results?
Do you think DIY skincare kits are a good idea? We’ve thought about doing these ourselves so it would be good to get some feedback!
Update January 2015 – if you want to have a go at making your own we’ve made it a little easier, you can now buy empty lip balm tubes from us!
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