Are you addicted to commercially produced lip balm? Do you carry it around with you—in your pants pocket or bag? While leading dermatologists maintain that popular lip products, like ChapStick, do not contain any inherently addictive ingredients, a lip balm routine can feel soothing. And don’t we all know it! Meanwhile, the effect that many petroleum based products have is anything but soothing and hydrating. Seem confusing? Simply put, many commercially produced lip balm products work by sealing your lips to prevent moisture loss, meaning that they don’t moisturize at all. How it works? The petrolatum in lip balm creates a watertight barrier that prevents internal skin moisture from evaporating, which keeps your lips feeling moist and smooth. Check out the back of your favorite lip balm! Do you see that it contains petroleum jelly, phenols, mineral oil, and any artificial colors, like D&C red no. 6, yellow no. 10? If it does, then this recipe is for you. It makes for a quick evening or weekend activity and your wallet (and lips) will thank you!
- 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons)- beeswax (pastilles)
- 1 teaspoon-deodorized cocoa butter
- 2 teaspoons-organic, raw shea butter
- 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons)-sweet almond oil
- Your synergy choice: 3-5 essential oils (40 drops total)
I like to use Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, and Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis).
This easy DIY recipe will make about twelve 5.5 ml lip balm tubes, or you can store your new lip balm in a tin jar!
Using a double boiler, melt beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, and sweet almond oil. When the mixture is completely melted, turn off the heat and add the essential oils of your choice. As a certified aromatherapist, I advise those making this lip balm to combine the 3-5 essential oils of their choice in glass bottle to blend the synergy before adding it to the balm. Be sure to combine thoroughly. Carefully pour into tubes, jars, or tins and allow the balm to cool-for about 25 minutes-before use.
Beeswax is a natural emollient (moisturizer) and not only protects your lips from the elements, but also provides the balm with a stiff consistency that can be easily transported and applied. Cocoa butter is also an emollient adds a protective layer of hydration to your lips, the helps block the effects of drastic temperatures and sun damage. In addition, sweet almond oil is a light oil with no aroma. It acts as a good emollient that protects and nourishes the skin. It can help relieve it itching, dryness, and inflammation and is good for all skin types—especially dry skin!
When it comes to using essential oils, keep to the mantra that less is more. Be mindful—many DIY recipes out there suggest essential oils for lip balm that are not rooted in evidence-based science or endorsed and shared by an educated professional. When adding essential oils, it would be best practice to avoid all phenol rich essential oils like Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Bay Leaf, Thyme, Oregano and Basil. I’d steer clear from Birch and Wintergreen, as well as phototoxic essential oils like Bergamot (unless bergaptene free), expressed lemon or lime, and bitter orange. I would also be wary of adding peppermint to a lip balm as it is a mucous membrane irritant that may irritate your eyes. And, beware of any label or brand promising organic “vanilla essential oil” as it does not exist! You can, however, purchase vanilla absolute (solvent extracted). In addition, many DIY lip balm recipes call to add vitamin E if your lips are dry and chapped; however, vitamin E alone is not likely to provide immense relief as there is no definitive proof that it is a cure all for chapped lips or that it is for everyone. In fact, The Contact Dermatitis Institute lists vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) as one of the most prevalent allergens.
Ready to make your own? What essential oils do you use in your lip balm?