Monday, March 16, 2009

lip balm tutorial

lip balm is so uber-easy to make that i am not sure why anyone buys it. except that i get lazy and brian really likes the "virtuoso" ones from trader joe's, have you tried them? wow are they wonderful. and if you look at the ingredients list, it isn't much. because you don't need much to make lip balm.

here is the recipe for diaper cream which is just a fabulous lip balm recipe with zinc oxide added. if you add zinc oxide to your lip balm you will have white lips. (remember zinka?) it's fine with me if you want to do that but your significant other may not appreciate it. even more simplified, all you really need is beeswax (or some other kind of wax; jasmine wax would be lovely here also) and oils. for simplicity's sake, let's do this:

1 part beeswax
1 part coconut oil
1 part sweet almond oil

coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which is why it's nice in lip balm. too much beeswax and your balm will be too solid and kind of grainy and it just doesn't feel nice. using partly solid oils (like coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter) helps the balm stay solid without being hard. for the liquid oil, i like to choose something that is light and does not have a lot of "flavor." i personally am not a huge fan of olive oil in balm but you do what you want. jojoba oil is nice also but a bit thick for my taste.

to make the balm, just mix everything together in a small measuring cup and nuke it in the microwave until everything is melted together. stir it well because the beeswax can take a while to melt. the only thing about it is to heat it enough so the beeswax melts but not too long, because then it pops all over the microwave and you have a mess to clean up.

when it is all melted and blended, just pour into small lip butter pots or propel/repel tubes and let it cool. the balm recipe is also fabulous as an extra-strength cream for elbows or feet (or chapped hands) or as a massage bar; i like push sticks for that. or you could use this recipe for solid perfume. when i first started making my own stuff (before i bought packaging) i used those little containers that you get at the salad bar, just be careful you don't melt through them (swipe a couple of the really sturdy ones).

if you want to get fancy, you can add some vitamin e (tocopherol) to the oils; just pop open a capsule or two and squeeze it in. i like lavender and tea tree eos in mine, just two or three drops of each is fine. be careful with eos, most are not great to go directly on skin. you could shave a bit of an old lipstick in for a light pigment if you wanted, but don't use food coloring or you'll stain not just your lips but your fingers and your teeth too. honey is humectant (draws moisture to the skin) so you could put a couple drops in, not too much or else it will be sticky and be aware that it will separate out if you leave the balm in the car and it melts. if you wanted to be super fancy and spoil yourself, you could infuse your oils (including the solid oils - melt them and then mix with the liquids first) with soothing herbs like lavender, yarrow, slippery elm bark, comfrey, or chamomile. be sure to strain well so you don't have pokies in your balm.


Jaimey said...

well aren't you little susie homemaker! :) I love that you are posting tutorials! Its a tiny peak into your nesting phase! HUGS!

eireann said...

nesting schmesting - this is one of my (many) crafty addictions! you make diapers, i make soap...

Anonymous said...

Ohh, now I want to try it! Where do you buy beeswax?

eireann said...

nowealth, i get mine at whole foods. it's usually in their bulk herbs/spices aisle. you could probably find it at a health food store as well. mine comes as rolly little granules so it's easy to scoop and measure.