I love experimenting making my own natural beauty products and if you're interesting in DIYing your own, one of the easiest to start with is making lip balms. All you need is a few base ingredients and then you can add whatever scents/flavours you like!
The key ingredients needed to make a beautifully moisturising lip balm/butter are pure cocoa butter which makes a smooth consistency as well as nourishing dry, chapped lips, beeswax so the balm will stay solid, and an oil of your choice; I usually choose almond oil as it is one of the more lighter and neutral oils, however you can use olive oil, coconut oil etc. (I really like Neal's Yard Remedies to buy ingredients from as they're a UK brand and I know it is organic and good quality.)
Just bear in mind especially with coconut oil it has an added scent and is solid at room temperature so the finished balm will be set a bit harder. Also, if you are pouring into a tube a more solid consistency is needed to be able to push the lip balm up, if you prefer a softer balm use a glass or tin container you can then use your finger to apply. (I got my containers from Ebay, but you can hold into old lipstick tubes/jam jars/face cream tubs - anything really and wash them out and they can be reused!)
A good rule of thumb is to stick to a 1:1:1 ratio of those 3 base ingredients and then we can add some extras.
E.g. (Yield: Twelve 10 ml tube containers)
25 g cocoa butter*
25 g beeswax*
25 ml oil
1/2 tsp vitamin E oil (works as a mild natural preservative and adds extra moisture)
10-20 drops essential oil
Fill a pan with water and heat on the hob, keep the heat low so the water is simmering and place a large bowl on the top of the pan. Place all your ingredients except the essential oils into the bowl and occasionally stir over approx 10 minutes until all the ingredients have melted. Take the bowl of the heat and add your essential oil of choice, stir and quickly but carefully pour into your prepared containers. The mixture will start to set fairly quickly so if it is set in the bowl before you've poured into the containers just pop the bowl over the pan of water again until remelted.
Use within 6 months.
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The other day I was trying out making some new flavours so here's a few ideas of variations for you to try. Above is Mint & Chocolate flavour, I added 4 g dark chocolate (higher the %age of cocoa solids the better I actually used a raw 'conscious' chocolate bar in mine!) to the melting stage and 10 drops peppermint essential oil.
To the Rose & Chocolate flavour, I added the same amount of chocolate but instead of peppermint, I added 5 drops bergamot essential oil and 10 drops of Rosa damascena tincture (I don't have the essential oil which would be better but my tincture was very fragrant so worked well as an alternative!).
Feel free to try my recipes or experiment with your own! You can play around with different oils for different consistencies and add different essential oils or get some natural flavourings like vanilla essence, there's so many different possibilities!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.