Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY organic, allergen-safe lip balm

My daughter wanted to make lip balm! After reading scads of recipes and lots of ingredient labels, here is the recipe I came up with. It is most heavily influenced by these three because of the ingredients I chose to use; you'll probably want to adjust the ratios based on your preferences and ingredients. 

the ingredients we used
My daughter is allergic to peanuts, so I looked for organic ingredients with super-clear allergen labelling. This brand of cocoa butter and coconut oil says it may contain tree nuts, but is free of peanuts, gluten, dairy, and a bunch of other things. Different people have different sensitivities and allergies; for tree nut allergies, you'd need to switch to other soft waxes and carrier oils to make the lip balm base.

Allergen-Safe Lip Balm Recipe
1-2 tsp organic beeswax (or soy wax to make it vegan) < hard wax is added to make tubes of lip balm that won't melt in your pocket or during summer heat, you can use less if you like it softer and creamier or glossier
2-3 tsp pure organic cocoa butter 
2-3 tsp organic coconut oil 
optional: a few drops (say, 6-12) of peppermint oil, or lemon oil, or almond oil, or cocoa powder, or matcha powder, or whatever other flavouring agent you desire (alcohol extracts may not mix in properly)
optional: 1 tsp organic creamed honey (liquid honey may not mix in properly)
optional: a few drops of vitamin E oil (cut open capsules) - to act as an antioxidant so it takes longer to spoil, and to promote lip healing; some people use tea tree oil instead
optional: pigment: powder from beets or cranberries, or mineral pigments (like, say, a good-quality mineral blush) (we used a locally-made organic lip gloss as our source of pigment)

If you prefer a shiny gloss instead of a waxy cream, you can reduce or skip the beeswax and use more aqueous ingredients (liquid honey or maple syrup, aloe vera, flavour extracts instead of oils, fruit juices instead of powdered pigments for colour), and change the container accordingly.

Clean and sterilize all your tools and containers:
small saucepan / stainless steel measuring cup / mason jar to melt your wax mixture in (you may want to use something only for this if you're doing it more than once), double boiler style - we used an actual double boiler
containers: food- and cosmetic-safe - we got ours at a local craft store, and ran them through the dishwasher.
a stainless-steel chopstick or whisk for stirring
a dropper/pipette (or a glass liquid measuring cup with pour spout) for transferring the balm or gloss into your containers without spillage

our base mixture melting in a double boiler
Slowly melt ingredients in a double boiler - most people melt the hard wax (beeswax) first, then add the rest of the base ingredients. Since I wanted to try more than one flavour, I melted and mixed the base (50g (one box) of the cocoa butter, then the same amounts of beeswax and coconut oil using the cocoa butter as my guide), then divided in half by pouring the melted base into a glass measuring cup before adding my optional ingredients (honey, vanilla extract and the pale pink lip gloss for a slightly shiny hint-of-tint lip gloss, and lemon flavour (lemon oil + sunflower oil) for the other half). 

Cool slightly, give it one last good stir to make sure ingredients aren't separating, and fill your chosen containers. If you need to test it, you can dip a teaspoon that you've left in the freezer into your balm at this point; if the consistency is wrong, you may want to set some aside to use as a moisturizing lotion or cuticle cream before you start adjusting proportions.

Cool the filled containers in the fridge or freezer (although ours started to solidify at room temperature). Label, if desired, and enjoy.

Our finished product after cooling at room temp for only 10 minutes

On DD's lips, the base that we added tinted lip gloss to - just a hint of tint and shimmer. Perfect!
Note: This post is part of my nonconsecutive #30DaysOfMaking Challenge.

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