Thursday, July 30, 2015

DIY Lip Balm: Is It Worth The Cost?

We all use lip balm. A chapstick (a/k/a upright lip balmsells for up to $3.00, including the tinted variety (like Maybelline's Baby Lips, which is very moisturizing). A 13 ounce tub of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (a/k/a pioneer lip balmis even cheaper per ounce, costing about $3.50 a jar. What's more, there is no science behind fears that petroleum jelly is unsafe to slather on lips. I do it all winter.

So is it worth making your own lip balm? Well, the answer is yes and no. If you can't finish a batch in a year's time, it's cheaper and more convenient to just buy lip balm as you need it. 

However if you blaze through chapstick like wild fire, it is cost-effective to make a batch. After buying the necessary ingredients and containers, you can bring the cost down to about $1 a pot or stick. Plus, they make lovely gifts, or you can sell them if you are an entrepreneur.

An easy recipe I like for homemade lip balm uses 3 main (and 2 optional) ingredients:

Beeswax-Coconut Oil Lip Balm


1 cup grated beeswax
1 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Optional ingredients:

a few drops of soothing peppermint oil,
food coloring; or a slice of lipstick for a tint. (A slice of a clean crayon works too; so does powder blush. All these options will add a tint.)


1) In a microwave safe dish, grate the beeswax until you get one cup.
2) Add a cup of coconut oil, which will be solid at room temperature. (1 to 1 ratio.)
3) Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds, repeat until it melts. Go slow so it does not boil.
4) Remove and stir them together.
5) Optional: 
 a.  Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
 b. If you wish, tint the lip balm with a few drops of food coloring; or a slice of lipstick. (You can microwave the mixture for a few more seconds if needed.) Stir together.
6) Finally, add one teaspoon of vitamin E oil to the mix. It gives the lip balm its shelf life. Stir all the ingredients until uniform.
7) While warm, pour into containers with lids. Some people recycle old, washed lip balm containers. Other folks repurpose their Altoids (mints) mini tins. While still others buy a supply of pot jars or cylinders like these, which can be labeled and gifted. 
8) After pouring into containers, let cool.

Note: Shea butter could probably be substituted if you don't have beeswax, though I haven't tried it.

I won't lie. Although I love the natural, luxe ingredients of this homemade lip balm, I usually just buy a chapstick (or Baby Lips tinted stick) as needed.

I'm more likely to make my own Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy because you can't buy a full size jar. I've only seen teeny, tiny jars of it -- .25 ounces to be exact. That's a Lilliputian size. Why so small?

What we can do is buy a regular size tub of clear Vaseline, then add a few drops of pink, or red food coloring or Kool-aid ... plus drops of a nourishing essential oil like coconut (or drops of almond oil; or rose oil if you have it). You can also add drops of peppermint oil, if you wish. Set the Vaseline on a stove top and let the pilot light soften it so you can blend it easily without melting. Voila ...  we have a full-size jar of homemade Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy. However, it's more practical to make small pots at a time, and keep the rest of the Vaseline clear for other uses. The idea is to save money by buying a regular size jar of Vaseline and adding your own tints and oils.

I mixed a chip of cheek blush (arrgh, dropped my blush on the bathroom floor and a piece broke off!) with Vaseline to make a lovely lip gloss. Alternately, you can mix a slice of lipstick with Vaseline for a moisturizing tinted lip balm. It's too easy-peazy, not to do it yourself to get more product for less moola! 

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