A couple of weekends ago, my four girls and I cooked up a beauty storm in the kitchen! Oh. my. goodness. What a mess! I had kind of decided that we had most of the ingredients for a rather nice lip balm. I’m guessing my beauty range is as ad hoc as my cooking. It took us three tries to get it right! Yes, three 🙂
Unfortunately I read up on the science after I had finished all the experimenting, and as such had a few light bulb moments as I realised why something had or hadn’t worked. Science is pretty important when you are mixing different ingredients in order to achieve the end product desired. We wanted a lip balm which looked pretty, smelt yummy, did not taste of anything and was hard enough to not be gloopy. Yes, gloopy. I am so scientific 🙂
The Science of Lip Balm
Lip balms are used primarily to moisturise and protect lips, and most recipes require the following in varying quantities, depending upon the desired result:
Fat – Often used in the form of an oil (thick and viscous liquid at room temperature) or butter (soft but not liquid at room temperature), they are emollients. Emollients are hydrophobic (don’t mix with water) and are moisturising and softening for the skin. Used alone they produce a very runny, messy lip balm.
Wax – These are solids at room temperature and are added to thicken the mixture.
Emulsifier – Fats and waxes do not easily mix with water based ingredients, so often an emulsifier (such as Vitamin E) is used. Emulsifiers change the properties of the hydrophobic ingredients encouraging one of the ingredients to become microscopic droplets within another, thus forming an emulsion.
Colour – Unless you use an emulsifier, which we didn’t, your colour needs to be oil based. We used some old lip stick.
Scent – We used lemon essential oil, which are perfect for this oil based liquid and mix beautifully.
What You Need
We used the following:
Coconut Oil (half cup)
Beeswax (quarter cup)
Old pink lip stick
Lemon Essential Oil (6-12 drops depending upon preference)
Pots to put them in (I got these very inexpensively from Wilkos)
What You Do
We gently melted everything in a double burner, adding the essential oils right at the end:
Using a pipette (you can get these from the local chemist), we filled the containers with the mixture, allowing to set before popping on the lids:
This produced four pots of gorgeous, fairly hard (which is what we wanted) lip balm. It looks lovely, carries over practically no colour to the lips (again, that is what we wanted) and smelt delish! Once we had finally got the recipe to our liking, this took minutes and cost practically nothing 🙂