Thursday, March 24, 2011

Non-toxic Lip Balm (and reusing lip balm tubes)

I thought it was time for another "recipe". Now this is not my recipe and I am sure you could find millions of other recipes out there. I had a few things I was looking for. So I did lots and lots of  Google searches for a simple recipe that didnt have flavor (in my opinion  it makes you lick your lips more and defeats the purpose of lipbalm), was non-toxic, used shea butter, and was simple to make. I finally found one that I liked at The Elliot Homestead. She has a great tutorial. I will share some things I did too.
Here is what you will need:
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp. Beeswax
2 Tbsp. Shea Butter
Yield: about a dozen lip balm tubes

Tip: Beeswax is incredibly hard! I figured it would just chip off  the bar easily. WRONG! I tried grating it, chipping it with an industrial like knife, freezing and grating again. Finally I got sick of the whole mess and I beat the tar out of it with a hammer. SCORE! If you do get the block of beeswax, use a hammer. I suggest buying the pastilles or granules instead. I will be doing so next time.

You can purchase your lip balm tubes all over the internet. I happened to have a lot of blistex around the house, and after learning some about the ingredients, I threw away the balm inside and cleaned them out (see Toxic Beauty for more info on why).
I peeled the labels off and gently boiled them in water with some dishsoap. I was a little scared they would melt, but they held up well. You could also use little glass pots or tins. I prefer not to dip my finger in something I am putting on my lips. Its gross to me. Especially if I am out and about and don't have a way to clean my hands. Those DCT pots you see below I use at home (with clean hands).
Once cleaned and dry I put those small, clear, plastic thingys that actually hold the balm and move it up and down, back in the tubes. I had to push them down a bit with a stick, actually it was a bamboo skewer,  and turn the base to lower them all the way back to the bottom. 
You can also purchase little trays that make filling the tubes easy and less messy. I didnt.
I was scared my tubes would tip over and I would have a nice waxy mess all over my counters so I came up with my own little idea. Rubber band, little box, yay!

First, I put my beeswax in a glass measuring cup set in simmering water. There is that bamboo skewer I used. 

The beeswax takes a good while to melt. Once this is melted add the shea butter and coconut oil. Only takes a minute or so to melt this. Then slowly pour it into your tubes. I have read that others use a medicine dropper to add the liquid to their tubes. I didn't have one.
For $4.36 I made all of these
Thats really it. Super easy and quick. Most of my time was spent chipping away at that dang beeswax.
I added up the cost and it ended up being about $0.29 a tube. It would cost more if I had bought the tubes though. Still, much cheaper than Burts Bees!
Today I was outdoors and it was chilly and windy. I was really wishing that I had put some of my homemade lip balm in my purse. My daughter and I both were suffering from chapped lips.:(
Tip: beeswax was still kicking my butt when it came to cleaning time. It really sticks to the utensils. I used the very hot soapy water from when I boiled the tubes and cleaned them by hand. The stuff I ran through the dishwasher didn't clean up so well. 


a gracious plenty said...

love this. i just made a batch for holiday gifts and it turned out great.
thank you.

Pam said...

We raise our own bees (sadly, they caught a bug this fall and have all died) and I collect the wax bits from the honey harvest. I now have two loaf pan sized bricks of wax... and finally something to do with it! I'd love to do your lip balm and lotion bars as well as candles. Thanks!

Jackie Johnson said...

Use a mix of coconut oil and baking soda to remove any adhesive left on the outside of the tubes. Works great!

Lizzy @My Mind..My Life said...

Pam: How sad! I would love to have my own bees. I find them fascinating and I LOVE honey.

Jakie: That is a wonderful tip. Thanks so much!

zanna zee said...

Hi :)
I make body products using bees wax too, I hated using the brick bees wax because i had the same problem as you! But now i just melt it, drizzle it on wax paper, wait for it to cool, and then i just break it up into pieces, its so much easier to use now.
Hope this helps :)

Lizzy Ford said...

zanna zee: That is brilliant! And so very helpful. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm wondering, is it ok to use the liquid coconut oil? Or does it not harden as well of the thicker kind?

Lizzy Ford said...

I don't think liquid coconut oil would work well with these proportions. From what I understand, liquid doesn't harden at all. You may be able to do it, but you might have to use a good bit more beeswax to get it solid enough.

Anonymous said...

That rubber band box is genius! I always make a mess knocking them all down. Thanks for making my lip balm making experience much better!

Post a Comment

I would SO love to hear from you!