Saturday, February 18, 2012

Homemade Lip Balm & Solid Hand Lotion

All-natural homemade lip balm and solid hand lotion

Did everyone catch that awesome Chipotle commercial that aired during the Grammy's last weekend?  If you didn't, here it is:

We've been living green, organic, and now paleo/primal for some time now, so this commercial really hit home for us.  Thank you to Willie Nelson for his fantastic work with Farm Aid, and his moving vocals on this wonderful cover of The Scientist.  There's a lot to be said for going back to our roots, and acknowledging that progress does come with a price.  Everything we eat, buy, and use, has some kind of hidden cost.  That being said, we definitely strive to live more simply, and reduce our impact on the environment.

I've shared with my Pinterest friends a couple recent awesome finds for super frugal, all-natural, homemade lip balm and solid lotion bars, as posted by fellow mom blogger, Sarah at Frugal By Choice.   I love Sarah's insistence on "normal" (a.k.a. easy to find) ingredients, when formulating her blends.  Eczema and dry lips are common-place in my family, and I'm reaching for lip balms and moisturizers all day long.  Natural or not, beauty products are expensive.  I couldn't wait to use Sarah's recipes, and have my own all-natural products to care for my dry lips and frequently chapped hands.

First thing first, I had to locate beeswax.  Being from the Sunshine State, with lots of local farms, I was on a mission to find locally-produced beeswax.  That's when Christina at Southern Wholesale Division on eBay came to the rescue!  This local beekeeper also carried cute little metal tins, for which Christina graciously provided combined shipping.  I opened my mailbox with glee this morning, and couldn't wait to churn out my first batches of homemade lip balms and solid lotions.  I've tweaked Sarah's recipes to make them a little easier; you can skip the double-boiler, and do everything in your microwave.

Just a few notes on beeswax:

LIVESTRONG has some great info about this amazing, naturally-produced, anti-inflammatory skin protectant.   Per Wikipedia, the colors of beeswax can vary widely, depending on the age of the bees and the hive, and the type of plant that the pollen is coming from.  Beeswax is typically divided into two categories: raw and refined.  Refined is usually more white, with little, if any, honey smell, and that's what candle makers usually go for.   For our purposes, raw works just fine, and it's also cheaper, and easier to find.  My shipment of raw beeswax smells absolutely amazing, and I'm sure I will be back for more.

Beeswax also comes in all sorts of shapes and varieties; from pellets to huge blocks, to everything in between.  Mine came conveniently shaped in 0.5 oz/1 tablespoon blocks, which made them super easy to measure out, to conform with Sarah's recipes.


*** Update: 1-22-2013 - I am now a consultant for NYR Organic/Neal's Yard Remedies, and I absolutely love our line of organic essential oils and base oils.  Please click here to visit my online shop.  Orders ship UPS from our MA headquarters to your door. *** 

Homemade Lip Balm & Solid Hand Lotion

1 one-cup Pyrex measuring cup
1 silicone spatula
2 silicone trivets
4 one-ounce metal tins (for the lip balm)
2 two-ounce metal tins (for the solid lotion)

Lip balm ingredients:
1 tbsp (0.5 oz) filtered, raw beeswax
4 tbsp Tropical Traditions expeller-pressed (a.k.a. unscented) coconut oil
10 drops bergamot essential oil (optional)

To make the lip balm:

Add the coconut oil and beeswax to the glass measuring cup.  Microwave on 30-second intervals until beeswax is just melted.

Very carefully, remove the measuring cup from the microwave and set on a trivet. (Use extra caution: we're talking molten wax and hot oil here.)

Arrange your lip balm tins on your other trivet.

Add bergamot (or your favorite) essential oil to the mixture, and stir carefully.

Pour very slowly and carefully into your lip balm tins.  Allow to cool and set at room temperature.

Solid lotion ingredients:
2 tbsp (1 oz) filtered, raw beeswax
2 tbsp Tropical Traditions expeller-pressed coconut oil
2 tbsp sweet almond oil
10 drops of your favorite organic essential oil(s) (optional)

To make the solid lotion:

Add the beeswax and both oils to the glass measuring cup.  Microwave on 30-second intervals until beeswax is just melted.

As with above, very carefully, remove the measuring cup from the microwave and set on a trivet.

Arrange your lotion tins on your other trivet.

Add your favorite essential oil to the mixture, and stir carefully.

Pour very slowly and carefully into your metal tins. Allow to cool and set at room temperature.

I am so pleased with the finished products!  The lip balm is rich and creamy, with incredible staying power, without being thick or heavy.  The lotion is definitely solid, but doesn't take much effort to soften on my skin.  It does a great job, soothing those really irritated, cracked dry spots, and providing a comfortable, non-greasy, invisible, protective layer.  Let's not forget the savings, too.  My go-to lip balms were about $3 a tube.  That works out to about $20 an ounce!  This homemade version?  We're talking $0.42 per ounce.  Looks like we've found two winners today.  Sorry, cosmetic industry.  Here are two more products I won't be buying from you anymore ;)

As Sarah stated in her blog comments, it's just a matter of tweaking the amount of beeswax, if you want something a little softer, or a little firmer.  I'm quite happy with how mine turned out, and I plan to make some extra batches, come gift-giving season ;)

One of my favorite Paleo authors, Mark Sisson, has a fantastic recent post about handicraft. There is truly something genuinely satisfying about making something with your own two hands.  Here's hoping you'll give this project a try!


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