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!


No promotional consideration was paid for this post.  Photo copyright


  1. Love the little metal tins, where did you find those?

    1. Me, too! They're from Southern Wholesale Division on eBay (same people who sold me the Florida-produced raw beeswax, too):

  2. Love these ideas. I have always wanted to make my own lip balm. This would be especially great for my girls who practically eat the lip balm! Thanks so much for linking to allergy-free Wednesday. Hope to see you again next week! PS please make sure you add a link back to allergy free wednesdays somewhere on this post.

  3. What a wonderful, amazing post. Thank you for this great recipe. I love your ingredients! And, I just adore the concept of your blog.

    I make my own lotions, but never thought about making my own lip balm (I should, as I have an unhealthy addiction to natural lip balms - they are super expensive). So thank you for sharing such a great recipe. I look forward to exploring your blog in more detail. :-)

    Be Well,

  4. Hi There Faye,

    I featured your awesome post this week on Allergy-Free Wednesdays. Your post and other highlights can be seen here:

    Please join us again this week for more allergy-free fun and inspiration.

    Be Well,

  5. Thank you all for the link-ups and comments! Amber and Nancy, will definitely be back to your site. Tons of awesome info!

    Kendra, aren't those tins great? They are just the right size, and a great alternative to breakable glass, and plastic (which can contain who-knows-what). Those came from the same eBay seller, Southern Wholesale Division, who sold me the beeswax as well.

    This is a really fun, easy project, with practically goof-proof results. I can't believe how much I've been paying for lip balm all these years, either. Homemade is definitely the way to go :)

  6. Just a quick note about the honey in the lip balm: as you're mixing it in, during the melting process, some of it may not completely dissolve. If that's the case, just let that sink to the bottom, and discard it, after you've poured out your lip balm mixture. Enough honey does still get into the mixture to give it some aroma :)

  7. Great job! I have always wanted to make some of my own beauty staples. Alas, I have not had the occasion to do so. By the way, are those the actual pictures for your home-made lip balms and lotion? Where did you buy those containers for your lip balm?

  8. After some more inquiries about problems with the honey, I've edited the recipe to exclude it. It doesn't really do much, except provide some aroma, as far as I can tell, so it is optional.

  9. Green people, yes those are pictures of my creations! I love those containers, too! They came from the same eBay seller who sold me the beeswax (scroll up and click on the link to Southern Wholesale Division in my blog post).


  10. faye could you use beeswax from a bee keeper or does it need to be processed in some way?

  11. Hi Sheryn

    Oh that'll do just fine. That unrefined beeswax direct from a beekeeper is exactly what I used, too. What you'll see is a little sediment sink to the bottom of your container, once you've melted everything. You'll be able to pour out most of the clean, melted balm, and just discard the last of it, with the sediment.

    Good luck and have fun!


  12. Hi Faye, thanks so much for your recipe, I am planning on making the lip balm as part of my gift bags for all the women in my family for Christmas. And i'm trying to figure out how much beeswax I need to order, the website I am buying from (mountain rose herbs) sells it by weight.... so when you say that 1 tbs is .5 oz in your recipe, do you mean that 1 tbs converts to approximately 1/2 an oz in weight?

  13. Hi Anna!

    That's a wonderful idea! I'm sure your family will love them!

    Yes, you are correct. One tablespoon is equivalent to half an ounce, by weight. It just so happens that those wax blocks I ordered from eBay are exactly half an ounce each, making them real easy to measure out.

    I just came across some other lip balm recipes on Pinterest, including adding natural colorants to give it a little tint. I just placed an order for some beet root powder, and will report back in with the results.

    Have fun with this project, Anna! Happy holidays to you!


  14. Found you through a pin on Pinterest . . . . thank you so much for the links in your blog entry. I clicked through to your beeswax supplier, and pinned them to my Boards (DIY Skin Care AND Containers). Great resources. Your hard lotion bars sound intriguing. I was not happy with the first ones that I made (although I am using them, but not gifting them). Will try your recipe next.

    Hope you had delightful holidays, and I look forward to the beet root powder post . . . I had thought about doing the same, then rejected the idea and thought I would try unsweetened KoolAid instead.