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2024's Top Lip Balm Recipe

  • 4 mins

With over a hundred different results available on Sephora, the lip balm market has been experiencing steady growth and is projected to reach $2.95 billion by 2027. The market offers a plethora of options, including glitters, tints, flavored, plumping, and more. However, despite this diversity, many products fall short in fulfilling their primary purpose—hydration.

 

Over the last 3-4 years, I've worked on creating a simple yet effective lip balm formula. While some formulations include technical elements like flavoring, emulsifiers, preservatives, and SPF protection with zinc oxide, my aim was to offer a straightforward and accessible recipe. Many lip balms on the market tend to have drying effects due to their ingredients.

 

Lip balm preferences are subjective, and what works for me in the dry Canadian winter may not suit everyone. In essence, lip balms consist of four components: wax, hard butter, soft butter, and oil. For a thinner lip balm, you can tweak the proportions by reducing kokum butter and increasing babassu oil.

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Lip Balm Recipe

  • 18% Beeswax (Alternative: Candelilla wax, Carnauba wax, Soy wax)
  • 45% Kokum Butter (Alt: Illipe Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter)
  • 3% Shea Butter (Alt: Sal butter, Mango butter)
  • 4% Castor Oil (Alt: Jojoba oil, Almond oil)
  • 15% Babassu Oil (Alt: Coconut oil, Murumuru butter)
  • 10% Camellia Oil (Alt: Sunflower oil, Hemp seed oil)
  • 5% Safflower Oil (Alt: Sunflower oil, Grapeseed oil, Hemp seed oil)

Additional Ingredients

  • Vitamin E: Add 1% of the total recipe weight in Vitamin E. For example, if your total recipe weighs 100 grams, add 1 gram of Vitamin E. It primarily serves to slow down the oxidation of the oil.
  • Essential Oil: Add essential oil for fragrance, around 1-3% of the total recipe weight. For example, if your total recipe weighs 100 grams, add 1-3 grams of essential oil. Always perform a small patch test when using new essential oils, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some of my favourite combinations:
    • Vanilla + coffee essential oil
    • Orange + mint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Melt the beeswax, kokum butter, shea butter, and babassu oil in a double boiler until fully liquid.
  2. Add the castor oil, camellia oil, and safflower oil to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Remove from heat and add the Vitamin E and essential oil, stirring to blend.
  4. Pour the mixture into lip balm containers and allow it to cool and solidify. Tubes are more suitable for firmer balms, while tins work better for softer balms.

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Matte vs Glossy

This recipe yields a medium shine. If you prefer a more matte lip balm, you can explore the following methods and ingredients.

  1. Use Matte Pigments: You can use pigments specifically designed to create a matte look.
  2. Reduce Glossy Oils: Consider using a lower amount of glossy oils in your formulation. Oils such as coconut oil and castor oil can provide a glossy finish, so reducing their concentration can help achieve a more matte look.
  3. Add Matte Waxes: Incorporating matte waxes, such as candelilla wax, can help reduce the shine in the lip balm and contribute to a matte appearance.
  4. Use Matte Micas: If you want to add color to your lip balm, consider using matte micas instead of shimmery ones. Matte micas can help create a non-shiny, matte color.
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Other resources and Notes

If you're more of a visual learner, Humblebee & Me offers some great video tutorials and written instructions. Certain essential oils pose phototoxicity risks and are not suitable for basic skincare. Further details can be found here. I source most of my ingredients from New Directions Aromatics, but your local apothecary should have what you need. If you have any questions, feel free to send a note in the chatbox!

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