DIY Lip Balm with Essential Oils Guide
We will walk you through the ways for you to make your own natural essential oil lip balm, including tips and tricks that we have learned along the way.
Odds are, if you are here reading this you already understand the benefits or a natural lip balm and do not need all of the background on why to use these natural products
With that in mind, let’s jump right into the meat of the matter and talk about what you will need to make your own easy peasy diy lip balm that will leave your lips feeling wonderful.
After going through the How-To portion of this we will discuss some common questions relating to making your own homemade lip balm.
Basic DIY Lip Balm Recipe
Basic ingredients you will need:
- 2 Tbs (Fractionated) Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbs Shea butter
- 1 ½ Tbs Beeswax
- 30 drops Essential oil(s)
Basic products you will need:
- Double boiler
- Large (metal) spoon
- Lip balm container
- Measuring spoons
Basic recipe instructions:
- Fill the pot with one or two inches of water.
- Let the water heat up, but not boiling.
- Place the double boiler on the pot.
- Measure out your ingredients.
- Place your ingredients in double boiler (except for your essential oil fragrance).
- Let sit for several minutes and slowly stir.
- Let all items get to a completely liquid state.
- Turn off the stove burner.
- Add in your essential oils.
- Gently stir the mixture.
- Transfer liquids to your containers.
- Let cool for at least 30-minutes.
- Close the lip balm container.
- It is ready to use!
Talking about the different ingredients, products and steps
Now we will dive a little further into each of these steps and share all of the lessons we have learned while working to create our own DIY lip balm with essential oils.
Why did we name everything in the products, ingredients and instructions as “basic”?
There are many different ways to create your natural lip balm, that we wanted to give you the basic instructions to get you started and as you continue to make more you can start tinkering with different ingredients and ways to make your lip balm.
Using a double boiler to make your natural lip balm.
When you add water to the pot, you will only want to add an inch or two. The amount really doesn’t matter, you’ll just want to ensure that the double boiler is not touching the water when it is placed in the pot.
So just ensure the water level is lower than the lowest resting point of the double boiler.
double boiler tip
You do not want the top boiler touching the water because the way the double boiler works is that the cushion of air between the water and the ingredients will help keep a consistent temperature and ensure the ingredients do not overheat.
While you can get away with double boiler touching the water, keeping it from doing so is best practice and will allow you to get even and consistent results every time.
Don’t let the water boil.
Contrary to the name, double boiler, you do not want the water to get to a boiling state.
Why? Because when water is boiling the evaporating rate is much higher. This can tend to leave you with no water and a burnt pan.
You want the water hot enough to give off steam, which is what heats the double boiler, but you want to keep the evaporation rate of the water as minimal as possible.
This will also help you maintain the temperature you’re wanting in your ingredient mixture.
Let the melted ingredients sit and cool.
Once all of the ingredients are melted and you have a pure liquid base, you should take the pot off of the burner.
This is the stage that you will want to add your essential oils.
If you are using pure essential oils for their therapeutic benefits and not just for scent or flavoring, you will need to closely monitor the temperature of your mixture.
Each different oil will have a flash point temperature. If you add the essential oil while the temperature is at or above that particular oil flash point, then it will degrade the therapeutic benefits of the oil.
For this stage, we recommend using an infrared thermometer to get an accurate temperature and knowing when you can add in your oils.
Remember, if you’re simply wanting the scent and/or taste from the oils then you will not need to worry about temperatures and flash points. But if you’re using pure therapeutic grade essential oils, you may as well stay within the constraints so you get all of the benefits from the oils you have on hand!
Transferring from boiler to containers
When we first started doing our natural DIY lip balm we used a regular double boiler. The first issue we faced was transferring the contents from the boiler over to the container.
First we tried a dropper but as soon as the contents hit the cool glass, it would thicken up. Not to mention the materials that would make it into the bulb of the dropper. Good luck washing that or getting it out.
Next we tried using a large metal spoon. This did work pretty well. Not a lot of the mixture cooled on the surface (as there wasn’t a very big surface area, and we could fairly easily transfer that way. It did make a little bit of a mess with drippage and it did take a little while to do all of the containers.
Next we tried using a pyrex glass measuring cup directly in the water rather than the double boiler. Unfortunately, the surface area was so small it did not melt very well. Also, it required putting the container directly in the water which wasn’t good. Not to mention it was difficult to pick up that hot glass and then pour into the containers.
So then we decided to use the double boiler and pour the melted contents into the pyrex measuring glass (with a lip).
This actually worked really well, but again we lost a lot of the material that stuck to the cold glass.
I’d estimate about ¾ to a full containers worth dried to the sides. We did microwave the glass and were able to remelt and use the final amounts.
Unfortunately the oils had already been added so controlling the temperature was not an option.
We finally settled on a new double boiler that has a lip on it. We were then able to melt the ingredients the proper way (out of the water) and monitor the temperature before adding the oils. Then the best part was that we had a lip on the boiler so we could pour the contents directly into the containers. Win-win-win.
Different diy lip balm ingredients
In short, all that you need for a decent lip balm is an oil, a butter and a wax - with a fragrance or flavoring optional. So all in all, 3-4 ingredients.
The options for each of those is almost limitless. We chose coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax as those are the most common of those three choices and are readily available.
As you make more lip balm, you can substitute these different core ingredients and see what different results you get:
- Different oils like Coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond and different carrier oils, etc.
- Different butters like Cocoa, Shea, or mango butter
- Different waxes
Not to mention the combinations of oils that you can use for different scents and flavors! Stick to small batches and have some fun with it!
Do you need Vitamin E oil in your lip balm?
The short answer to this is, no. Searching the “internets” will provide many recipes and blogs that say you should use Vitamin E oil as a natural preservative. Unfortunately, that is not correct. Now, adding in Vitamin E isn’t a BAD thing by any means, it just is not a preservative.
The good news though? With these ingredients you really don’t need a preservative. You’ll want to be sure to include preservatives in any recipe utilizing water or water based ingredients. In the basic recipe we provide, none of them are water based so you are not required to add any preservatives.
You could still get away without a preservative if you did have a water based ingredient, but the final product would need to be used in 2-3 days minimum to avoid bacteria growth.
So, Vitamin E oil is fine to add but it will not preserve your products should you use a water based ingredient.
(F)requently (A)sked (Q)uestions
Q. What essential oils are safe for lip balm?
A. Any high therapeutic grade essential oil is fine to use. Be careful of any hot oils as you will need to use much less in your recipe than others.
Q. How do you make essential oil natural lip balm at home?
A. You simply melt together your oils, butters and waxes. Add your essential oils at the end and transfer to a container to store them in.
Q. Can I use essential oil in lip balm?
A. Yes! Be sure you are using pure therapeutic grade oils though.
Q. Can you use lavender oil in lip balm?
A. Yes! You can use any essential oils in your lip balm. Just be sure they are good high grade oils. Be careful of not using too much of a “hot” oil.
Q. How long does homemade lip balm last?
A. If you do not use any water based products your lip balm should last for a good 6 months plus. There is no one size fits all with this answer as it depends on the ingredients you are using.