The consistency I look for in a lip balm is almost entirely dictated by how my lips are feeling. If I’m feeling extra parched and lizard-like I’ll reach for something sticky (like this or this) that has the power to stubbornly cling to my lips and really lock in moisture. If I’m feeling pretty good, a lighter, slicker lip balm is much more up my alley. Given it’s the middle of summer (how did that happen so fast?!) right now, I’m in the mood for something smooth and a touch glossy, and that’s exactly what this Chamomile Citrus Vegan Lip Balm is.
Carnauba wax is a brittle, glossy, plant-based wax. It comes from the coating of the leaves of the Copernicia prunifera, which grows in north eastern Brazil. Unlike beeswax, which usually comes in big chunks or wee pellets, carnuaba wax comes in thin, shardy flakes. Its glossy nature makes it popular in everything from cosmetics to candy coatings to wood polish. Carnauba creates thinner, smoother concoctions than beeswax, which lends itself to creamier, tackier balms and salves. The glossy, silky feel of carnauba is a huge part of why I chose it—it’s perfect for lightweight, summer lip balms!
The rest of this balm is a blend of some lovely, lightweight oils. Babassu oil is actually one of the first oils I ever purchased (I think I bought a bag off eBay back in 2011), and I’ve recently re-stocked it after a good five years without having it in my pantry. If I’m being honest, I find babassu to be fairly indistinguishable from coconut oil. I bought some more after reading Susan wax poetic about it, wondering if perhaps I’d missed something. Both coconut oil and babassu oil are soft, white oils that liquify on contact with the skin thanks to their relatively low (~24°C) melting points. Babassu oil is nice, don’t get me wrong, and it is an excellent substitution option for anyone with a coconut allergy, but I’m not sure I’d encourage you to go out and buy a tub if you’ve already got coconut oil at home (unless, of course, you have an oil problem like me, in which case knock yourself out haha!).
I chose two other lightweight oils to round off the blend—silky, summery apricot kernel oil and creamy mango butter, which sinks into the skin lightning fast. If you don’t have ’em I’ve provided a list of alternatives at the bottom of the recipe, but I do really like this blend for its’ light-yet-hydrating summery goodness.
The last bit of this lovely Chamomile Citrus Vegan Lip Balm is the essential oil blend: a fruity, warm blend of South African Chamomile and citrussy litsea cubeba. If you’ve spent much time in these parts you’ve likely read about my love of South African Chamomile before. Also known as Cape Chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus), South African Chamomile is really very different from the chamomiles you’re likely more familiar with—Roman and German. South African Chamomile is all green apples and warm hay to me, without the strong herbal notes that come through in Roman and German. It’s also not blue, which is rather neat (this is because Cape Chamomile doesn’t contain any azulene). Sadly, it’s a bit hard to find these days, though, as New Directions discontinued it (boo), but as with most things DIY, you can customize the essential oil blend to anything you like! Mint is always a popular choice for lip balm, as is benzoin (vanilla-esque) and lavender. You can also leave the lip balm unscented if that’s your jam.
As with all lip balms, all there is to do is measure-melt-pour-ignore (aka let cool), and you’re done! Let’s make some Chamomile Citrus Vegan Lip Balm 🙂
Chamomile Citrus Vegan Lip Balm
10 drops South African chamomile essential oil
2 drops litsea cubeba essential oil
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Once everything has melted, remove the measuring cup from the heat and dry the outside of it off with a dish towel. Set the measuring cup on a towel or hot pad to insulate it from the counter and stir the mixture with a flexible silicone spatula to combine everything.
Stir in the essential oils, and pour the lip balm into tubes or tins, and let it set up. Enjoy!