I will happily confess that I have a bit of a thing for gingerbread. It’s delicious, and it smells fantastic. It is also a beautiful, deep colour that seems to be to hearken to days gone by, where rye bread, dark liquor, and unrefined foods abounded. A bit overly romantic, I’m sure, but it’s a nice wintery image all the same.
Gingerbread lip balm is a bit different than straight-up normal lip balm as it requires me to incorporate something water soluble (the blackstrap molasses & vegetable glycerin) into something that is typically entirely oil based. All this requires is a healthy dose of whisking as the glycerin emulsifies the blackstrap molasses and oils together.
The end product is softer than your typical lip balm despite higher than usual percentages of beeswax and cocoa butter, so I’ve opted for a tin over tubes.
The final lip balm is wonderfully creamy, smells and tastes fantastic, and delivers a fantastic does of moisture. I’m a big fan, and I think you will be, too.
Gingerbread Lip Balm
1g | 0.03oz vegetable glycerin
3g | 0.1oz blackstrap molasses
3 drops liquid carmine dye (optional—you can also use a pinch of red iron oxide, but it will be more of a ruddy brown than red)
3 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
2 drops ginger essential oil
3 drops vanilla essential oil
Combine all the oils and waxes together in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, taking care to watch them so they don’t scorch.
As the oils are melting, combine the vegetable glycerin and molasses in a small glass dish. Stir together, using a couple short blasts in the microwave to soften everything up enough to properly stir it.
Once the oils have melted, remove them from the heat. Add the molasses mixture. The two will not want anything to do with each other at all. Start whisking—you’ll break up the blob of molasses into a bunch of tiny blobs of molasses. I know it looks pretty bad at this point, but keep whisking away. As the mixture cools it’ll suddenly emulsify, and you’ll end up with a creamy brown mixture.
Whisk in the essential oils now. We usually can’t use vanilla essential oil in lip balms because it is water soluble, but because we’ve already got an emulsion going, we can here—awesome!
I added three drops of liquid carmine dye at this point as well, to get a red tinge going on. This part is totally optional.
Decant into a 30mL/1oz tin—makes 30mL/1oz.
Don’t have the carrier oils called for in the recipe? Read this for a guide on how to choose appropriate alternatives.