I’ve had quite a few requests for a vegan lip balm recipe, and it’s been on my to-do list for ages now. What yanked developing this recipe to the top of my to-do list was the discovery of bayberry wax. I’d never heard of it before. It was described as “an aromatic green vegetable wax. It is removed from the surface of the fruit of the bayberry (wax-myrtle) shrub Myrica faya by boiling the fruits in water and skimming the wax from the surface of the water.” A distinctive scent was also mentioned, and I had to try it.
Fortunately, bayberry wax is pretty inexpensive—75g is just over $4. Once it arrived, the first thing I did was open the bag and take a whiff. It smelled quite spicy… almost mustardy, really. But then I took a hunk of it out of the bag, and the smell utterly transformed. It smells just like a forest in summertime. You can pick out the distinctive scents of pine and fir trees, the moist forest floor, blooming wildflowers, and even a hint of a campfire. I was utterly transported, and immediately fell in love with my new bag of waxy green clumps.
The lip balm itself behaves a bit differently than my beeswax based lip balms. It glides on nicely, moisturizes really well, and is pretty darn cheap ($0.30/tube, tube included), but it is a bit softer and, well, gummier, than the beeswax stuff.
At first I was a little apprehensive about the different texture, but I find it makes for a longer wear time and even better moisturizing. I am absolutely loving it right now as it is unbearably dry (is negative humidity a thing?). I left mine unscented to enjoy the wonderful scent of the bayberry wax, but you could always add peppermint or spearmint essential oil if you like.
Bayberry Vegan Lip Balm
Weigh the bayberry wax, coconut oil, cocoa butter (USA / Canada), and sweet almond oil (USA / Canada) out into a heat resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in a pot of barely simmering water to melt the oils.
Don’t have the carrier oils called for in the recipe? Read this for a guide on how to choose appropriate alternatives.