Winter is hard on lips, so this scrub is designed to be paired with my Candy Cane Peppermint Lip Balm to create perfectly gift-able, minty lip kit. Begin by buffing off any dry skin with this rich scrub, and then follow up with the creamy lip balm for soft, pampered, minty lips.

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Lip scrubs vs. other scrubs

Most of the scrubs I make—body scrubs, face polishes, etc.—include some sort of surfactant. This ensures the scrub has good rinse off, and depending on the formulation, can also add some bubbles. This is something I intentionally don’t include in lip scrubs. I have tried it and found it left my lips feeling way too dry and stripped, which does make sense as the skin on our lips is much thinner than the skin on our hands or legs. Instead, this scrub includes a bit of beeswax to reduce wash-off a bit, helping leave the lips feeling moisturized after they’ve been scrubbed.

Salt vs. sugar

I’ve chosen white sugar for this scrub; white for aesthetics (candy canes aren’t known for being brown!), and sugar for taste. While you could use salt… yuck 🙈 Use regular sugar for a just-right level of scrub—powdered will be too fine to do any scrubbing, and larger/coarser sugar will make fun a chunky, unwieldily mixture.

Some fun with the presentation

As I have with the other Candy Cane formulations I’ve shared this year, I’ve had some fun with the presentation of this lip scrub. Well, I’ve tried to.

I tried a sort of “pot swirl” approach with the first batch. This worked pretty well, but the softness of the scrub that allowed for the pot swirl also meant the scrub was so soft that it didn’t make for a very good lip scrub.

As I modified the scrub to become richer and stiffer I tried some approaches that utilized its more dough-like consistency. This approach created interesting results with varying levels of… finesse. The smaller batches seemed to better as I was able to move faster, giving me more time with a pliable dough vs. a much more solid mixture.

I think there’s promise in this idea, but its execution clearly needs some refining. I suspect working with the parchment on a silicone mat or even a wooden cutting board would help as the mixture wouldn’t cool as quickly as it did on a stone countertop. Let me know if you try it!

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Relevant links & further reading

Candy Cane Lip Scrub

Heated phase
15.78g | 26.3% sweet almond oil (USA / Canada)
12g | 20% stearic acid (USA / Canada / UK)
1.2g | 2% beeswax, refined (USA / Canada)

Post heat phase
30g | 50% white sugar (USA / Canada)

Cool down phase
0.3g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 1% peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)

To colour half the batch—optional
0.12g | 0.2% Candy Cane red lip liquid

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.

Weigh the heated phase ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.

After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dishtowel. 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. Add the white sugar and stir until the mixture has cooled a bit; it should be hazy white and creamy.

Weigh in the cool down phase and stir to continue.

At this point you’ve got a couple options:

  • You can package it as is.
  • You can divide the mixture into two parts and stir the red lip liquid into half and then do something interesting with the two coloured halves. I tried swirling, layering, and creating a sort of Swiss-roll situation; nothing was super successful or impressive, but I did create some interesting-looking lip scrubs. I’m not convinced it was worth the extra mess or effort, though!

Transfer the product into its container; I used these cute “mushroom style” lip balm pots from Canwax. I ended up using gloved hands most of the time to get the scrub into the jars. Leave the jars on the counter to set up.

To use, massage a small amount of the scrub into your lips and rinse off the extra with a bit of water. Resist the urge to eat 😝 Enjoy!

Shelf Life & Storage

Because this product does not contain any water, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.

Substitutions

As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the formulation, you will get a different final product than I did.

  • As I’ve provided this formulation in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams, this formulation will make 60g.
  • To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
  • You can substitute another lightweight oil like Apricot Kernel Oil, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the sweet almond oil.
  • You could try cetearyl alcohol or C10-18 Triglycerides (Butter Pearls) instead of stearic acid.
  • You could try Candelilla Wax or Carnauba wax instead of beeswax.
  • Don’t use salt instead of sugar… unless you are a salt fiend, I suppose, but I cannot imagine that will taste nice!
  • If you’d like to incorporate a different essential oil, please read this.
  • I don’t recommend substituting the peppermint essential oil, but if you really want to you could use a flavour oil (not a fragrance oil—those aren’t lip safe), a different essential oil (something minty would be preferable), or just use more almond oil.
  • The colour is optional; replace it with more almond oil if you don’t want to use it. You could also use a mica instead, but you’ll need more—perhaps 0.5%. Adjust the almond oil to make room.
  • Resist the urge to use more colour as this can create a product that will stain towels.

Gifting Disclosure

The sweet almond oil, stearic acid, beeswax, and vitamin E were gifted by YellowBee.
The candy cane lip liquid was gifted by TKB Trading. Links to TKB Trading are affiliate links.
The peppermint essential oil was gifted by Simply Ingredients.
Links to Amazon are affiliate links.