Out of all the things I’ve made that I have to frequently remind myself not to eat, this Chocolate Lip Butter is pretty high up that list. It smells downright delicious, and leaves my lips oh-so wonderfully soft and hydrated. And did I mention that it smells exactly like high end chocolate and is pretty much irresistible? This stuff is great.
I’ve made a lot of lip balms, but this time I wanted a lip butter. I’m more or less inventing the distinction between the two categories, but I was imagining something a bit softer, but also tacky and super hydrating. Softer blends of oils and waxes melt faster than harder, higher-wax formulas, and while that’s great for body butters (it means they absorb into your skin quickly rather than leaving you oily), on lips you end up with something that melts off too fast to stick around and hydrate your lips. Sad.
So, in order to get something soft but also a bit tacky and hydrating, I added some lecithin. Lecithin is found in egg yolks, soy, and the human brain, to name a few places. It’s a fatty, viscous brown substance that’s really sticky and an amazing moisturizer—its unique consistency is key to the performance of the lip balm, so if you don’t want to use lecithin, you really can’t make this recipe. Lecithin has emulsifying properties, and is an antioxidant (so it’ll help prolong the life of this lip butter). The easiest version to find is soy lecithin, but you can also purchase sunflower lecithin, and they are functionally identical. The “soy” part tends to give people pause, but that’s really just the source and doesn’t say much about lecithin itself, which is safe to use (and in your brain right this very moment). If you’re looking to avoid GMOs or soy, grab the sunflower version instead.
Other than the lecithin, this lip butter is a decadent blend of chocolatey cocoa butter, honey scented beeswax, and creamy mango butter. I’ve added some cocoa absolute to really amp up the super awesome chocolate smell, and some brown liquid dye (which is just iron oxides dispersed in castor oil; see the note at the bottom of the recipe for suppliers) to get a nice chocolately colour. I also added a few drops of carmine to warm up the brown, but that’s totally optional.
And that’s it! I love these tubes of chocolate lip butter, and I think you will, too. Seriously. Just try not to eat ’em!
Chocolate Lip Butter
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer (aim for steaming rather than bubbling) in a small saucepan.
Weigh the cocoa butter, beeswax, mango butter, and lecithin into a small heat resistant glass measuring cup. Place that measuring cup in the water bath and leave for at least ten minutes to melt through.
Once everything has melted, remove the measuring cup from the water bath and dry it off (to avoid accidentally getting water into the chocolate lip butter, which can shorten its shelf life). Use a flexible silicone spatula to stir in the cocoa absolute and dyes, and then pour the liquid lip butter into six lip balm tubes.
Leave the lip butter to set up for at least twenty minutes before capping and labelling (I love these labels). Store unopened tubes in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. Enjoy!
This lip balm won’t tint your lips at all, so the dyes in the amounts I’ve listed are really just to make the lip balm look chocolatey. If you want a tint you’ll need to use quite a bit more dye, and if you don’t want a tint and don’t want to fuss with the dyes you can totally eliminate them.
Because this recipe has so few ingredients I don’t really recommend making any substitutions. You could use shea butter or capuacu butter instead of the mango butter, but I did choose the mango butter because I think it’s a better fit for this recipe. For more information about carrier oil substitutions, read this.
You can buy the chocolate brown liquid dye, which is just iron oxides dispersed in castor oil, from Saffire Blue (in Canada) and TKB Trading (in the USA). If you don’t have the dye you can just use some brown iron oxide instead, which you’ll need to blend in thoroughly to avoid clumps (a flexible silicone spatula is really useful for smearing the pigment across the bottom of your dish to break it up).