This rich, creamy lip balm came out of the experiments I did as I was developing my recipe for my Basic Moldable Lipstick Base. It was the far end of my “let’s make this creamier” experiments, and while I loved how it felt, it basically glued itself to the inside of the lipstick mold and refused to budge. Not one to let something that luxxy go to waste, though, I decided it should be a lip balm instead!

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

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Since this was borne out of lipstick development, not lip balm development, it definitely has a longer, fussier ingredient list than your average lip balm, but I think it’s worth it. The bulk of the lip balm is rich, glossy castor oil and creamy cetearyl alcohol. Cetearyl alcohol provides thickening along with being a wonderful emollient, and allows us to use less wax and still get a firm, creamy end product.

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

Lecithin and stearic acid further amp up the creamy factor; I love the slight tug they both add to the balm. Stearic acid also contributes to wax-less thickening. We do still have two waxes in here—beeswax and candelilla. Beeswax brings its wonderful tacky hardening to the balm, while candelilla brings a bit of hard, glossy hardness. The whole lot is rounded off with a bit of simple fractionated coconut oil and some vitamin E oil to extend the shelf life.

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

Despite the longer-than-usual ingredients list, making this balm is as easy as any other: measure, melt, pour. We will be doing something fun with this base in my next post, so stay tuned!

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Creamy Lip Balm

Heated phase
20.25g | 40.5% castor oil
2.5g | 5% soy lecithin
10g | 20% cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
2.5g | 5% stearic acid
5g | 10% fractionated coconut oil
8g | 16% beeswax
1.5g | 3% candelilla wax

Cool down phase
0.25g | 0.5% vitamin E 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.

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 dish towel. Weigh in the cool down phase and stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.

Pour 25g of the lip balm into a 30mL/1 ounce tin. We’ll be doing some cool stuff with that later 😉

You’ve now got enough lip balm left for about five standard tubes; you can pour it as is, or add 0.5–1% lip-safe essential oil and stir that in before pouring. Let that set up and you’re ready to roll!

Because these lip balms are 100% oil based, 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, they should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice they start to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck them 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 recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.

  • As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Making Skincare. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g.
  • Do not substitute the castor oil
  • You can use sunflower lecithin instead of soy, just be sure whatever you use is liquid.
  • Do not substitute the cetearyl alcohol or stearic acid
  • You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the fractionated coconut oil
  • You can use refined or unrefined beeswax
  • You can try soy wax in place of the beeswax, though I haven’t tried this so I’m not sure how it’ll go.
  • You can use carnauba wax instead of candelilla

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

How to Make Creamy Lip Balm

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