Back in December I picked up Laniege’s Lip Sleeping Mask at San Francisco’s Duty Free shop during a rather long stop-over on my way to New Zealand. I’d read about the product working wonders for super dry lips and was intrigued by those claims and also by the idea of having something novel to entertain me, however briefly, on my upcoming 13-hour flight across the Pacific.
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The mask itself is sort of like an extra-gooey soft lip balm, with a very long (45!) ingredient list. It contains a fruit salad’s worth of fruit extracts as well as some shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and a whole lot of other things home crafters can’t get. You smooth on a generous amount before bed (or use it like regular lip balm as well—at 20g [aka approximately 4.5 tubes of lip balm] I’m going to have this lip mask for years!) and wake up with happier lips. I really liked the product and the concept, so when Kelly sent in a recipe request for an overnight lip mask with a sample ingredient list from a simpler commercially available product, I was super intrigued!
The bulk of this lip mask is lanolin, which totally makes sense when I think about the gooey-sticky consistency of the Laniege product. Some added castor oil and beeswax further add to the rich oil-gel-ish feel of the product. Sebum-like jojoba oil, silky kukuinut oil, and rich shea butter round out our oil blend, and some carnauba wax adds some harder, glossy thickening.
I also decided to take a bit of inspiration from the Laniege product and include a bit of an active I purchased from Lotion Crafter called Hilurlip (thanks to Cristie for turning me onto this awesome new toy!). It’s a lip-specific active containing both sodium hyaluronate and tripeptide-1 to help hydrate lips, reducing fine lines and increasing plumpness. It is oil soluble and effective at 1–3%. You certainly don’t have to use it, but I really liked the idea of fusing some of the strengths of the higher-tech Laniege formulation with the more accessible one Kelly shared. I don’t recommend using hyaluronic acid in its place; the concentration and particle size are both so small as to be very hard (if not impossible) to replicate at home.
To wrap things up I’ve included a few “tarting up” ingredients—a touch of colour and some peppermint essential oil to help combat that oh-so-alluring lanolin scent (good news: I don’t notice the lanolin at all!). The colour is optional (and doesn’t show up on the skin at all), but I’d really recommend including the essential oil unless you’re a huge fan of the smell of lanolin 😝
The end product is rich and a bit gooey with a hint of gloss and great wear time. I’ve been generously schmearing it on and enjoying it both as an overnight lip mask and as a during-the-day lip balm (though I use less for during-the-day wear). I’ve found it to be downright lovely—like a supercharged combination of lip balm and a super hydrating lip gloss. Highly recommended!
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Moisturizing Overnight Lip Mask
2.3g | 23% lanolin
2g | 20% castor oil (USA / Canada)
1.5g | 15% beeswax (USA / Canada)
1.5g | 15% jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
1g | 10% kukuinut oil
1g | 10% refined shea butter (USA / Canada)
0.4g | 4% carnauba wax
Cool down phase
0.1g | 1% liquid carmine dye or pink mica
0.1g | 1% hilurlip
0.05g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.05g | 0.5% peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
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.
Once everything has melted through (this can take quite a while due to the carnauba wax), remove the mixture from the heat and dry off the measuring cup. Let the mixture cool, stirring. After ~1 minute of cooling, add the liquid carmine dye and stir to combine.
Continue to let the lip mask cool—I’d leave it for about a minute, return to stir, and repeat this cycle until the mixture started to lean more towards a soft solid than liquid, and I could comfortably hold the warm dish in my hand.
At this point it’s time to blend in the remaining cool down ingredients; the hilurlip, essential oil, and vitamin E. Once those ingredients have been thoroughly blended in you’re ready to transfer the balm to your container. I used a 15g screw-top tin from YellowBee. This was too big for a 10g batch and too small for a 20g batch (somewhat predictably!).
To use, smooth a generous amount of the lip mask over your lips before bed and enjoy waking up to super soft lips!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this lip balm is 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, 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.
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 a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 10g.
- Do not substitute the lanolin, beeswax, or castor oil
- You can use different medium weight oils instead of jojoba and kukuinut, like rice bran
- Mango butter or cupuacu butter would work well in place of shea butter
- Candelilla wax will work instead of carnauba wax
- The colour is optional; replace it with more jojoba oil if you don’t wish to use any
- If you don’t have the hilurlip you can replace it with more kukuinut oil
- You can use a different essential oil, but I’d definitely include something to cover the scent of the lanolin
Good morning! I was wondering since you wear this at bedtime would the color come off onto the pillow?
I haven’t had any issues with that, and my pillowcases are a very pale blue. There isn’t really enough colour in here to show up on skin, and I tend to apply it 5–10 minutes before bed as I’m doing my skincare routine, and then I usually read a bit before snuggling down properly 🙂
Im your new fan
I want to ask about composition
can i use honey to replace lanolin
because I really don’t like the smell
and can i use food coloring to add aroma and color
will it affect the results and the ingredients later?
Thanks before <3
Hi! No to both, unfortunately. Honey is water-soluble, so it will not combine in this anhydrous formula, and food dyes are both not recommended for cosmetics + are usually also water-soluble. Happy making!
Can I just buy this lip balm from you?
I’ve got an entire FAQ on this, but the short answer is a firm no.
Hi, What is the scale you are using in the cool down process to measure the ingredients?
Please check out this FAQ and this encyclopedia entry 🙂
Is Hirulup available in Canada?
Because ordering from Lotion crafters one has to pay shipping and on top of that taxes and duty
I ordered from Lotion crafters Vit C it was for 70 $ including shipping and was shocked when I had to pay 24$ more as duty and taxes
How do you get stuff from Lotion crafters Marie?
I’ve only found it at Lotion Crafter; I picked it up on a trip to the US last year.
Can I use unrefined shea butter?
You can, but keep in mind the scent will likely carry through 🙂 Happy making!
I’ve made this adding extra colour, varying the oils slightly and no hirulup as I don’t have it and it makes a lovely daytime lip gloss which I will definitely be using. A great recipe Marie! I’m going to have to make more in another shade 🙂
Wonderful! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 I definitely don’t limit my wear to nighttime, either 😛
Can i replace the essential oil with a flavoring oil from Get Suckered or TKB to mask the smell?
My Monday morning commute to work is always quite awful, so I really look (listen?) forward to your new recipes on YouTube even though I will almost inevitably find myself short a few ingredients. Listening to you run through the list of ingredients is almost like hearing them call out the winning lottery numbers only to find out your own were off by a few numbers. So I invested in Amazon Prime, bought a large storage pantry and learned the art of patience as I waited for my missing ingredients. After about a year of this, I’ve become quite used to making a note of which items I would need to order. So you can imagine my surprise when you called out the list today AND ALL MY NUMBERS HIT!!! I was so shocked and excited that I pulled over, turned around, went home, called in to work and made this wonderfully hydrating lip mask!
Well shucks 😀 I’m sorry your commute is so wretched, and I’m happy to hear I can bring some small measure of happiness to it—and congrats on the lotto win! Hopefully that starts happening more and more 😀
Lol! I love this on so many levels!
Hi Marie, I’m really excited to make this lip mask and wanted to know what the consistency of the lip balm is like as I don’t like to stick my finger in the pot – would the mask come out of a 15ml tube pump? If not, would substituting to mango butter help? Thanks so much! 🙂
This will absolutely not work in a pump. I don’t recommend making it thinner as a large part of the occlusive function of this mask is due to its thick consistency (the thickening ingredients are also the occlusive ingredients). You could likely maintain that occlusiveness with less viscosity by incorporating petrolatum, but you’d have to do your own experiments, and even then I highly doubt you would be able to get anything close to a pump-able consistency. I would recommend getting a wee little application spatula instead 🙂
Could I pour it in lip balm moulds ?It would be easier to apply
Not really—watch the video to get a better idea of the consistency it would have to be at the time you’d be trying to put it in a tube.
First want to say I love your recipes as they include “exotic” ingredients that make decadent products! So thank you for all the inspiration and thousands of posts!
About this recipe, I made it last night and this consistency is no where close to your. I was able to put it in a 5 ml tube and it’s not hard and not too soft although after being in my pocket for an hour, it’s beginning to break down a bit. I did sub the beeswax with 10% cera bellina and 5% stearic acid (only because I’m tired of the tackiness of beeswax and wanted something more creamy) but now I have an “in-between” lip balm that’s too thick for a tub and too thin for a tube (unless you are careful not to over-heat it).
Was it my substitution? although I thought beeswax would make it even harder… how did yours become so creamy and does it stay that way in most temperatures? I love the texture and “wear-ability” of this recipe but I’d like to make one that will work in a tube and more of a gel (that looks like yours) for a tub.
looking forward to your response!
Hey! Thanks for reading 🙂 Because this is supposed to be an overnight lip mask I didn’t formulate it to be carried around in a pocket—it’s designed to sit next to your bed for pre-bedtime application. I doubt it was your substitution, I suspect it is the out-of-scope usage 🙂
I was thinking to add magnesium stearate and magnesium myristate like in your lipstick formulas.
Do you think this would be ok for a mask? Or am I wasting the ingredients.
Those ingredients mostly help with pigment adhesion—there’s no need to include them here 🙂
Ahh you are the best! Thanks for getting back to me!
I made this formulation for both myself and a friend – for Christmas – and it is a good formula not only for the night, but daytime too due to the drying air. Thank you so much for the recipe:)
I am so glad you are enjoying it! I gifted mine and I think I’m due to make another batch soon 😀 Thanks for DIYing with me!
I wanted to do your recipe for a long time. But, I recently discovered that I have issues with lanolin. My lips are getting worse when I use it. I came across a recipe for a «vegetal» lanolin that uses castor oil, beeswax and vitamin-e. I will give it a try. Hopefully, it will not be too far from the beautiful texture of your balm. Thanks!
That’s lanolin for you! It’s an amazing product, but some folks react to it something feirce! I have to admit to you, that I much prefer this lip balm for night use! I find that when I wake up after wearing it my lips are ridiculously smooch worthy!
Do you need to put this in the fridge to set?
Nope—that’s why the recipe doesn’t say to put it in the fridge 😉 I try to be very thorough!
Hi Marie! Thank you so much for this recipe.
I was wondering why there’s such a high percentage of castor oil over a different, more moisturising oil? I’m assuming it has to do with consistency but I thought I’d ask, I’m just wondering if maybe castor oil has some moisturising properties or something that benefits lips that I don’t know about?
I was also wondering if you could elaborate a little bit on why we can’t use hyaluronic acid? Is it because hilurlip only has a tiny percentage of hyaluronic acid and we’re only using a small amount of hilurlip in the recipe, so it’s hard to get that small a percentage? If so, why would it be an issue to have a larger percentage of hyaluronic acid in the product, does it damage the lips?
Sorry so much for all of the questions! I’m trying to get a better understanding of the ingredients I use now that I’m starting to get into diy so that I can start to try and formulate on my own at some stage. I’ve tried to look the answers up online (I even looked at a couple of research papers) but haven’t had any luck finding answers.
As an aside from this recipe, I really want to try and make a lip mask that has some honey in it. Would I add lecithin like you did with the maple syrup lip balm? Would the honey even increase the moisturising factor?
I’m so grateful for all of the work you do for the site. It’s an absolute gem of a resource. It’s so nice to have a diy site that focuses on science instead of being all woo! So many sites I’ve looked at fail to even mention things like preservatives so I’m glad you’re here as a sensible resource.
Thank you so much! 🙂
Hey Judi! I think Suki has done a really good job addressing your questions (thanks, Suki!). You certainly could try a different heavy oil over castor, but castor oil + beeswax is a very special combination. You could even try a simple experiment with beeswax/castor oil and beeswax/some other liquid oil and see what you think 🙂 If you like your version better, go for it! That’s the awesome part of DIY 🙂
I’d recommend reading more about hilurlip to learn more about how it works/what it does. Basically, it’s not just hyaluronic acid, and it is suited to anhydrous applications, while plain powdered hyaluronic acid won’t be quite as cooperative. You might end up with a gritty, unenjoyable end product that has $3 of hyaluronic acid in it, and that would be sad 🙁
Dear Judi, If Marie & Barb don’t mind, I’d like to butt in here. Although its been a minute since you posted, maybe someone else could use this.
So, the castor oil. You’ll often find a usually pretty high percentage of castor oil in most lip formulae, shampoo bars, hard soaps, some syndet bars & in other interesting places (like certain makeup products). You might be surprised at some of the unique qualities this oil has that truly no other liquid oil does.
For example, if you find this kind of thing as cool as I do; when ingested, it forms fatty acids which when they decompose in your belly, exert a powerfully cathartic effect on the mucous membranes of your alimentary canal, & hydrolize into an uber-extreme laxative which, to understate it, is quite intense.
Secondly, it differs from other oils in some unique ways with its solubility. It contains some hydroxy fatty acids, & as a result, & I’ve only read about this, so I haven’t yet seen it, but because of these constituents, its apparently soluble, to a fair extent, in cold ethanol.
Additionally, its miscible with certain materials such as Peruvian Balsam, whereas other oils are not & will separate on standing.
None of which answers your question about its role here, but the fact is, that no other lipid that is liquid, other than lecithin & possibly liquid lanolin is quite so thick & almost viscous. I would think Marie might insist on not substituting it because it is actually very moisturizing, super emollient & extremely occlusive, ideal qualities in an overnite masque meant for skin with no sweat or oil glands.
Regarding the Hilurlip, I’ve recently worked with this & its so rad! Benefits one can’t even achieve with low molecular weight H.A. & its oil-soluble!
The important points here being that first, hyaluronic acid is a ginormous molecule, there’s not even a slim chance to really get it past the surface of the skin, even using the LMWHA. There’s a sort of ‘rule of thumb’ about skin & penetrating the upper layers, that it, at minimum (there’s multiple other factors, I think), requires a molecular size of 500 Daltons or less, I think regular H.A. is 50,000? Don’t quote me on that. Very big though. (However, it’d be worthwhile to read Amanda Foxon-Hill, a very esteemed cosmetic chemist, who has some genius theories on the massive hydrating bulk of H.A. sort of ‘shoving in’ other moisturizing ingredients its been formulated correctly with).
The reason why H.A. wouldn’t be appropriate for this recipe is that its water-soluble, & the recipe is anhydrous. There’s no way to solubilize it, to my knowledge. However, the honey, in a very small amount, could be incorporated into a formula like this, & you could add a scosh of liquid lecithin, at, I would guess, maybe an equal weight, or less, of the honey (no more than 1% of the total weight of the whole formula of honey, plus approximately 0.5-1% liquid lecithin, & don’t forget to remove that 1.5-2% from either the jojoba or kukui nut oil).
You know, Marie has an excellent recipe for a super moisturizing lip treatment here somewhere that contains a sizeable amount of lecithin & i think, honey. It could be the Egyptian Magic one? Look around, she’s got a super helpful search function & her whole blog is so easy to navigate.
Rereading this, I would suspect it wasn’t too helpful.
Speaking of rereading though, most everything pertaining to your questions was actually covered really well by Marie in the first place. I write novels like this on her blog all the time, then go back & check & find she actually addressed my exact concern in the text of the post. She packs a lot of info into these gems, & invariably, the answers are usually right there.
Good luck! Muchlove, suki
Well said, Suki!
Sorry, so wrong, I was mixing up ‘Chocolate Lip Butter’ with the DIY Egyptian Magic, which is not even a lip balm. Still, poke around, there’s so much great stuff here.
hi marie, i was wondering, if i were to use a flavouring oil, would the peppermin EO affect the scent
Yes, it will.
Hello. I would like to make a vegan friendly version of this recipe which automatically omits the lanolin and beeswax.. 2 of the main things you said not to substitute. I know it won’t be the same consistency but I was thinking of substituting lanolin with stearic acid and the beeswax with candelila wax. Or maybe even flipping that and sub the lanolin with candelila wax, and sub the beeswax with stearic acid. I would love your opinion on this mix. Also, if there is a vegan lanolin substitute that you know of, that would also be extremely helpful. Thank you!!
This is exactly what I was wondering haha, even though I bought both of those ingredients.
If I wanted to use a flavoring oil instead of the EO, about how much would I use? Do you have any recommendations about what ingredients I’d want to reduce to make room?
I’d just do a 1-to-1 swap 🙂
Can i substitute Hirulup for something else postage to New Zealand makes this product way to expensive
If you don’t have the hilurlip you can replace it with more kukuinut oil 🙂
Hi Marie, instead of a essential oil can i use a flavor oil?
Yup! Read this for more info.
Hi can I use vegan Lanolin ?
I want to make a version of this that has brightening qualities. Maybe some Vitamin C possibly? I wanted to know how I could (& if I could) incorporate L-Ascorbic Acid into this recipe.
You’d need an oil soluble format of vitamin C; check out what I did in the 2nd formulation here for an idea 🙂
Can I use refined lanolin?
Yes—I’d recommend it!