I find my quick guide to liquid oil and beeswax ratios so useful that I knew I’d have to extend it out to soft oils as well. Today we’re looking at beeswax and coconut oil, a perennial favourite in DIY body products. Coconut oil is a soft oil, solid at room temperature. However, it melts at 24°C, which means it’s liquid most of the time in the parts of the world where coconuts actually grow. It’s a very smooth oil that liquifies quickly and absorbs into the skin leaving little evidence it was ever there. I was curious to see how it acted when paired with beeswax.
I used the same method for this experiment as for my other wax and oils guides. Working with 1g increments, I tested ratios of 1:1 through 1:8, increasing the amount of oil (coconut oil this time), and always using 1 gram of beeswax wax. So, 1:1 was 1 gram of each, while 1:8 was 1 gram of wax and 8 grams of coconut oil.
I labelled each little tin, melted them one by one in a water bath, and then let them set up before observing my results.
When it came time for my observations, I used the same criteria as I did with the beeswax experiment:
- How hard was it? I tested this by pressing on the surface of the mixture with my fingertip (as you would to apply a salve or lip balm), and then scraping with a fingernail.
- How quickly did it melt? This was pretty easy to observe by simply handling bits of each mixture.
- How sticky was it? I rubbed the mixtures into my arm and tested to see how tacky they were.
- How was the slip? I tested this by rubbing bits of the mixture on my lips as they are more sensitive than my arm, and also very familiar with lip balm.
And, as before, I did everything in my house, with an average ambient temperature of about 20°C (so my coconut oil is solid at room temperature). If you live somewhere drastically warmer than I do, you will likely find these observations on the harder side.
1:1 Quite hard, but it can still be dented with a determined finger press. A small amount can be rubbed into the skin pretty easily, and surprisingly it’s not very sticky. Makes a nice lip balm.
1:2 Firm, but can be dented. Smooth, but somewhat tacky on the skin. Melts relatively quickly, could be a firm salve.
1:3 Quite soft, with a firmer top and softer underneath bit. Not sticky, and a bit glossy. Could be a soft salve.
1:4 Quite soft, very smooth. Easily pressed through, fast melt.
1:5 Very soft, nearly liquifies with a small amount of handling. Absorbs quickly, smooth.
1:6 Very soft—I can dent the surface with my finger without the mixture shattering or coming into chunks. Oily, liquifies on touch.
1:7 Very soft. There’s a thicker skin on the surface, and then it’s nearly liquid underneath. After it sets up for a bit longer this effect lessens, though it is still extremely soft.
1:8 Super soft. Has a noticeable, flexible skin on the surface. When pressed, the skin cracks and liquidy oil oozes up from underneath. After setting up a bit more this effect diminishes, though the mixture still liquefies within about 2 seconds of skin contact.
A few lessons, after observing everything:
- These mixtures are far less sticky/tacky than the mixtures using liquid oil
- Raw beeswax + virgin coconut oil smell amazing
- Give the concoctions at least a few hours to set up
- Results will definitely be different on a hot summer day
- This is my first oil/wax experiment where you could use the 1:1, which I really wasn’t expecting at all
|1:1||Firm||Yes||Slow||Very little||Pretty good|
|1:2||Firm||Yes||Average||Very little||Pretty good|
|1:7||Very soft||Yes||Practically liquid||No||Great|
|1:8||Very soft||Yes||Practically liquid||No||Great|