This cherry-hued, marzipan-scented lip balm is a lovely bit of summery goodness in a tube! You’ll need just six ingredients to make it, and you can customize the colour—including adjusting the formulation to include more pigment to create a lip tint. You can choose to put the balm in tubes or tins; I prefer tubes so I don’t have to worry about having clean fingers whenever I apply it, but both are great options. Let’s get started!
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The bulk of this lip balm is a blend of three liquid oils pressed from the kernels (pits) of three different summer stone fruits; plums, apricots, and cherries. Gosh, I could really go for a great big bowl of firm, juicy bing cherries right about now 😍 Anywho, these oils are very much the core of our Summer Stone Fruit theme. You could definitely switch up the blend (peach kernel oil would be lovely, or you could use more of any of the oils in the formulation), but I highly recommend keeping the plum kernel oil as it smells wonderfully of marzipan and that scents the entire formulation.
I’ve used beeswax to thicken the oils up into a firm, creamy lip balm. If you’d like a non-beeswax alternative, check out some of the wax to liquid oil ratio experiments I’ve done for some guidance on modifying the formulation. I’d probably start with sunflower wax or refined bayberry wax for a vegan creamy wax alternative.
This lip balm contains 3% coloured mica; I chose a deep red one called Sangria from YellowBee as it reminded me of cherries, but you could definitely choose something else stone-fruity. Perhaps something a bit more orange-y for apriocts, or something purpley for plums? It’s up to you! While 3% coloured mica leaves the lip balm quite vibrantly coloured in the tube, it won’t tint your lips.
If you’d like it to tint your lips, I recommend including a small amount of a pure pigment, like an iron oxide, FD&C dye, or carmine. The easiest way to do this is to use a pre-distributed liquid colour—these are typically a roughly equal blend of the pigment and castor oil, and the pigment has been finely ground and thoroughly dispersed in the castor oil so it’s really quick and easy to incorporate. You can get them at TKB Trading in the USA and Windy Point in Canada. I’d start by swapping ~10% of one of the liquid oils for a castor oil/pigment blend and see how that goes. If you don’t have the liquid pigment you can use dry pigments, but you’ll need to do more work to get them to incorporate. I’d start with ~5% pigment (remove that from one of the liquid oils) and watch this video to learn how to incorporate it.
Relevant links & further reading
- Plum kernel oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Apricot kernel oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Cherry kernel oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Beeswax in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coloured mica in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- A Quick Guide to Beeswax & Liquid Oil Ratios
- Can I use _______ wax instead of the wax called for in the recipe?
- Will this melt in hot weather?
- Can I use mica instead of pure pigment?
- How long will ______ last? What is its shelf life?
- Why does lip balm form a dent in the top when it cools? from Realize Beauty
- How much essential oil can I add to this recipe?
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Summer Stone Fruit Lip Balm
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.
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.
Quickly add the cool down phase, stir to incorporate, and pour the product lip balm into lip balm tubes (this formulation will fill four standard lip balm tubes). Leave to set up.
Once the tubes have set up, cap ’em, wipe ’em down, and you’re done! Use as you’d use any lip balm. Enjoy!
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, this lip balm should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice the balmstarts 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 20g, which will fill four standard lip balm tubes.
- 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 could use more of any of the three oils in this formulation to replace what you don’t have.
- Sweet almond oil or peach kernel oil will also work well as a replacement for any of the oils in this formulation that you don’t have.
- You could use other oils you like, too, but that does start to defeat the purpose of a “stone fruit” themed lip balm if you’re replacing the stone fruit oils with other oils!
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.