autumn days

Monday, May 23, 2011

homemade beeswax lip balm

My friend Holly and I undertook the challenge of making our own lip balm.  You may ask, like a friend of ours did, "Why?!"  Well, we do love a challenge, making household goods, and using basic ingredients to make products we would otherwise buy in plastic packaging produced in far away places.  We love making gifts for our friends and trying these new projects with our children.  

For lip balm, we thought of giving friends bee-themed baskets, such as beeswax lip balm, local honey, and beeswax candles.  First, we collected the ingredients and containers for making our own lip balm.  Holly rendered her own beeswax from last year's hives, along with making her own vanilla from rum.  She purchases a gallon of coconut oil at a time, as she uses it for many home-assembled goods.  Her honey came from Zenger Farms, where she knows it is locally and sustainably produced.  We were ready to put it all together once we'd gathered supplies and children. 

1 cup (225 g) shredded beeswax 
14 oz coconut oil
5 T (100 g) honey
5 T pure vanilla extract

Heat the wax in a saucepan over low heat to 150 degrees.  In a separate saucepan, heat the oil to the same temperature.  When both are heated to the proper temperature, add the coconut oil to the beeswax, remove the pan from heat, and stir steadily until well blended.  Then add the honey and the vanilla extract, and continue to stir until well blended.  Pour into tubes or tubs, allow to cool overnight, and then cap the containers and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.    **Fills 100, .15-ounce lip-balm tubes**
(This recipe wax taken from The Backyard Beekeeper by: Kim Flottum and then from

half-ounce tins, rendered beeswax, and local honey
a math lesson in measuring by weight and volume

Hannah was especially helpful with opening and sorting all the balm tins.
We followed the directions, measuring things out by volume.  It turned out that the recipe's equivalent measurements (cups verses grams) were not truly equivalent.  When cutting the recipe in half, we needed two cups of shredded beeswax (as opposed to the half-cup suggested by the recipe) to get the 115 grams for our recipe.  We made this recipe a second time after finding the differences in equivalents during the first batch.  For both our batches, there was severe separation of the oil and water-based ingredients.

Some containers had a liquid (vanilla honey) mixture in the bottoms.

The honey and rum vanilla are quite delicious, but they make for a very messy lip balm.
Some of our lip balms came out with just the waxy top (wax and oil), though many of them have liquid trapped underneath or floating to the top.  I separated the successfully solid balms from the ones containing liquids.  The solids I am able to give to others, and I have made use of the separated tins for myself.  Hannah and I drained the liquid and will use it in later recipes as vanilla, as it is mostly vanilla and honey.  We melted the solids down again to make our own container of lip balm.  Hannah and I are enjoying our new lip balm and I feel good providing my child with a healthy homemade way to moisturize her lips.  This activity has provided her the opportunity to learn some chemistry while helping to make lip balm.  Someday, when we attempt more lip balm, she will have more of a hand in the assembly and we will surely use a different recipe.


  1. you can try this one: :)

  2. It was your vanilla extract it is not oil based. and since you need an emollient (something that make liquid adhere to oil and you do not it was doomed. make your own oil infusion with vanilla beans and oil and it will work fine.