Easy 10-minute lip balm formulation

Easy lip balm to make at home

It’s winter here at Formula Botanica HQ and while a wonderful time of year for many reasons, our lips may not agree. With fewer and thinner layers of skin compared to elsewhere on our body, lips require extra care to maintain their moisture balance and resilience. They are all the more in need of care in winter months when the lack of humidity both outdoors and inside can deplete the lips of their natural moisture, leading to dryness and discomfort.

Let’s introduce you to a lovely solution with our formulation for a peppermint and mocha lip balm. This balm acts as an occlusive barrier against the elements, shielding the delicate skin of the lips from the harsh environmental and interior conditions where the moisture is depleted by heating systems. By providing a protective layer, lip balms help lock in moisture, preventing dehydration and chapping. Regular application becomes key in providing this defence, ensuring that the lips remain supple, hydrated, and shielded against the challenges posed by the winter weather.

You can make this easy lip balm at home in only 10 minutes. It is a delightful gift for friends, family, teachers, co-workers or other recipients and you can get creative with the packaging too. Everyone needs a lip balm in their life, and will appreciate the thought that goes into an artisan, homemade beauty gift. So, let’s get you started.

Packaging your lip balm

Easy DIY lip balm
Instead of using common plastic twist-up lip balm tubes, we encourage you to get creative and consider more fun and environmentally-friendly options. You might like the cardboard eco-push tubes or eco-pots that can come in various colours. You might find a small glass jar if you aren’t opposed to a fingertip application. The retro slide top tins are also a fun option. In choosing the packaging, you can get even more creative with lovely papers, stickers, ribbon or small holders made from paper to make the presentation even more beautiful, as well as personalised for the recipient, the season or occasion.

Key ingredients in our peppermint mocha lip balm

Beeswax: natural beeswax is a cornerstone ingredient in many lip balms, offering a multitude of benefits for combating dry lips. Its emollient properties form a protective barrier, sealing in moisture and shielding lips from harsh environmental conditions. This barrier effectively locks in hydration, preventing moisture loss and aiding in the restoration of chapped or dry lips.

Additionally, beeswax boasts soothing qualities to calm irritated skin while providing a gentle, nourishing touch. Its inherent humectant properties attract water molecules, further contributing to the lips’ hydration levels. As a key component in lip balm formulations, beeswax plays a pivotal role in revitalising and maintaining soft, supple lips, making it an invaluable ally in battling dryness.

If you prefer a vegan alternative, you could explore rice bran or carnauba waxes. If substituting beewsax, pay attention to the melting point of the wax you select as it should have similar properties (hardness and melting point) to beeswax to ensure optimal results. For advice on this, see these posts:

6 vegan waxes for organic cosmetic formulations
Vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics: what every natural formulator needs to know

Cocoa butter: this is renowned for its therapeutic properties. Its rich composition of fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins makes it an exceptional emollient that is deeply nourishing the lips. The presence of polyphenols and flavonoids help improve the elasticity and reduce roughness. The scent lends itself nicely to the mocha theme.

Want to give it an extra twist? Try adding a touch of a darker brown plant butter such a kombo butter or bacuri butter to make the balm more “mocha” in appearance.

Coffee CO2 extract: this is rich in antioxidants and caffeine and has demonstrated the ability to invigorate and rejuvenate the delicate skin on the lips. Its caffeine content stimulates circulation and the potent antioxidant profile helps to combat free radical damage.

If you don’t have any coffee CO2 extract, simply miss it out and increase the butter or oil by the same amount.

A word about essential oil safety:
Peppermint essential oil has been selected for its cooling and soothing effect on dry, chapped lips. Remember that because your lips have fewer layers of skin you should consider the safety and generally keep essential oils under 0.5% on the lips.

Our formulation: 10-minute lip balm

Easy DIY lip balm formulation
Makes: recommended trial batch size: approx. 100g.
Formulation: a hot process, anhydrous formulation.
Time taken: 10 minutes.
Level: beginner-level formulation to personalise and adapt.

Phase Ingredients INCI Weight (g)
A Beeswax Cera alba 22.00
A Cocoa butter Theobroma cacao seed butter 27.00
A Castor oil Ricinus communis seed oil 20.00
A Sweet almond oil Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil 28.70
B Coffee CO2 extract Coffee arabica seed extract 1.50
B Tocopherol Tocopherol 0.50
B Peppermint essential oil Mentha piperita oil 0.30
Total: 100.00

Equipment:

  • Scales
  • Glass beakers / stainless steel bowls
  • Hot plate
  • Water bath
  • Spatulas, stainless steel spoons and pipettes
  • Protective gloves
  • Suitable container – twist-up lip balm tube or lidded pot

Method of Manufacture

  1. Preparation

    Sanitise your utensils and work area, and wear appropriate PPE according to GMP.

  2. Weigh out butter, oils and wax

    Weigh out all of the phase A ingredients into a glass beaker or a heat-proof jar.

  3. Heat butter, oils and wax

    Heat phase A in a water bath until all of the wax and the butter has melted completely and are fully blended together.

  4. Weigh out extracts and Vitamin E

    Weight out phase B ingredients while phase A is heating. Once you remove phase A from the heat it will not take long for the balm to begin to solidify around the edges so you want to have phase B ready.

  5. Remove phase A from heat and cool

    Allow phase A to cool just a bit until you begin to see the balm just starting to solidify around the edges.

  6. Add phase B

    Add phase B to phase A. You may see some of the balm begin to solidify so simply stir the balm and scrape down the sides of the beaker to keep everything liquified.

  7. Pour the balm into the tubes or your selected packaging

    Leave a bit of room at the top after the initial pour and reserve a small amount of balm in the beaker. The balm will solidify rather quickly and you may notice a divot at the top of the balm.

  8. Liquify the reserve balm in the beaker

    Place the beaker back in the hot water bath for just a few seconds and stir to melt the balm again. Pour this into the top of the tube for a smooth finish.

  9. Label and date

    Label and date your batch.

Formulation tips

  1. Heat all of your heat-stable ingredients to their melting point. In this formula the beeswax has a melting point of about 62-65°C. Once it is heated you can remove the beaker from the hot water bath and let it cool. When you add the heat-sensitive ingredients you may notice some solids form in the beaker. This is nothing to worry about. Give the balm a stir and you will likely notice that everything liquifies quickly. If not, just a quick dip in the hot water bath should liquify everything nicely without compromising heat-sensitive ingredients.
  2. Remember, balms cool very quickly so the ingredients do not remain hot and liquid for long. If the balm begins to solidify in the beaker before you get it poured into your packaging, simply give it a quick dip in the water bath again for a few seconds and give it a stir to melt the remaining balm and continue to pour.
  3. When you pour the balm into lip balm tubes you may notice a divot in the top of the balm. To correct this there are a couple of options. A hair dryer could be used to heat the top enough to smooth the balm or a better option would be to reserve a bit of the balm in the beaker and, when pouring into the tubes, leave a little room at the top when doing the first pour. Allow it to solidify and form the divot, then heat the balm in the beaker and top off the tube for a smooth finish.

Suggested suppliers

Many of the suppliers below ship internationally. We have given their home country base.
Aromazone (EU).
Aromantic (UK)
Alexmo Cosmetics (EU)
Manske (EU)
Soap Kitchen (UK)
Elemental (EU)
Lotioncrafter (USA)
Essential Wholesale (USA)
O&3 – the Oil Family (UK/EU)
Go Native (New Zealand)
Naturally Balmy (UK)
Soap & More (Canada)

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Easy 10-minute lip balm formulation

Therese is on the Education Team at Formula Botanica after joining as a Grading Tutor in December 2022. Therese’s years of experience as a cosmetologist/esthetician and later a Certified Holistic Health Coach led her to a passion for formulating quality natural ingredients and Formula Botanica was just the school she needed to begin advancing and mastering her formulating skills.

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