Lip balm, lipsticks, lip gloss, chapstick, lip stains. Many of us use them everyday, several times a day. I personally cannot live without my lip stain and my own lip balm. I wanted to make a step above a regular lip balm. One that would have color match to my current lip stain and not be sticky or gooey. So I started researching different things that I could use to make a lip gloss/lip balm. My goal. To formulate one that would nourish, moisturize and keep my lips healthy in winter months. It had to be vegan. One without any special thickening ingredients, etc. And most importantly, I could use a wand for application. First, some practical information on oils, butters, and the natural makeup of your lip.
Why do we use Lip Balm?
Did you know the skin on your lip is only 3-5 layers deep. Your lips also contain no sweat glands. Due to this your lips produce no natural sebum. The natural oils of your skin. Since they do not sweat or produce sebum, your lips will dry out quicker than other parts of your skin. Chapped lips happen to us all, at one time or another and need these replenishing oil to be healthy.
An effective lip balm or lip gloss will provide that protective layer as if it was your skins own natural oils. By applying an occlusive layer over your lips several times a day, it provides two things – it locks in moisture and secondly, the heat and cold won’t dry out your lips.
Here’s a list of butters and oil options if you would like to make substitutions.
Nourishing Oil Options• Sweet Almond Oil – softens lips
• Broccoli Seed Oil – softens lips
• Sunflower Seed Oil – heals damaged skin
• Coconut Oil – melts easily (for those with coconut allergy though, it can make chapped lips worse)
• Tamanu Oil – heals many skin conditions
• Pomegranate Seed Oil – rich and nutritious
• Jojoba Oil – softens and nourishes skin
• Avocado Oil – rich and moisturizes dry lips
• Apricot Kernel Oil – for sensitive and mature skin
• Castor Oil – adds gloss and smoothness to lip balm
• Hemp Seed Oil – conditions lips
• Carrot Seed Oil – perfect anti-aging oil. Reduces the appearance of fine lines.
• Argan Oil – excellent lip conditioner
• Rice Bran Oil – excellent moisturizer, conditioner and nourishing oil
Nourishing Butter Options
- Shea Butter – Don’t use if you have a latex allergy. Extremely emollient.
- Babussa Seed Butter – very soft butter, emollient, adds shine
- Mango Butter – soft but firm. Melts on contact with skin. Very nourishing and moisturizing.
- Sal Butter – high in stearic acid, creates a great inclusive barrier to lock in moisture.
- Kokum Butter – Hard butter, high in stearic acid, creates a great inclusive barrier to lock in moisture.
- Cocoa Butter – Very hard; high in stearic. Very High melting point. Excellent in lip balm.
- Beeswax – very hard brittle wax. Provides an excellent moisture locking barrier. Perfect in a stick lip balm.
- Rice Bran Wax – softer than beeswax but still firm. Excellent thickener and emulsifier for lip gloss. Very nourishing and moisturizing.
When making your own lip balms keep in mind that the blend needs to be thin enough for tube or thick enough for lip pots. For lip gloss, if using a wand applicator as shown, your mixture will be thinner.
A simple formula to help guide you in lip balms formulations:
10% Butters/Oils that are solid at room temperature. These butters are on the soft side.
5% Butters that are hard at room temperature. These butters are on the brittle side.
75% Oils that are liquid at room temperature
Essential oil or flavor oil
Sweetener with maltodextrin (if desired)
Mica or gold flakes (for added color/shimmer)
*These percentages should equal 100%.
Calculating your amounts:
Figure out how much lip balm base you would like to make first. This formula will make 2 ounces of base. To calculate the amount of each ingredient, take the total amount of base and multiply by the percentage to get the weight of each ingredient.
For example: To calculate the 10% of wax for this recipe, take 2 (base) x 0.10 (percent) = 0.20 oz of wax that you will need.
Ingredients you will need for making lip gloss.
- Rice Bran Wax
- Babassu Butter
- Rice Bran Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Broccoli Seed Oil
- Rose Hip Seed Oil
- Castor Seed Oil
- Essential Oil or Flavor Oil
- Sweetener with Maltodextrin (helps bind flavor/fragrance oil to butters and oils, prevents separation)
- Lip safe liquid color, and mica for shimmer.
Making the Lip Gloss:
- Step 1: Place the glass container on your scale and tare out the container (be sure to zero out the scale for each ingredient) and measure out each ingredient one at a time into heat safe container.
For 2 ounces of lip balm base you will need to measure out the following:
.4 oz Rice Bran Wax
.2 oz Babassu Butter
.4 Mango Butter
.8 oz Any Oil(s). I chose Broccoli Seed, Rice Bran Oil, Apricot Seed Oil, Rose Hip Seed Oil
.2 oz of Castor Seed Oil
Drops of Color
Drops of Essential oil or flavor
Step 2: Add the rice bran wax, Babassu Butter, and oils to a heat safe container. I like to use a bain-maire or double boiler method. If you choose the microwave, heat for 30. Seconds at a time. Stir slightly to let the heat melt . Return to microwave, 30 seconds until melted.
Step 3: once melted, mica, and sweetener. Stirring between each addition until mixed. Continue adding mica/liquid color until desired effect is achieved. Add mica if shimmer is desired. A tiny bit goes far.
At this point, you can add your optional flavorings here. Add only a few drops at a time, mix, test, add some more if you think you need it. A word of caution, flavoring is really just smell when using natural flavors or essential oils. It’s not a flavor you will actually taste. Your nose tricks your tongue into believing it tastes the flavor when it does not taste anything! Cool trick, huh?
Step 4: Once everything is as you want it, and your mix is cool enough, using pipettes, fill lip gloss containers. If gloss gets to thick, melt slightly, over a bain-maire. I really do not recommend the microwave on these delicate oils or flavor oils as they can lose scent and burn. They can also become grainy.
You can also fill cute lip pots with lip gloss. These make great gifts or stocking stuffers for Christmas. My favorites are these cute little lens holders re-purposed as lip scrub and lip gloss. See my post about making a lip scrub here: DIY Luxury Lip Scrub & Lip Butter In One .
I used two different liquid lip colors to achieve 3 different shades of lip gloss. From palest of blush pink to fire engine red. All three colors were sheer but felt amazing on my lips. No sticky, runny, goey mess. Left my lips feeling very moisturized and healthy. Stayed where I placed it.