A few months ago I started making my own soap. This mostly started because I absolutely love artisan soaps and would usually buy them at farmer's markets, craft sales, etc. At about six buckaroos a bar, my expensive taste was becoming, well, expensive. I decided I could make my own soap for at least cheaper than six dollars a bar. Admittedly, making soap for the first time was pretty nerve-wracking, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy. From that goggled and gloved mad-scientist moment , a cosmetic monster was born. I figure why spend money on all of these products if I can make them myself (especially with my ever growing soap stock supply). I can be the one in control of what is in my products instead of needing to look up whether or not it is considered safe. (For those of you curious, you can do that here.) Unfortunately in the United States, our cosmetics are not required to be tested, so there are a large amount of products with theoretically carcinogenic components. I realize that making all of your own cosmetics in not practical for most people, nor cost-effective in all cases, and if we are completely honest with ourselves, my mother, my father, and myself were all bathed with Johnson & Johnson, and we are still very much alive. You pick and choose the battles you want to fight. Fortunately for me, I enjoy chemistry experiments. :) So it's not so much a battle but a hobby now.
Today, we will pursue lip balm. It's like a whopping 5 degrees outside today. My big ol' lips cannot handle 5 degrees. I am that person that has lip skin hanging off on a regular basis. It's not unusual for my lips to bleed. Is that lipstick on your teeth? No, just blood. (Insert Twilight comment here.) We recently ran out of lip balm in our house. By run out, I mean the last stick went through the wash. I think that happens to every lip balm that ever enters our home. We like to buy the Burt's Bees kind, so that's like three bucks per load. Major bummer. Crunchy mama to the rescue!
This lip balm is basically a mixture of beeswax and oils. You can totally make up whatever you want, which is what I did. A quick "googling" provided me with this and this, which I used as the bones for my recipe. I ordered empty tubes on Amazon, but you could reuse old containers you have too. I just prefer the ease of a stick to swipe.
The ingredients I used were beeswax pastilles, shea butter, avocado oil, almond oil, and lanolin. I had every intention of adding rosemary and vanilla essential oils but completely spaced and had them poured before I remembered. Next time. Like I said, this is totally versatile. The basic idea is to have twice as much oil as beeswax. You could use coconut oil or cocoa butter too, leave out the lanolin, etc. As far as cost, I didn't figure out the total cost per tube. I don't remember the price of some of the oils, got some others as gifts, etc. Most of the tutorials I saw estimated between ten to fifty cents per tube. This would be a one time larger cost though if you don't have the supplies on hand.
All you have to do is measure all of your ingredients except the essential oils into a glass container. Helpful tip: Designate a container for just cosmetic use, then you don't have to worry about clean-up. I have a large mason jar and a small mason jar that I use, and don't even bother rinsing them out afterward. That makes it so much easier.
Melt all of your ingredients slowly over medium/medium-low heat in a double boiler. I fill a saucepan with water, submerge a washcloth completely in the water, and place my jar on top. Then I don't have to worry about my jar scratching my pot. (Please note: I realize the picture below has a quite clear picture of my stove light, however I have absolutely no natural light in my kitchen in it's current state, so for now, I am sorry. When the kitchen reno happens we will get some sky light action up in there.)
Add essential oil, and pour the melted concoction into your container of choice. Allow to cool for a bit.
Pucker up! Your little smoochers are going to be as soft as a baby's bottom!
What are you crafting up in the kitchen these days besides meals? Does your honey also cringe at the sight of your disintegrating lip flesh? Elaborate, please.