Winter, also known for me as the official season of dry skin and chapped lips, is finally here. The air outside is cold and dry and cranking up the heat in the house makes the indoor air just as dry. The result can by ashy, dry skin and perpetually parched lips.
Before you grab that tube of commercial lip balm, consider the ingredients within. Many of us are already getting smarter about the food that goes in our bodies, where it comes from and what’s in it. The next logical step is to also get smart about what goes on our bodies as well.
FDA regulation rarely makes me feel more confident about food or drugs, but at least it provides some measure of oversight. The commercial cosmetics industry however is largely unregulated by the FDA. It’s big business that relies on all kinds of problematic chemicals. When it comes to lip balms, this is especially scary. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to avoid putting endocrine-interrupting, cancer-causing petrochemicals so close to my pie hole. Most lip balms are full of synthetic fragrances, colors and even sweeteners. The typical tube of Chapstick contains 18 different ingredients.
This DIY lip balm that you can make in minutes contains just five natural ingredients. I first spotted this recipe in the first Mountain Rose Herbs catalog I ever received. It was that catalog along with this great book that inspired me to try making more of my own personal care products. It takes two weeks to infuse the vanilla oil, but the result is a wonderfully aromatic, rich oil. This infused oil is combined with just a few skin-nourishing ingredients and finished off with cardamom essential oil. Smooth lips make the best kisses!
All of the ingredients can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs. They also sell containers for your DIY lip balms such as small tins and classic twist-up tubes. I prefer the tubes since I don’t like applying lip balm on the go with my finger if I haven’t just washed my hands. This recipe will yield enough lip balm to fill TEN lip balm tubes – plenty for you and your closest BFFs. This DIY lip balm is rich in oils and it will melt on contact with your skin, so a little goes a long way.
3 Tbsp. organic jojoba oil infused with vanilla (instructions below)
1 Tbsp. organic cocoa butter
10 drops organic cardamom essential oil
3-5 drops of vitamin E oil
Step one: Make the vanilla-infused oil
4 ounces organic jojoba oil
1 organic vanilla bean
Split one plump vanilla bean lengthwise and coarsely chop. Place the vanilla bean in a small jar and cover with 4 ounces of jojoba oil. Cover the jar and allow to infuse for at least 2 weeks. You can strain the oil when you’re ready to use it or simply skim what you need off the top. You’ll have some oil left over for another use or to make another batch of DIY lip balm.
Step two: Make the lip balm
Place about two inches of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place a glass measuring cup in the saucepan and add the beeswax and cocoa butter. Stir constantly while heating until the beeswax is melted and the mixture is homogeneous. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla-infused oil, cardamom essential oil, and vitamin E oil until combined. Carefully pour the hot mixture into the containers of your choice. If you’re using tubes, note that they hold very little liquid so pour very carefully and slowly.
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