How to Create Custom Homemade Lip Balms

Create Your Own Lip Balm Formula

If you look closely at my favorite homemade lip balm recipes that I’ve shared to date, you’ll note that they have similar ratios of oils, beeswax, etc.

Since I often get questions about making substitutions for one ingredient or another, I thought I’d share with you my basic formula that lets me (and now you!) create pretty much any type of lip balm desired.

I’m going to give you the formula, then suggestions on which oils, herbs, butters, etc to use, then share the link to a tutorial I made on creating your own labels.

This might turn into a pretty long post! Hopefully though, it will prove useful and I can possibly expand the series to include salves, shampoos, soaps, etc in the future.

I like to buy the majority of my oils, butters and supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs. They have fresh, high quality organic products and it’s far more economical per ounce to buy spices and herbs from them in bulk versus tiny jars in a store.

If you don’t want to use beeswax and/or prefer a vegan option, be sure to read below the formula for directions on how to substitute candelilla wax instead.

Basic Lip Balm Formula

  • 3 parts carrier oil (liquid oil)
  • 1 part beeswax* (I tend to use a smidge more than this, but it depends on the recipe)
  • 1 part solid butter (optional & adjustable)
  • essential oil (start with 1 to 2 drops per tablespoon or 1/2 ounce of ingredients, adjust as desired)


I usually make lip balms using tablespoon measurements. So, plugging those into the formula above you’d need: 3 tablespoons carrier oil, 1 tablespoon beeswax, 1 tablespoon solid butter & start with 5 to 10 drops (possibly more or less) essential oil. This will make about 7 or 8 lip balm tubes. If the lip balm is too hard, remelt it and add a bit more carrier oil. If it’s too soft, remelt it and add a bit more beeswax.

A tablespoon is roughly .4 to .5 ounces, so the same recipe converted to ounces would read something like:  1.5 ounces carrier oil, 1/2 ounce beeswax, 1/2 ounce solid butter and start with 5 to 10 drops essential oil.

*If you don’t want to use beeswax, you can substitute candelilla wax instead. However, it can’t be exchanged in equal measures. The rule of thumb is:

Use half as much candelilla wax as beeswax, when making recipe substitutions.

This means that the formula now becomes: 3 parts carrier oil, 1/2 part candelilla wax, 1 part solid butter and 1 to 2 drops of essential oil per tablespoon (or 1/2 ounce) of ingredients.

Translated to tablespoons, this equates to 3 tablespoons carrier oil, 1/2 tablespoon candelilla wax, 1 tablespoon solid butter and still start with 5 to 10 drops of essential oil and adjust as needed.

One ingredient that I feel makes a lip balm is castor oil. It leaves such a soft glossy shine on the lips. If at all possible, try to keep a small amount (about 1/2 tablespoon) in your recipe and I think you’ll be very happy with the results! It counts towards your carrier oil portion.

Once you’ve designed your recipe, making it is as easy as 1-2-3!


Gather Ingredients to Make Custom Lip Balm

Step 1:

Using the formula above, decide upon your ingredients and gather everything together.


Add Oils Waxes and Butters to Heat Proof Cup

Step 2:

Place your chosen liquid (carrier) oils, solid butter and beeswax (or candelilla wax) into a glass, heat proof measuring cup. Set the cup down into a saucepan filled with a couple inches of water to create a makeshift double boiler. Gently heat the water over medium-low heat until everything melts together.


Filling Lip Balm Tubes

Step 3:

Remove glass from pan, wiping any water off of the outside so that it doesn’t drip into your lip balm while pouring. Next, add essential oils, give the mixture a few stirs, then pour into lip balm tubes or small tins. To make your life much easier, invest in a lip balm tube filling tray. Once cooled, cap and label. I usually use a heat gun to make sure the tops are nice and smooth.


Now, let’s go over some of the choices you have as far as ingredients.

Carrier Oils are usually liquid, though I include coconut oil in here too. You can use any combination of these oils together. Olive, sweet almond & sunflower oils make nice bases as does coconut oil, so I like to use a majority of those, then add a bit of extra rich oil like tamanu, pomegranate seed or jojoba. Here’s a list of options to draw ideas from:

These oils can be infused with natural colorants or herbs in order to tint or enrich the benefits of your lip balm.

That just means that you put a pinch or two of dried, powdered herb (or handful if it’s a bulky item like flowers or leaves) into a mason jar, pour oil over it to cover well by a few inches, cap and let sit in a dark cabinet for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally.

After that time, strain and use. It should stay fresh for about a year. Of course, plain oils that are uninfused can be used just fine in this recipe. That’s just an extra, optional step.


Infused Oils with Alkanet, Annatto Seed and Chlorella herbs

For natural colorants, I use alkanet for a reddish or pink tint, annatto seed powder for an orangish tint and chrorella to lend a hint of green coloring for lime lip balm (none of these will stain your lips.)

Other plant based materials may work, but these are the ones I have personally tested and like. One-half to one tablespoon of colored infused oil is a good starting point to use; you can adjust to your liking as you go along in the recipe.

As a precaution, if you are pregnant or nursing, check with your doctor before using products containing alkanet root.

If you wish to add a chocolate flavor & color, you can use unsweetened cocoa powder or melt a small amount of baking chocolate and mix into your formula.


Infusing Olive Oil with Dried Calendula Flowers

Favorite herbs for lip balms:

  • calendula (soothing for almost anyone)
  • lemon balm (anti-viral, great for cold sores)
  • plantain (skin healing)
  • goldenseal (anti-bacterial & anti-viral and another herb I like to use in healing formulas)
  • rose petals (skin soothing)
  • violet leaves (very helpful for chapped skin conditions.)

I grow my own herbs and flowers or buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store.

Many people love the thought of honey in their lip balm (and I even created one such recipe: Cocoa Honey Lip Balm) but frankly, it’s not the ideal addition because as a water based product, it will tend to separate out of the oils.

If you add any to your recipe, use a small amount, stir very well and realize that much of it will settle to the bottom of your measuring cup. Don’t try to incorporate this extra in, just discard it.


Solid Butters are those that are solid at room temperature. These are optional, you can leave them completely out, but they do add a nice creaminess to your lip balm formula. Mango butter has the additional benefit of being slightly protective against sun damage. There’s a subset of the population that reacts to cocoa butter with further dryness and chapped skin, so I’m less likely to use it than mango or shea.


Essential Oils

Some citrus-based essential oils (like lemon, grapefruit & bergamot) are photoxic, which means they can make your skin more sensitive to sun, so you should take care when adding those to lip balm. Not all are though, so don’t feel that you have to completely exclude yourself from enjoying citrus flavored lip balms. The following essential oils can be safely used in your lip balm formula:

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Orange (Sweet)
  • Lime (if distilled)
  • Mandarin (green)
  • Clove (use sparingly as in one or two drops per recipe max – it’s very warming)
  • Camphor (use sparingly in formulas intended for cold sores, 2 to 4 drops)
  • Tea Tree Oil (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, can overpower the scent of your lip balm so use sparingly)

I’ve also seen Lavender & Rose essential oils in some formulations and although I appreciate the smells in other items, am not fond of either on my lips. But, my way is most definitely not the only way and if you want floral lip balm, then have at it! Remember, this is your creation!


When my daughter & nieces are inventing lip balm recipes, they always like to add a bit of lip safe mica for some shimmer and shine! I buy those from Bramble Berry Soap Making Supplies, who by the way, has THE NICEST customer service of any place I’ve ever shopped online.

You should be forewarned that some feel that mica products are unhealthy additions to cosmetics, while others do not. Personally, I have no problem using them in tiny amounts, but you should do your own research and come to your own conclusions. It’s okay if we disagree; in fact, that’s what makes life more interesting!

One more way the nieces enjoy using mica… (They get bored while waiting for the beeswax to melt.)  :)

Mica and Lip Balm


Okay, so now that you’ve made your lip balm, you’re going to want to dress it up with a nice label! I created a special tutorial to tell you all about how to do that. You can find it here: Create Your Own Lip Balm Labels

Labeling Lip Balm


The best price I’ve found (so far) on lip balm tubes is at Rustic Escentuals. I also buy their durable, waterproof labels. For further details, check in the Create Your Own Lip Balm Labels tutorial.


As an example of how to follow the formula, here is the recipe for the Peppermint Ice Lip Balm that I made labels for in the tutorial:

Create Your Own Lip Balm Labels using PicMonkey

Peppermint Ice Lip Balm

  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Jojoba Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Castor Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Beeswax Pastilles
  • 1 Tablespoon Mango Butter
  • 16 drops of Peppermint Oil (it’s very minty & cooling on the lips with this amount)


Here’s the recipe for the vegan Spearmint Lip Balm shown directly above the basic formula:

  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Chlorella Infused Olive Oil (for color)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Jojoba Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Castor Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Candelilla Wax
  • 1 Tablespoon Shea Butter
  • around 10 drops of spearmint essential oil


For other ideas, you can also view these recipes I’ve posted for:


It is assumed that the reader will do their own research regarding the safety of any products listed here. If you are pregnant or nursing or have health issues, you should research the contraindications of ingredients such as essential oils and/or consult your health care professional for further advice. I am just a self-taught herbal hobbyist, sharing things that I make around my home with you; no health claims are implied! :)

I hope this tutorial proves useful in helping you to create your own perfect, individualized lip balms. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or share any of your best lip-balm-making tips that I may have left out. I do my best to respond to all comments that make it past the spam filters!

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87 Responses to How to Create Custom Homemade Lip Balms

  1. Norah says:

    Don’t forget hemp oil – my fav for lip balms! So good for the skin and adds a nice green color!
    Great post – so much good info!

  2. Tracy Obermayer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I rendered the wax from my beehives this year and have been playing around with body butters and lip balms, which I barter or sell. The body butter turned out great but my lip balm is way too stiff. I will play around with your recipe next year when I harvest new wax.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tracy! I find a lot of recipes are too stiff for my tastes too. I hope you have fun playing around and find the perfect lip balm for you. :)

  3. Angela says:

    This is so awesome! So helpful! I love the lip balm filling tray too. It has been a while since I have made lip balm and now you have me inspired again!!

    • Jan says:

      That’s great Angela! :) I LOVE the lip balm filling tray too. Before I discovered they existed, I had the dickens of a time trying to fill those little tubes without knocking them over!

  4. Pingback: Cocoa Honey Lip Balm Recipe - The Nerdy Farm Wife

  5. Gabe says:

    I’ll try this soon. Just a suggestion that I take from cooking and would apply here. Invest in a digital scale that measures in grams. Working off of exact weight ratios improves consistency whether you are making a small batch or a large batch.

  6. Pingback: 9 Handmade Non-Food Gift Ideas - Small Key Big Door

  7. Lucy says:

    Hi, I’ve been getting into makeing things myself latly and used this to make my first ever batch of lip balm and it turned out great. The ingredients I used were a bit boring so next time ill play around with more essential oils and some natural dyes. Thanks so much for the helpful post, it gives you so much freedom to play around!

  8. Hi,
    I love your website. I know I’m a guy but i’m addicted to making my own lip balms. I’m actually starting to make it maybe a business but sadly in my country a guy who makes lip balms it’s not so good lol. But i will give it a try.
    Anyway, i got some of the books that you recommended and I tried some of your lip balm recipes. Great stuff.
    thank you so much for your knowledge.


    • Jan says:

      Hi Christophe! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipes. Good luck with your business – I think it’s a great idea and I hope it’s very successful for you! :)

  9. Jenna J says:

    Great post! Is there a reason you don’t use %’s ? Just curious as it appears you create a lot of labels for resale was thinking % was the way to go… :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jenna, thanks! I have a small Etsy shop, but I don’t do a lot of resale. Mostly, I just list a few things for a week or two every few months after I get enough requests to warrant the time spent making/labeling, but generally try to point people in the direction of making their own or checking out a place such as for something similar. Selling is the part I dislike the most! You are correct though, if you were a full time business, you’d want to make much larger quantities than I do & list ingredients accordingly! :)

  10. Pingback: Create Your Own Lip Balm Labels Using PicMonkey - The Nerdy Farm Wife

  11. janet says:

    Jan, do you have a natural colorant for purple? Or a blue to mix with alkanet? Violet petals?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Janet!

      I’ve been pondering this very thing – I want to make my mom a pale purple tinted cream for mother’s day and was wondering how to do so.

      I’ve seen that beet root can lend a purplish shade of red, so have some on my list of herbs to order this weekend to experiment with.

      I was also tempted to get some lavender mica to tint it. But, one of the ingredients had the name cyanide in it and when I looked it up – I just don’t feel comfortable using it.

      Sooo… finding a natural purple is on my list of things to try to figure out. I’ll be sure to let you know if I find a solution!!

      • janet says:

        Jan, another source said that alkanet yielded a deep purple to blue but you only mention reddish or pink tint. So has deep purple not been your experience with askant? How about a lavender infused oil? Does that cast a purplish?
        Just learnin’ Thanks for your generous sharing.

        • Jan says:

          With alkanet, I get a pink to red, depending on how concentrated it is. Here’s a photo of a lip balm I made using it to get red:

          I also used in in my rose cream to get pink:

          (those recipes are both on this site if you want to see more details on them)

          However, in soap, alkanet turns purple, because of the high alkalinity. I have a batch of violet blossom soap curing now that I tried to turn purple. It’s slightly gray tinged at the moment, but lightening as it dries. Hopefully, it will end up more purple! :)

          Lavender infused oil ends up pretty much the same color as the oil started just with a bit of a browner tinge. Sadly, the color doesn’t hold.

          I did think of a few things I used in the way past to color foods that I might try as well in my cream:
          blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage leaves

          I think I’ll try blueberries first in my water infusion for the cream. I’m not sure how they will do infusing in oil for lip balm though, without at least drying them first to get rid of the water content.

          I’m learning along with you on this quest for a natural purple! So ask any questions or share any brainstorms you come up with! :)

          • J says:

            Hi Jan,

            I have a suggestion about trying to find a purple tint. When I was younger, I used to play around with hollyhocks and experimented with seeing how dark I could get a glass of water to turn when a hollyhock was steeped in it. I found that dark red and magenta hollyhocks turned the water a deep purple. Since you are very familiar with hollyhocks, it might be worth a try infusing them into a carrier oil. Thanks for all your work!


            • Jan says:

              Hi J, Thanks for the wonderful idea! I believe my mother has some dark red hollyhocks at her house – I will check with her and try it out! Thanks for sharing! :)

        • Lorri says:

          I bet if you use the essential oil Chamomile Blue you will definitely get a blue tint. But it is a strong smelling oil so use a small amount. You can mix another EO oil to create a unique scent.

          • Jan says:

            Hi Lorri, That’s a great idea; blue chamomile is truly lovely stuff! If you use white colored wax (instead of yellow beeswax) then it might help the tendency it has of turning greenish. I like the idea of mixing it with another essential oil too. :)

      • Katie says:

        I am not in any way affiliated with them, but I just found some blueberry butter on the Mystic Mountain Sage site that might work to tint your product purple. I don’t know how much you’d need to use. At least you know that blueberries would work to add a purple tinge. They’re my favorite fruit, so I’ve been thinking about buying some of the butter for my own projects.

        I’m so glad I found your site! I was doing a search to see if tamanu oil would be good for my next batch of lip balm. I have a recipe I’ve been tweaking, but I may test yours out at some point too. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

        • Jan says:

          Hi Katie, Thanks for the information! I remember reading something a few years ago about blueberry butter, but had forgotten completely about it so I’m glad you mentioned it. :) It sounds like a lovely product to experiment with! Thanks for the great idea and have fun tweaking your recipe!!

    • charmaine says:

      In case you’re still needing this info… lol.

  12. KimC says:

    We go thru alot of lip balm at our house. My Husband gets cold sores if he doesn’t use lip balm with sunscreen. Is it even possible to get JUST sunscreen to add to home made lip balm?

    • Jan says:

      Hi KimC!

      My son used to get cold sores when he was exposed to sunshine as well. In fact, I just looked on my blog to link you to the recipe I made specifically for him to fight them and see I never posted it! (At least, if I did, I’ve lost it!) Eek! I’ll try to put that up soon as well, but lemon balm (melissa) is great for cold sores – so you may want to infuse some of your oil with that. Tamanu oil is excellent as well.

      I’ve not made natural sunscreens before, but here is a great link on making your own natural sunscreen bars – perhaps that has some helpful information in it:

      If I spot any further helpful information, I’ll be sure to pass it along!

  13. kayjnsn says:

    Thanks for all the helpful info! I can’t wait to make my first batch. I’m going to be including kukui nut oil in with my carrier oils; it has awesome benefits for chapped skin. The nut has been used by the natives in Hawaii for hundreds of years for various skin issues. I think it will make a great addition for the summer months :) Thanks also for posting about the citrus EO’s. I thought all citrus EO’s where phototoxic so it’s good to know that not all of them are. My only question is, you said lime EO is safe to use only when distilled. How do you know if it’s been distilled?

    • Jan says:

      Sounds like it will be a great batch of lip balm! :)

      I buy my essential oils through Mountain Rose Herbs and they clearly label them. Most good sources should do the same. Here’s the info Mt Rose has:

      “All of the essential oils offered by Mountain Rose Herbs are obtained by steam distillation of whole plant material with two exceptions:
      Absolutes/Resins- are extracted with a solvent, usually alcohol and sometimes other hydrocarbons, such as benzene, hexane, etc. While they are not suitable for therapeutic aromatherapy, they do make wonderful perfumes and are alcohol soluble. Those oils which we have found to be extracted with solvents will be noted as “solvent extracted.”
      Citrus Oils- All citrus oils offered are distilled strictly through cold pressed methods, and no steam distillation was employed to produce these oils.”

      I will note that while cold pressed lime oil is listed as photo toxic, for personal use and for my extended family – we use it just fine (including a few fair skinned red-heads.) Of course, we’re not sitting out in the beach wearing it, but day to day use of being indoors with intermittent periods of outdoors, has had no adverse reactions. However, it’s always recommended to keep in mind what the experts say, especially if you’re sun sensitive. :)

  14. j says:

    where to buy beeswax in indonesia?
    how if we use candelila oil instead of beeswax?

    • Jan says:

      Hi J, I’m not sure how to buy beeswax in Indonesia, but if you don’t have beeswax available, you can substitute candelilla wax instead. Don’t exchange it equally though, use half as much candelilla wax as beeswax, when making recipe substitutions.

  15. Jessica says:

    Thank you for these ideas. I recently tried to make a beeswax lip balm using 3:1 olive oil and beeswax but it is very glossy and I prefer more of a matte look. Do you have any idea what I could do differently to get this? Maybe a different oil?

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  17. Becky says:


    I have been searching the web with no success. I want to make lip balms for gifts this holiday season and would love to try making Earl Grey tea lip balm. How might I infuse the tea into my mix? Just make it like I am making tea and add a small amount?

    Thank You

    • Jan says:

      Hi Becky!

      You can infuse your oil with a variety of herbs and teas and I feel that Earl Grey tea should work just as well. Just infuse your oil with the dried tea (don’t add water to it first – you don’t want ANY water in your lip balm; it will just bead out and make a mess.) Here is a post I wrote on using dried rose petals to make lip balm – just do the same infusing technique with your tea, instead of the petals:

      Once the oil is infused & scented to your satisfaction, strain out your tea and use in your lip balm recipe. One thing to keep in mind is that bergamot essential oil can cause sensitivity to sunlight which can lead to red skin or sunburn, but I *think* the amount of bergamot in the tea should be very minimal and not concentrated as it is in an essential oil. Just in case, you could use something like mango butter (which has some slight UV protecting qualities to it) in your recipe and do a test run on yourself while you’re wearing it outdoors. I’m fairly certain it shouldn’t cause problems, but thought I’d mention it as a potential precaution to keep in mind.

      I think that sounds like a wonderful & unique gift idea and I hope you have a lot of success with your experiments! :)

  18. Blush says:

    Great recipe. I really want to try it. i have all the other things except for the beeswax. I will see if I can get it anywhere.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!!

  19. Pingback: Super Healing Cold Sore Lip Balm The Nerdy Farm Wife

  20. Linda says:

    Hi Jan,
    I really enjoy your posts and am excited to try making some lip balm. Lately I’ve been looking at making my own products for beauty and cleaning. My creative and DIY obsession is always close by. I was wondering how many jars does your recipe fill? I was considering buying some 3ml jars and would like to know approximately how many I would need. Also I read that not all essential oils are safe for pregnant women. Which ones would be safe?
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and ideas.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Linda, Sounds like you have lots of fun projects ahead! :)

      3 ml is roughly a tenth of an ounce (.10 oz), so depending on your ingredients and how large you make the batch, would depend on how many it would fill. I believe that the sample recipes I posted filled from 7 to 9 lip balm tubes, which are .15 ounces each.

      The recipe is given in parts so you can do something like 3 ounces oil instead of 3 tablespoons total oil, etc. and you can add up the amount of ounces in your end recipe to get an estimated total that way too.

      As far as essential oils, there is a pretty short list of the ones safe for pregnancy. You would want to pick the one that you are interested in and then look it up and see if it specifically says: not for pregnant women. For example, if you click the link above for Peppermint Oil, it will take you to the page on Mountain Rose Herbs where it says: “Avoid in epilepsy and while pregnant. May cause skin irritation. Avoid with homeopathics.” You’ll find that the options are pretty limited and you might want to stick with unflavored or thoroughly research the ins and outs of each oil before using. To be 100% sure of safety in use for your own situation, ask your doctor or naturopath though, since the internet often contains conflicting information.

      Have fun making goodies! :)

  21. Tracy S. says:

    Thank you a hundred times for this post, along with how to make labels for homemade lip balms. I have been collecting tidbits of info from here and there, but it is fantastic that you presented it so thoroughly all in one place. I cannot wait to start making my own, thanks to you!!

  22. Alexis says:

    Would you be able to use your favorite tea in the lip balm that is not an oil ?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Alexis! You could use your favorite dry tea blend to infuse oil and then use it in lip balm, but you can’t add anything water based without it separating/oozing out.

  23. Emily says:

    Thanks for providing the ratios! When you say that you can leave the butter out – should I replace that portion with a carrier oil? Or simply not include it? Thanks in advance!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Emily! You can completely leave the butter out, if you’d like. Since it’s a more solid-at-room-temperature substance, if you replace it with more carrier oil, your balm would get too soft. If you do leave it out and find the consistency of the final product too soft or too hard, you can just remelt it and add a bit more oil (to soften) or a bit more beeswax (to firm) until you get exactly what you’re looking for. :)

  24. This all looks so fantastic, I can’t wait to try!

    Have you ever put your balms in small jars instead of a tube? (I prefer to apply gently with my finger.) If you have tried this method, have you adjusted the recipe? I would imagine one might want a creamier, less solid balm.

    Thank you so much!

    • Jan says:

      Yes, absolutely! When I do that, I ease up on the beeswax and add a bit more oil until I get the consistency I like. I need to go in and update this tutorial soon and I’ll gather together a few concrete ratios and add them to the post. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  25. Sylvia says:

    Hi Jan! I commented in December and asked about adding both beeswax and candelilla wax to make lip balms. Thank you for your help! The lip balms made great Christmas presents and everyone was pleasantly surprised. (: I am excited to continue to make more lip balms. I’ll be trying your label tutorial as well. Thank you again!

  26. shakira says:

    Thank you for sharing! Im gojng to try to do the lip balm right now and will try to give it a purple hint with eco purple maiz (corn) powder thst i got in my local heath shop. Its a powdered drink and im hoping it works….what do u think?

  27. shakira says:

    Sorry! The purple powder doesnt give it a purple colour at all!!! But the balm still looks great. Hardening now. Cant wait to try it. Thx again!

  28. Aurelia says:

    Hi Jan, thanks for the knowledge! I’m excited to work those recipe :D But I wonder, how long will the lip balm be able to be used before it expire? Do you know about it? Because you haven’t mentioned it in you post

    • Jan says:

      Hi Aurelia! Lip balm is usually fresh for at least 6 to 9 months, or even longer. (I have some that’s much much older but still in great shape.) You can add vitamin E to help prevent the oils from going rancid as quickly as they might otherwise. Exposure to high heat and direct sunlight (i.e. storing in your car) will lead to a much shorter shelf life. I hope that helps! :)

  29. Sara says:

    Thank you for sharing these recipes. It was especially helpful to have the measurements in both tablespoons and ounces. I also appreciate that you provided advice on vegan versions. Thank you! I used avocado oil, cocoa butter and candelilla wax. The final product is a little soft. I prefer a more solid lip balm? What adjustments do you advise? Also, I added grapefruit essential oil. I didn’t notice much of a fragrance after 10 drops so I added more like 15 drops. My lips feel somewhat dry a few minutes after applying the balm. Did I do something wrong? Do you think adding so much essential oil could actually dry my lips? Thanks for your help!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sara!

      If you want a more solid lip balm, you can remelt it and add a pinch more wax. Before you pour the remelted mixture again, keep it warm and test a small bit by dipping a frozen spoon into it. That helps you see if it’s the right consistency before you pour any more.

      Grapefruit essential oil isn’t recommended for lip balm because it’s phototoxic (which means it can make you much more susceptible to sunburn.) If you scroll down the post, there’s a list of ones that are usually safe to use. Citrus oils are pretty potent (as evidenced by how well they act as cleansers), so I think it sounds like it’s just too strong for the skin on your lips.

      If you normally use cocoa butter just fine, this won’t apply – but a small subset of the population has a sensitivity to cocoa balm that usually manifests itself as red, peeling, and/or dry skin. So, they keep applying more, trying to help the symptoms, but they’re actually making the problem worse. For those people, cocoa butter on sensitive skin tissue can be problematic.

      Finally, if you add a bit of castor oil in your recipe, it will give a nice finish to your product so that it smoothly glides over your lips instead of dragging.

      I hope one or more of those ideas help!

  30. helena says:

    how do I make my lip balm harder
    can you help please

    • Jan says:

      Hi Helena, To make lip balm harder, remelt what you made and add a bit more wax to it. The wax is the portion that hardens the lip balm, the oils make it softer.

  31. Stacy says:

    What a great bunch of info! I make my own bath and body products and will be adding lip balm to them once I get the tubes in. Just FYI depending on how many you’re buying at a time SKS Bottle & Packaging may be cheaper. Their smallest bag (24) is .31 each but their larger bag (144) is only .13 each compared to the site you mentioned being .16 each. Plus they have every kind of packaging you can imagine!

  32. Geri says:

    Could you tell me why my lip balms that I have made produce a white colour to the lips? I have used titanium dioxide

    • Jan says:

      Hi Geri! I haven’t used titanium dioxide in lip balms, so I’m afraid I’m just not sure of a good answer for you other than to try reducing the amount used. I would check with the place you buy it from and see if they have any helpful tips for use for you.

  33. Kristen Clark says:

    I love this lip balm recipe! I have made a few different lip balms with much success, but found that after a few months, sometimes sooner, the balm “texturizes.” I can’t describe it any other way. The one I made with tangerine essential oil did it in less than 6 weeks. What is causing this, and how I do I control for that next time? I use a mix of beeswax, jojoba, castor, vitamin E, Shea and essential oil. I have used coconut oil, and it made the creamiest balm ever, and that one seems to have stayed smooth the longest.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kristen! Whenever a weird texture shows up in lip balm, the first suspect is shea (or mango or cocoa) butter. If butters get too hot in their lifetime – during storage or shipping or sitting in a mail box for hours on a hot summer day, or held on the heat too long when melting with beeswax, they can form crystals that feel grainy on your lips. To try to keep this from happening, as soon as your shea butter melts, remove it from the heat. Pour your lip balm mixture into the tubes right away. Cooling them quickly, by placing in your fridge might help too. Try to avoid temperature fluctuations (i.e. don’t store lip balm in your car and carry around in your pocket for hours at a time.) I hope one of those ideas help!

  34. Angel Clemson says:

    Hello, I have enjoyed the tips here and have a question. I am trying to recreate a lip balm that I really love and actually have the ingredient list, but just need to experiment to find the right amounts of each. One of the ingredients is sage. I am assuming this is essential oil and that is it likely used for antiseptic properties as well as flavor/aroma and maybe taste, though I can’t perceive its taste in the original. Anyway, I have read that sage is a good skincare ingredient, but also that it should be used very carefully and is not intended for internal use. Do you have any idea of how much might be appropriate for about a 4oz batch of lip balm?? I was thinking maybe 10 drops for the whole thing, but I just don’t have enough experience to know. Thanks for any advice you may have.
    Angel Clemson

    • Jan says:

      Hi Angel! I tend to lean to the VERY cautious side when it comes to using essential oils and I’m not sure I’d use sage directly in a lip balm. You could infuse some of the oil you’d like to use with dry sage and perhaps get a similar benefit, without the risk of skin irritation & toxicity the pure EO carries. I’m not an essential oil expert though, so probably not the best person to advise on this. I wish I could help more, but do hope that you’re able to duplicate your favorite lip balm!

  35. Mary says:

    I notice there is refined and unrefined shea butter. Which of the two am I looking for as an ingredient?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Mary! I usually use refined shea butter since it’s unscented. Some batches of unrefined shea can smell strong unless you put a lot of essential oils in to mask the scent, which isn’t ideal in lip balm. However, many people like using unrefined shea, so it’s probably a personal preference thing.

  36. Suzie says:

    Hi, So I have been experimenting with beet root powder to make my lipglosses have a colored tint. However, it seems like the beet root powder sinks to the bottom as my lip gloss drys. Any suggestions?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Suzie! You could try infusing oil with the powder first and letting the residue settle to the bottom of the infusing jar, then pour off the colored oil leaving that bit behind.

  37. beka says:

    great info, thanks very much for the post!

  38. Mansi says:

    Hi.. which oils do you normally use for infusing natural colorants?

  39. Lisa says:

    Just wondering have you ever made a vanilla flavored lip balm and how would you do it?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lisa! You can buy vanilla absolute oil that will help give a little natural vanilla scent to your lip balm. (You can also buy vanilla lip balm flavor from places like It’s not considered “natural” though.) I’ve tried before to infuse a plain oil with vanilla beans, but unless you use a ton of vanilla beans, infuse for a long time, then double infuse that oil again, you still won’t get as strong a vanilla scent as the absolute oil. (Which you can buy at

  40. Lisa says:

    Also how much vitamin e would you add to help it not go rancid?

  41. Deborah says:

    This recipe is amazing! I was looking for something that used Castor Oil because I put that on my lips all the time. This came out perfect! ( I made just a tiny bit but kept the ratios the same). Thank you! You’ve made my 3rd blizzard here in Boston a little better!

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