exploring, preserving: past, present


Making Lip Balm…First Time Success! #Recipe included.

I’m branching way out of my comfort zone tonight, but it wasn’t as far (or as difficult) as I had anticipated.  I made lip balm. Really, *really* easy! All recognizable ingredients, none of the butenes or other chemicals companies add to make it “shiny” or “pretty”.

Here you see all I used…except the honey and beeswax

I used a recipe from Frugally Sustainable (click here for their recipe), but I reduced it because at first I didn’t want to make a lot of it (didn’t know if I’d like the recipe), and as I was making it I realized I only had enough sweet almond oil for about half of their recipe.  All in all, it worked out in the end. My adjusted recipe is at the end of this post.

L’Occitane Shea Butter

There are only a few places in my city that sell pure shea butter. I lucked out and found organic fairly traded stuff from L’Occitane (this stuff in its pure form is great for psoriasis, shingles, cracked heels…).

Sweet almond oil and vanilla oil

I’m still looking around for better sources for the essential oils I know I want to collect for more recipes (like shampoo bars, soap, and … more lip balm!). A craft store sold these tiny vials for way too much money, but since this was my first attempt I splurged instead of waiting to find bigger jars from a better and cheaper source.

kitchen scale

This is my brand new kitchen scale. I love it. It measures to 5 pounds maximum, and that’s all I’ll need for the recipes I want to try. And it only set me back 20 bucks! (I picked it up at a big box store from their kitchen section.)

Charcoal-filtered Beeswax

BeeMaid Honey (Manitoba) has a warehouse in my city, and an outlet store where you can pick up raw and filtered beeswax, raw honey, wicks, molds, jars, beekeeping supplies–it’s awesome! I bought 8 pounds of filtered beeswax. The lipbalm recipe requires only an ounce or so, and I plan to use the beeswax for candlemaking and other recipes too. (Yes, more blog posts!)

local BeeMaid unpasteurized honey

This Manitoba honey is so yummy on buttered toast in the morning…mmm. I’m hoping it will make the lipbalm be just as yummy (grin).

A few pictures of the lipbalm-making process now follow, and this took only five minutes from start (measuring) to middle (melting and mixing) to finish (cooled product):

Sweet almond oil, beeswax, and shea butter melting together.

After stirring in vanilla oil and honey to the melted mixture, contents are poured into containers.

Cooled lipbalm–I made two 35mL containers.

Notice that the container on the left looks like it has two layers? That’s probably some of the honey that settled on the bottom. To avoid that, I should have been stirring madly while pouring the mixture into the containers before cooling.  (Stirring is not necessary while cooling.)

With the amount of ingredients I had at hand, and with my desire not to go overboard with my first attempt, I made two 35mL containers. (The containers are actually single serving salad dressing containers!)

So, here’s my adjusted-for-size as well as adjusted-for-ingredient-availability recipe:

Honey and Vanilla Oil Lipbalm

1 tbsp (1/2 oz.) sweet almond oil

1 tbsp (1/2 oz.) shea butter

2 tsp (1/3 oz.) filtered beeswax (raw beeswax is okay, it will just colour the balm beige)

3/4 tsp (0.7 oz.) raw unpasteurized honey

1/4 tsp vanilla oil

Melt sweet almond oil, shea butter, and beeswax in pot over low heat. (This will happen quickly with such a small recipe!)

Remove pot from heat. Stir in vanilla oil and honey. To ensure the honey does not settle into its own layer but instead is incorporated into the entire mixture, it is important to stir “madly” at this point! I recommend stirring while pouring the contents into whatever container(s) you are using too.

Once mixture is poured into container(s), let sit on counter to cool (uncovered). Seal container(s) when cool. Enjoy!