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Opening Summer 2020

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Homemade Lip balm

Making things from scratch is something I would like to do, but have never really done before – food notwithstanding. So, when the organic lip balm I bought in Lisbon finally ran out, I decided I needed to stop depending on shops 4h away.

After looking around (thank you Google!) I found a great recipe for do-it-yourself (DIY) lip balm on Wellness Mama that I adjusted to what was available here and in my tiny house kitchen.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 30 drops of essential oil
  • Small receptacle(s) for the lip balm once it’s ready

 

Instructions

Melt the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a “bain-marie” (see images below) – I boiled water in a small metal pot and added a thick glass bowl on top so the bottom was touching the water. That’s where I put my ingredients so they could melt as I stirred constantly to keep the resulting liquid consistent.

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Stay close, as the ingredients melt quite quickly!)

Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the hot water so the mixture stays melted.

Add essential oils as per your preference. I used 15 drops of Rosemary and 15 drops of Peppermint essential oils (give or take a few drops, as they are hard to count!).

Once the essential oils were stirred in, I opened the two tiny glass jam jars (one for my husband, and one for me) as well as one small jam jar (for overflow). I poured the mixture into the three containers through a plastic funnel to avoid making too much of a mess.

Then I let everything cool down with the lids off.

Voila! DIY lip balm, done. That simple! The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.

 

Lessons learned

All ingredients were available either in my kitchen (coconut oil) or courtesy of a small organic health shop here in Guarda (whodathunk!). Now I know where to go for all my future experiments, win.

My measurements were very approximate, but it turned out perfectly – the resulting lip balm isn’t too strong, and it stays relatively firm in Portuguese summer heat (even though in colder temperatures it’s a bit harder than I like).

The act of pouring the lip balm into the small containers was a bit messy. It didn’t look like it, but as the mixture hardened, I realized there was some on the counter and that it wasn’t that easy to clean off the funnel or bowl. Next time, I’ll try to boil the ingredients in a container that is easier to pour from.

I wanted to use vanilla essential oil, but found out that’s not a thing. I can’t remember the details, but it goes something along the lines of vanilla is sold as an essential oil but it is more of an extract, which doesn’t have the same beneficial qualities as essential oils.

In future batches, I might put a few more drops of essential oils as I find the flavor/scent a little on the light side here – but that’s what I wanted, as it seemed the lesser of two evils compared to making something excessively strong.

Not so secretly, I wish I had some sort of personalized label for the cute homemade lip balm jars. Food for thought for the next batch!

 

What Next?

Now that this experiment has worked out so well, I find the idea of making other products a tad less daunting. As my beloved Nivea body lotion is almost finished (I know, palm oil! But I have eczema and this one type of Nivea is the best option I have found so far), next I will try to make body lotion.

After that, the sky is the limit!

Deodorant, cleaning products, toothpaste – anything is possible. I’ll share those adventures along the way, so you can see if making homemade, natural alternatives to overly processed store-bought products is something you might want to try too.

 

If you have another recipe you’ve tried for lip balm, or other advice/suggestions, don’t hesitate to share in the comment section below.

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