Organic Lip Balm: Where to Buy It and How to Make Your Own
We all know that some lip balms, or chapstick is that's what you want to call it, are better than others. Some just work better. But there are other reasons to choose an organic lip balm over a regular one. You would be surprised to find how many chemicals are in regular chapstick. To help you out a bit, here is a bunch of information around organic lip balm and how to even make your own and save yourself a few bucks.
The Dirty Truth of Chapstick
Commercial brand chapstick is, unsurprisingly, full of chemicals that can be toxic to your body. While lip balm is probably something not that many people take into consideration, what is inside it is important because there is a good chance it will end up inside your body one way or another. I mean you are putting it on your lips and I guarantee that you lick your lips often, which means that stuff get inside you relatively easily. But what about regular lip balm makes it so bad? Well, here are a few ingredients that you definitely do not want in your body, let alone on your lips.
- Pertolatum (aka Petroleum jelly, mineral oil)- This stuff is made from petroleum, the same stuff that powers your car. Now, this stuff has been refined, but that process often includes toxic compounds. Not to mention it is possible that the petroleum jelly can get contaminated by carcinogenic agents like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have links to breast cancer. This ingredient also creates a barrier on your lips which enhances absorption.
- BHA and BHT- Often used as a preservative in lip balms. Health concerns linked to these include endocrine disruption, organ-system toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer and respiratory irritation.
- Parabens- We all know the dangers of parabens in our products. some of the possible health concerns that can be caused from parabens include an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Fragrance or Flavor- These ingredients often contain high levels of Phthalates which are strong hormone disruptors linked to decreased sperm count in men and reduced female fertility. They can also worsen allergy or asthma symptoms.
- Chemical Sunscreen- If you have read our Biodegradable Sunscreen buyers guide, you know there are a lot of chemicals that can be very damaging to not only your body, but the environment as well. The three most concerning chemicals in lip balms include oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate, which can disrupt hormone function.
DIY Organic Lip Balm
If searching the store for a non-toxic, organic lip balm doesn't sound like a blast, I don't blame you. But don't worry, because that is not your only option. If you enjoy doing things yourself and can follow instructions, making your own organic lip balm is very easy. However, it does take quite a while, at least for the balm to set. But you do not have to sit there, watching the balm and waiting for it to set. You can simply just leave it be and go do something else. So, if you are a little creative and enjoy making things on your own, here are 3 homemade organic lip balm recipes for you to try out. Or they may give you an idea for your own recipe.
All Natural Organic Lip Balm
- ¼ cup oil (like sweet almond, coconut, or grapeseed
- ¼ cup butter (like shea, cocoa, or mango
- enough wax to make ¾ cup total lip balm mixture (like beeswax or soy wax)
- several drops essential oil, for flavor
- optional – 1 teaspoon powdered herbs for color, such as beet root powder or alkanet root powder
- Measure your oil and butter into a heatproof glass measuring cup. Microwave a minute or two until melted. (You can also melt the mixture by setting the glass measuring cup in a pan of gently boiling water – like a makeshift double boiler.)
- Add enough wax to make a total of ¾ cup. Melt this in the microwave or the makeshift double boiler. The glass measuring cup will get very hot, so be extra careful when handing.
- Take a stainless steel spoon and mix everything together. Pull the spoon out and wait a few minutes until what’s left on the spoon hardens. Test this to see if it’s hard or soft enough for your liking. Make your adjustments now (adding more oil if you want it softer, or more wax if you like it harder).
- Optional Step: When the consistency is where you want it, add a few drops of an essential oil like peppermint or grapefruit. (One year for Christmas, I made lip balms in chocolate and orange. I melted some dark chocolate into it and added some orange essential oil.) You can color your lip balm by adding a small amount of powdered herbs such as beet root powder. Stir it in well so that there are no lumps.
Shea Butter Organic
- Natural Emulsifier – 30%
- 3 teaspoons of Natural beeswax pellets
- Oil phase – 70 %
- 2 teaspoons of organic refined shea butter
- 2 teaspoons of organic apricot Kernel oil or sweet almond oil
- 1 teaspoon of organic Coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons of organic Castor oil
- Essential oils:
- 10 drops of Organic Lavender essential oil
- 10 plastic lip balm containers / tubes
- Yield : 10 lip balm tubes
- Melt beeswax & oils in a double boiler on low heat.
- Once melted, take it off the heat and add the essential oils.
- Mix well. Pour it into the plastic lip balm containers before it starts to harden. If it has already starting to harden, simply put it back in the double boiler for a few seconds until it melts again.
- Voila, you have made your first Shea Butter Lip Balm recipe!
Lavender Organic Lip Balm Recipe
- 4 Tbsp jojoba, almond, or olive oil
- 1 Tbsp grated beeswax or beeswax pearls
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (or 3 punctured, squeezed out liquid vitamin E capsules)
- 7 drops lavender essential oil (or other essential oil)
- 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
- Warm the oils, beeswax and honey in a small, stainless steel pot or bowl. Be sure to warm it on VERY low heat. (You can use a double boiler, if you’d like.)
- Stir until the beeswax is completely melted. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the essential oil, vitamin E, cocoa powder.
- Place the bottom of the bowl into a shallow pan of ice water and continue whisking quickly as you add the honey.
- Once the honey is incorporated, quickly transfer the balm into your lip balm container (tube or tin) and allow to set for 3 hours.
Benefits of Organic Lip Balm
Organic lip balm isn't just a good idea because some guy on the internet said so. There are many great benefits to using non-toxic lip balm, besides the obivous one of you won't be using toxic chemicals on your lips. But going more into that obvious reason, synthetic lip balms can include ingredients such as alcohol, manufactured waxes, petrochemicals, artificial skin softeners, silicon dioxide, and other artificial chemicals. Natural fruit and floral extracts are better and safer providers of flavors and color. Extracts like eucalyptus, mint, rosemary, or thyme can provide herbal essences. Natural extracts tend to be more soothing and provide a better feeling than synthetic ingredients.
Going off of that last part, natural ingredients often contain many beneficial nutrients and minerals to leave your lips better than ever. Ingredients like beeswax, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, shea butter, and aloe vera are just a few of the very beneficial ingredients that you are likely to find in organic lip balm. Some of the great nutrients that these ingredients can include are antioxidants like vitamin E and C.
Not to mention that many of the various organic lip balm products available incorporate zinc oxide which is a great and natural ingredient often used in biodegradable sunscreens. This can provide you with added protection against solar rays on hot summer days, where regular lip balm would not.
Organic lip balm is definitely the way to go. There are many great benefits and making your own can be very easy to do. Of course, you can also just go out and buy your own as well. Either way, organic is definitely the way to go in this case. For any other information, head on back to Green and Growing.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons