Homemade lip balm is one of the easiest DIY projects if you’re new to making your own skincare items. This simple lip balm recipe is all-natural, so soothing, and flavored with essential oils.
Have you ever flipped over a package of conventional lip balm and read the ingredients?
Try it sometime. Grab a package off the shelf, flip it over, and let your eyes scan the tiny words listed after Ingredients for things like parabens (which are endocrine disruptors), fragrances (which are allergens), and petroleum products like petrolatum (which are potentially toxic and contaminated).
In your lip balm. You know, the stuff that you put on your mouth a few times every day and inadvertently ingest when you lick your lips, take a drink, or eat a snack.
More and more natural lip balms are coming to the market, which is fantastic. You can find them from big brands and work-at-home moms, in your local big box store or on little Etsy shops.
And if you scan the package of natural lip balm, you’ll likely find a handful of easily recognizable ingredients that keep your lips soft while being safe to ingest.
But the cost? It’s usually two to three times more than the conventional brands with their questionable ingredients. That’s not so great.
It’s easily solved, though. Those simple ingredients in natural lip balm don’t just mean it’s a better alternative to conventional brands. They also mean that natural homemade lip balm is really easy to make yourself.
If you have 15 minutes and can measure, melt, stir, and pour, you have what it takes to try your hand at DIY lip balm.
Homemade Lip Balm: It’s Really That Easy
I realize that when you’re getting started with natural living, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and agonize over every little detail and ingredient in the things you eat and put on your skin.
Trying your hand a DIY project might seem like it’s overboard.
But trust me, homemade lip balm is so incredibly simple to make that even a young teenager can do it.
There was a time in my life when I had fewer children, fewer responsibilities, and too much naive ambition. If I could make it or DIY it, I did. Or at least tried.
I was making my own butter from cultured cream, canning tomatoes from the garden every summer, and even ventured into making homemade noodles a couple of times. Twice was enough for that.
But homemade lip balm is different. It’s so easy that it just makes sense to make. And it’s fun!
When I realize we’re running out of homemade lip balm, I only need to set aside 15 minutes to make a new batch that will last our family an entire year.
Measure, melt, mix, and pour. Done.
Simple DIY Lip Balm Recipe
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The main ingredients in a natural lip balm are oil, wax, and usually a butter. You can make a lip balm with just oil and wax, but I prefer the texture much more when a moisturizing butter is added.
For this recipe, you’ll use coconut oil since it is readily absorbed into the skin without being too heavy, along with your choice of shea or cocoa butter. I personally like to use shea butter in most of my lip balm recipes except the Mint Chocolate flavor. Cocoa butter is a must to get a good chocolate flavor!
Essential oils provide the flavor, but it’s important to choose and add oils carefully. Since the final product is put on your mouth, I like to use organic essential oils. It’s also important to avoid phototoxic essential oils since lip balm is put on skin regularly exposed to the sun. More on that in a bit.
And of course, essential oils should be added at a gentle dilution since lip skin is very sensitive and lip balm is often reapplied throughout the day. These formulas are at 1% or lower, giving the lip balm flavor without the risk of irritation.
Detailed ingredients and instructions are below. Be sure to scroll all the way down for a printable recipe card!
- 2 Tbsp beeswax pellets
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (I prefer organic, virgin, and unrefined)
- 2 Tbsp shea butter or cocoa butter
Of course, if you’re out of coconut oil or allergic to it, you can use substitute any vegetable oil suitable for topical use. Olive oil, sweet almond, or apricot kernel are other good options.
Lip Balm Flavor Options
- 15 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil
- 1/2 tsp cocoa powder, optional
Don’t forget to use unrefined cocoa butter and not shea butter for this flavor. The butter choice makes a big difference in the final flavor!
- 10 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
- 10 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil. You can also use bergapten-free bergamot (Citrus bergamia) or steam distilled* grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), lemon (Citrus limon), or lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
*Most citrus essential oils are cold-pressed or expressed, but these often contain compounds known as coumarins. Coumarins often cause bad reactions (called phototoxicity or photosensitization) when the skin is exposed to sunlight after the oil is applied. Steam distilled essential oils can be a better choice for lip balms because they don’t contain coumarins and are not phototoxic.
- 15 drops cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum verum fol.) essential oil
- ½ tablespoons honey
- Get around 12 empty lip balm tubes ready to be filled. Set them up on your counter with the caps off or place them in a lip balm tube tray for extra convenience. I made lip balm for years before I got one of the tube trays, but I wish I’d had one from the start. They are so handy! Time: around 2 minutes
- Using a double boiler or a glass measuring cup in a pot of simmering water, combine the base ingredients. (If you’re using a glass measuring cup in a pan of simmering water, be sure to set a dishcloth or canning ring in the bottom of the pan so the glass cup isn’t in direct contact with the heat, like this.) Allow them to melt, stirring gently. Time: around 5 minutes
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and add your essential oils and other add-ins, if using. If the lip balm hardens or clumps, return to very gentle heat and stir until melted again. If making Sweet Cinnamon flavor, continue stirring honey into the lip balm until it starts to thicken. Time: around 5 minutes
- Very carefully pour your lip balm into the tubes. Getting your lip balm into the tubes will take a couple of minutes. Let the lip balm rest and harden for 1-2 hours before moving or capping. Time: around 3 minutes
There are many more flavor combinations you can try with different essential oils, so use these as a springboard once you start feeling confident and adventurous.
If you love natural DIY projects like this homemade lip balm recipe, you might be interested in The Essential Oils Quick Reference Guide.
It’s a printable set of age-specific dilution charts, safety checklists, and more I created to make it easier than ever for you to use your essential oils.
You’ll be able to see at a glance
- how to get the dilution rate you need
- what essential oils should be avoided for certain ages and groups
- how to decide if a brand is a quality option
- what essential oil may help a need you have
- and more!
See? Making this natural homemade lip balm is really just a simple measure, melt, stir, and pour process. No funny ingredients included and no special skills required. Fifteen minutes later you have a set of all-natural homemade lip balms to last you an entire year!
I’ll likely never make my own butter again, at least while there are still small people in my house. But all-natural homemade lip balm flavored with essential oils is a DIY project too easy, fast, and enjoyable to skip.
- Set up your empty lip balm tubes on a flat surface with the caps off so they're ready to fill. To make this even easier, use a lip balm tube tray.
- Add the beeswax pellets, coconut oil, and shea butter in your small glass measuring cup. Place the cup in a small saucepan of simmering water with a dishcloth or canning ring under the measuring cup for heat protection.
- Allow the ingredients to melt, stirring occasionally. Be careful to not get any water in the mixture.
- Once the mixture is melted, remove it from the pan and place it on a dry towel or dishcloth to cool for 30-60 seconds. Add your essential oils and other flavoring ingredients as noted below and stir to combine.
- Quickly pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes. If the mixture hardens too much to pour, return it to the saucepan of warm water and let it gently melt again. Let the lip balm harden for 1-2 hours before capping and storing.
For Mint Chocolate Lip Balm:
- Substitute cocoa butter for shea butter
- Add 15 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita) or spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil for flavor
- Add 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)
For Citrus Lavender Lip Balm:
- Add 10 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
- Add 10 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
For Sweet Cinnamon Lip Balm:
- Add 15 drops cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum verum fol.) essential oil
- Add 1/2 tablespoon honey and stir often to fully combine
You can also pour your lip balm into small tins.