Fall is only barely here, and winter’s bite is still well in the future. Nonetheless, the sudden disappearance of sweltering heat and the arrival of chilly mornings appears to have put people in mind of cold days to come, judging from the way the lip balm flew out of our booth at last week’s show. Or maybe there’s been a chapped lip epidemic and I missed the news; it’s hard to say. Still and all, it made me think about writing this!
Quite a bit of the lip balm one finds for sale is laden with petrolatum, paraffin, parabens, and all manner of other things. It does its job well enough, but I couldn’t help thinking there had to be a better solution; one that worked better and didn’t hurt when applying it to already-chapped lips, and one in which I actually knew (and understood) the composition of what I was putting on my lips. So I set out to make my own.
Lip balm needs wax to make it stay put, and my inclination when looking for a wax is always to use beeswax. I have no objection to carnuba wax or candilla wax, and indeed am willing to seek out those ingredients to construct a vegan lip balm if requested, but beeswax is just so lovely and rich – and besides, the bees worked so hard, it seems only right that we should appreciate their efforts. So beeswax it is, then. But wax on its own obviously won’t get the job done; it needs to be melted and blended with a liquid oil to make it soft and spreadable. So I turned to sunflower oil, our signature ingredient.
I could actually have stopped there – quite a few lip balms consist only of wax and oil. It would protect the lips against the elements and soften them somewhat, and in general would do what was asked of it. But it didn’t seem sufficient; I wanted something more than “good enough”. So into the mix came cocoa and shea butters, to bring richness and the smooth, pampering feel I was looking for. Also, cocoa butter helps provide a barrier to retain moisture, and shea butter has long been used in salves and similar formulations intended to help the skin heal itself.
The end result was a product with a remarkably devoted fan base. Not convinced? Stop by our booth at one of our upcoming shows or check them out online and see for yourself why people keep coming back for more!
(Lip balms with custom-designed labels also make great wedding favors or customer gifts!)