Last year I was into buying vintage cosmetic cases, cleaning them, and refilling them. One thing I was planning to fill with was lip balm, so here’s how that experiment went.
I used recipes from here, here, and here to start with, but I adjusted them a bit and used elements from each. You can also look around at common ingredients and experiment with whatever you like. I don’t remember anymore what quantities I used (apologies), but I know I increased the mango butter to beeswax ratio to make it a softer consistency.
Also, instead of microwaving or a double boiler, I used the Wilton Melting Pot that’s for candy making, but it works perfectly for wax-based cosmetics and is super easy to clean since it’s silicone.
Beeswax pellets: You can get beeswax pellets at Michaels nowadays in the soap making/candle making area. I got mine on Etsy from Grand Parfums, one of my favorite shops (they sell cosmetic containers and a few other things). The pellets usually come in yellow, but there are white ones too that might be more appealing to some people (and would result in a more true color rather than tinting everything yellow).
Shea butter, cocoa butter, or mango butter: I got these on Amazon. I like mango butter because I like mangos, but I think they’re all pretty much interchangeable.
Carrier oil: There’s an information page here about carrier oil shelf life. I was bummed when I heard about oil shelf life. I usually use grapeseed or sunflower oil (both obtained from Amazon), which both last for 1 year. Unfortunately, I bought my current bottles a year ago so they’re already bad (although one is unopened so should go longer). If you’re selling a product with oils, you have to keep track of the dates and inform people of the dates because, as I understand it, they can actually become harmful. I find this all just too bad.
Flavor oil: I unfortunately found out that flavor “oil” only mixes with water so you can’t use it in oil-based applications. Well, you can, but it won’t work right. Bummer. There’s no way that I w know of to impart flavor, but apparently scent from essential oils makes you think there’s a flavor.
Essential oils: Some (like citrus) can make your skin sunburn more easily so it’s best not to use citrus varieties in lip balm. Some that are fine are mints, non-citrus fruit, and floral, although floral is unusual for a lip balm.
Lipstick for color: I struggled a lot with this because it makes the ingredient list go sky-high and I wanted to keep the ingredients to a minimum. Also, the color does not show up on your lips because it’s just a small bit of the concoction. I think that if I do this again, I’ll leave out the lipstick. You can get pigment that’s approved for lips and eyes to color the lip balm if you so desire, but it needs to state that it’s cosmetic grade for lips and eyes specifically because there are pigments that are cosmetic grade just for the skin (and non-cosmetically-safe pigments of course).
Other good places for supplies are TKB Trading and Making Cosmetics.
I got various pots and tubes from Grand Parfums in addition to the vintage ones I had. I also did solid perfume (similar recipe to the lip balm) and a facial oil that’s a dupe for Milk Makeup’s Sunshine Oil (one of my favorite products). That’ll be in another post!