How-Tuesday: DIY Lip Balm in Upcycled Containers
- Kitchen scale, for weighing out ingredients
- Heat-proof glass measuring cup (Pyrex works well)
- Saucepan with water
- Spoons, for scooping butters and oils
- Small droppers, for dispensing essential oils
- Chopstick, for stirring the mixture
- Paper towels, for catching drips and tidying up. Normally I am not a fan of paper towels in the kitchen, but wax can be awfully tricky to get out of nice dishtowels.
- Small tins or jars. I’ve found many lovely tins at my local sweets shop, at antique shops and flea markets, and here on Etsy. I even found a collection of very tiny vintage tins made for holding watch parts that would hold adorably elfin lip balm portions.
There are so many wonderful options widely available online for the butters, waxes and oils that will make up the balm. Begin by taking into consideration your own (or your giftee’s) preferences and sensitivities. I personally love the scent and texture of beeswax (which I get from a local beekeeper), but vegans may want to consider candellilla wax. Some of my favorite skin-nourishing oils and butters include coconut, sesame, apricot kernel, sweet almond, olive, shea butter and cocoa butter. Adding a few drops of vitamin E (seek out a non-GMO vitamin E, if you can) helps protect the oils from oxidation.
- Spring calls for something light and floral: geranium, neroli (orange blossom) or pink grapefruit.
- Summer inspires visions of freshly cut herbs: rosemary, mint and tarragon, or the beachy tropical combination of ylang ylang and vanilla.
- Fall loves warmth and spice: cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried ginger, vanilla or even chocolate.
- Winter wants bright and delicate citrus notes (mandarine, bergamot), fresh ginger or jasmine (think of your favorite conservatory garden in February).
Begin by making sure your work area, your equipment and your hands are sparkling clean and dry. Any moisture introduced into the balm will dramatically shorten its lifespan.