small measures with ashley: homemade lip balm


Brrr!!! I don’t know where you are, but here in the mountains of western North Carolina, it’s cold. Seriously cold. Dangerously cold. And while I can layer up in wool and flannel, bracing most of my body from the ravages of dry, frigid weather, I can’t hide my face. My face takes it straight on, turning tight, parched and achy, as do my lips. Cracked lips would be my wintertime lot were it not for some serious intervention in the form of lip balm (my face, meanwhile, is receiving a bit of TLC via creams, oils and moisturizing masks).

For today’s Small Measures, I’m offering up a do-it-yourself recipe for creating a healing lip salve to protect your own kisser. Perfect for locking in moisture and keeping lips smooth, this balm can be easily and affordably made. It also makes a perfect stocking stuffer or addition to a holiday package of homemade bath salts and a warming, spicy tea blend (check out this link for some Small Measures body care ideas from last year).


All that’s needed to get started are a few ingredients and some very basic kitchen equipment. You will also need some sort of vessel for holding your finished balm. I’ve listed some suppliers for sourcing containers at the end of the recipe; you can also easily repurpose previously used glass or metal lip balm containers. In the image above, I simply painted and then sanded the lids to achieve an “antiqued” finish.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe and container sources after the jump!

I’ve always felt that the best part of making your own body-care products is the ability to customize them to your (or your recipient’s) fragrance preferences. Lip balm is no exception. In the recipe provided below, feel free to add any essential oil or combination of your choice. If minty freshness is your thing, go for peppermint or spearmint essential oil. If you prefer a floral fragrance, consider a few drops of lavender (which naturally contains antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, perfect for healing lip infections and keeping others at bay). Want a kiss of spice? Spring for cinnamon or clove oil. There really is no wrong way to go about scenting your balm.

Lips of Bliss Balm

The Goods

  • 4 tbsp. natural beeswax, grated
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 5–10 drops essential oil of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. honey or glycerin-based food-grade flavor extracts, such as almond, orange, lemon, etc. (optional)

The Deal

1. Place grated beeswax into a heatproof glass dish (one with a spout and handle is ideal). Add coconut oil to the container (the oil will be solid at room temperature).

2. Add 1 1/2 cups water to a small/medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and place glass dish with beeswax and coconut oil into the middle of the pot. The beeswax and coconut oil will begin to warm and melt; give the liquid a stir with a metal spoon to fully incorporate the two ingredients.

3. Once melted, remove the glass container from the pot and set on a kitchen cloth or trivet. Turn the heat off on your stove.

4. Add essential oil of choice and flavoring agent, if you’re using one. Stir with the metal spoon to distribute evenly.

5. Pour mixture into your container of choice; cover with a lid.

6. Allow to fully cool. Mixture will be solid at room temperature.

7. Makes enough for one 2-ounce container. For larger batches, simply multiply ingredients by the amount of 2-ounce jars you wish to make.

Here’s a list of companies offering lip balm-suitable containers for sale (check your area natural foods stores and craft suppliers, as well):

Cracked-lip crisis solved! What about you? Got any go-to suggestions or standbys for keeping your kisser in tip-top form? I’d love to hear them! Otherwise, here’s hoping that you’re warm, hydrated and properly moisturized from head to toe this winter! — Ashley

  1. Jaclyn says:

    So I just made this lip balm and something seems to be off. In the comments above, it is said that about 1/8 of a lb. would yield 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons for the recipe. So I grated that much. It was way too much. I added an extra tablespoon coconut oil to soften it up a bit. Now I have two 2-ounce tubs and one chapstick tube full of lip balm that is too hard to use or melt/absorb into my lips. Plus, the lip balm doesn’t taste bad, just the honey and flavor is barely noticeable (after I added extra). I’m not sure what is going on.

  2. Brittany says:

    What is the expiration date on this receipe? I noticed some other ones have a 3 week shelf life.

  3. Clare says:

    Hi, I would also love to know how long this lasts?

  4. Lovely recipe! Its comforting to know exactly what I am putting on my lips every hour.

  5. Thank you for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of info written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  6. Emily H. says:

    So I am waiting for this to cool right now. I found it on Pinterest, in case you wanted to know where I found you. :) I subbed shea butter for half of the beeswax and used Hawaiian honey. For flavor, I did a dash of pure vanilla extract and the innards of two vanilla beans. This smells so incredibly wonderful, I want to eat it. I made an extra for myself. :) Used rinsed out baby food jars and tripled the recipe and it worked great. I can’t wait for it to cool. Because I used a honey that’s pretty thick, I had some issues with separating. The honey wanted to hang out at the bottom. So once I poured it in the jars, I just kept shaking it until it was thick enough to stay mixed. Oh my God, did I mention how good this smells? I can’t wait to see how it works! I’m sure it will be fantastic! Thanks for the recipe and for helping me make a special and personalized gift for my friend and sister.

  7. Anna says:

    Thank you for a simple and inspiring recipe!
    Another idea for jars is to recycle (or would it be upcycle? Anyway, we washed them carefully, then put them in boiling water, before using them) the little plastic containers used for contact lenses. That way one little gift can include two different flavours, even two different recipes: http://kyrkkaffe.libris.se/?p=3630

  8. Diana says:

    I live in the desert of AZ where the temperature has gotten as high as 131 degrees and we have dry heat. I am always using lip medix. My lips dry out real bad. Thank you for this recipe.

  9. Sarah says:

    I looked on the sites you provided for lip balm containers. I don’t see any that are 2 oz. Would 1 oz containers be enough? (‘m thinking of making these as gifts). If not- where did you find your 2 oz ones? :)

    Thank you!

    1. Amy Azzarito says:

      Hi Sarah –
      I think the 1oz would be fine. Great gift idea! -Amy

  10. Sarah says:

    I just made this and followed the recipe perfectly… It was hard as a candle. I had to chip it all out of the containers, reheat it, and I doubled the coconut oil. It was a quite a bit better, but still pretty hard.

  11. marynette says:

    i really love lip balms and now that I have a recipe i’ll definitely try it, no need to buy lip balms and I can make my own lip balms with my favorite ingredients and scents!thanks!

  12. Lesley says:

    I’ve been making libalm for a couple years now, I live in the strangest climate zone known to man lol, the Hohh Desert if CA. The temps can be in the 90’s during the day and freeze that night ! Not kidding .. Wish I were ! But as far as colouring your balms, just start with a small amount if Alkanet Root, you can purchase it on Mt Rose Herbs EBay it’s everywhere..it’s a beautiful mauvey pink to plum depending on how much you add, I usually add it to the melted wax, as I put my oil or butter in after the wax is almost melted as not to expose my oils to such heat for whatever Amout of time, just stir it in with yes, a chopstick as it’s disposable :)… Also , Hibiscus Powder adds a very pretty color to the balm, both powders I’ve mentioned have ever actually colored my lips, although my little girl loves putting it in as she believes it to be a “Big Girl” colour :)… Also I’ve always used the same amount of beeswax as I do oil, for my climate it just works, climate must be considered also I suppose? As for essential oils, actually Cassia Bark has an amazing Cinnamon Flavor, just a few drops.. Better than Cinnamon i believe they do come from the same plant. Also, Mandarin and Nutmeg is amazing! Always use a very light hand with the essential oils. My husband lives Peppermint, although he knows if he does use Lavender, he will never have a “Cold Sore” or whatever those sores in the lips are that do look painful (And he can’t smile if he has a bad one ) it’s nice to have a smiley face husband right … My personal favorite butter to use us Cocoa Butter, it’s so creamy and hydrating for me personally … Mango Butter also is awesome ! I must say though , in a HOT summer day, there’s nothing like a Coconut and Peppermint cooling lip balm! Cheers to All and Best Wishes with your lip balms ! It’s a very fun thing to do and oh SO good for the lips !

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