Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do you want to make lip balm?

I thought it would be kind of fun to do a tutorial on my blog. I was trying to think about what I do that not many people know how to do. My work experience in the veterinary and medical fields has provided me with a few talents I considered sharing. Hmmm, I know how to express a dog's anal glands, I could share that with the world. Or what about treating genital warts? It's a useful skill occasionally (although you do need to have access to acid or a cryo tank). All of my ideas seemed a bit inappropriate. I finally decided to share my side job, lip balm making. And don't worry; I wash my hands really well.

So, here it is, step by step.

Step 1: MELTING THE BEESWAX. We get raw beeswax from a local guy who uses no chemicals on his hives. Glenn then filters it and saves it in these handy one ounce molds. I know one ounce of beeswax will make one batch so it saves us from having to weigh the dry beeswax. We use a double boiler to melt the wax. Beeswax is highly flammable so never leave it!

Step 2: HEATING AND MIXING THE OILS. We heat organic almond oil and organic jojoba oil in a little pot (never over an open flame). Then we add to it heated coconut oil. I like to use about 50% liquid at room temperature oil with 50% solid at room temperature oil (coconut oil)/beeswax mixture. You can change the ratios depending if you want a hard or soft lip balm. I add the beeswax last. Keep the temperature just high enough to keep the beeswax melted.

Step 3: ADD THE ESSENTIAL OIL. This is the last step as the essential oils will burn off quickly. I used organic lavender oil for this batch. Don't attempt to take a picture of yourself during this step as you will lose count of the drops. I do about two drops/tube of the lavender oil.

Step 4: POUR THE MIXTURE INTO CONTAINERS. If you have a toddler, he or she will start begging to be held during this step, then throw a tantrum as you frantically try to pour the mixture into the tubes before the oil burns off. I recommend a Winnie the Poo video. This part takes practice, but is easily mastered. My sister invented our handy lip balm holder (you can buy holders for those round tubes, but not for our oval tubes). If we ever make it big with our business, I'm giving her ten dollars of gratitude. So you want to fill up the tubes (if you are even using tubes, you can pour the mixture into any old container) to 2 cm from the top. Wait until it has cooled then fill it the rest of the way. Let cool completely, then cap.

It's totally easy and my lips have never felt better. Feel free to e-mail me if you need more info. Maybe I will write about something more challenging for my next tutorial, like the hand maneuvers for delivering a baby. You never know when you will have to deliver a baby on the side of the road (I keep hoping but to my dismay it has never happened). I'll leave you with a pretty picture of the bees in our artichoke plant. I hate having an entire post with dull pictures! Jess


  1. Thanks for showing us how to make lip balm!

    I have a question about my old dog who is 9 who is having some problems with the mange. We finally got it all cleared up with Happy Jack but it is somewhat coming back. I've read about using apple cider vinegar. I've also read that it could be that she is just not healthy which I'm thinking she has a brain tumor. Her behavior has changed and she does have a lump at the base of her neck. Why can't dogs live forever? sigh....


  2. I love your tutorial, especially the part about the Winnie the Pooh video (now that's planning ahead!)

    I make my lip balm with spearmint essential oil and I love it. I'd like to get my hands on some of those twist up tubes though - any idea where I could get some?

  3. Thanks for the interesting tutorial, but my favorite part (aside from reading that you wash your hands really well) was seeing that beautiful artichoke blossom with the bees...WOW, I used it as my desk top. Hope you don't mind. I never realized how pretty artichokes bloom...I miss eating them too. I miss a lot of things I used to have in California that I don't now.
    I have an idea for your blog: Make a little section about answering pet questions, you know, little non-damaging kind like the mange or how a dog is not supposed to be eating chokolate or onions, stuff like that...that would be good and very popular!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I found it really intersting. I make soap, strictly for our use, because I am not that good at it, as far as the scents go. I am still working on that part. I just enjoy making things and seeing how others make things as well. Love the last photo. How beautiful!

  5. I think you should give your sister more like a thousand dollars when you make it big.

    --A faithful blog follower (not your sister, although I do hear she's quite attractive)

  6. Angela,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your dog! My animal expertise is not so great anymore. I haven't worked at a vet clinic in over six years. I now work as a nurse-midwife, so I know a lot more about human health issues. I hope your dog gets better! Jess

  7. Hi Barbara, You can order them from or I could send you some if you just want a few. Spearmint sounds great!

  8. Doris,
    Great idea, but I can't answer that many animal questions these days. I'm out of the loop. Women's health issues are my thing now. I'm glad you like the pic! Jess

  9. Jessica, Your lip balm saved J.R.'s lip last week. They were so sunburned and dried, they cracked. Within 24 hours they were well on the way of being healed! Love that stuff, especially the Lavender!

  10. Ah, so that's how you do it. I am enjoying the two sticks of lip balm you sent me. It's very soothing, even with my sensitive skin!

  11. Hi, Jess. I just had a few moments at work to check out your blog (or shall we say took some time to procrastinate) and just love reading it, and all the photo's (including Oliver's!). I also just realized you or Glenn might have an answer for me. I know I never got back to you a while ago when I was asking you about purchasing beeswax for artmaking. It's for a process known as encaustic, which combines raw beeswax with something called damar resin crystals. Rather than concocting it on my own, I decided to buy it pre-mixed, which sells under the name of "encaustic medium". The medium (which looks just like your bars of raw beeswax) is melted and painted on in layers, heating it again with each layer added. It turns out that the stuff is pretty toxic and the ventilation requirements go beyond my studio. So I started looking into using just the raw beeswax with the resin, and many artists saw that just melting the beeswax itself is toxic to breathe in- that melting it changes the chemical composition. What do you think?
    Sorry to be so long-winded. I so appreciate being to see and read about your lives, all through the eyes and words of you!

  12. Ooops- I meant "using raw beeswax withOUT the resin"!

  13. That was a cool read! Thanks for making it so detailed and funny!