Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Peppermint-Cocoa Lip Balm - Great Homemade Holiday Gift Idea!

I'll admit, I was hesitant to begin my foray into the intimidating world of making cosmetic/personal care products.  However, after taking the plunge, I'm LOVING it!  Not only does this lip balm smell good enough to eat, but it is comparable to the Burt's Bees chapstick that I usually buy.  I wanted to make something that was gentle enough to use on my two-year-old and didn't contain any petroleum derivatives, like most of the commercial chapsticks do (with the exception of Burt's Bees, of course :).  I found this recipe on Mountain Rose Herb's blog (modified slightly and doubled) and I'm so glad I tried it.  I don't think I'll ever buy commercial lip balm again.  I even made a variation of the recipe that is more of a healing, cooling-type lip salve (recipe coming soon). 

Beeswax is my new best friend.  It is a clingy friend, however, so you'll need to designate a pan and wooden spoon for this - and other - wax-related projects (I picked up a small saucepan at a garage sale for  .50 cents and chose one of my many wooden spoons for this particular project).  Also, you can find the supplies you'll need at Michael's, Pat Catan's or a similar store in the soap-making section, but I purchased mine online at Mountain Rose Herbs.  I am extremely pleased with their quality, and most of the items I purchased were organic and affordable (some things were MUCH cheaper than I saw at Catan's).  Give this recipe a try - you won't be disappointed.  Plus, as usual, your detoxed beauty bag will thank you.

Peppermint-Cocoa Lip Balm                                 

2 Tablespoon cocoa butter
6 Tablespoons sweet almond oil
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons beeswax pastilles
20-30 drops peppermint essential oil
A few drops of vitamin E oil (optional, but recommended - I just punctured a Vitamin E supplement and squeezed it in)

This is how it looks while melting...
To Prepare:  Place butter, oil and beeswax in a small pot or glass bowl and gently heat in the top of a double boiler (or larger saucepan with water in it) until contents have completely melted.  Once melted, remove from heat and mix in the essential oil and Vitamin E.  Immediately pour mixture into lip balm containers. (Tins are available at the link to Mountain Rose Herbs above, and I also saw them at Catan's.)  Allow to cool completely before placing lids on the containers.  Done!  You can now add some nice bling to the lids and give them away as gifts.  This recipe makes eight 1/2-ounce tins.

This is how it looks when melted and ready for essential oil.
**Cleanup Tip:  Place the pan back on the double boiler, heat it up, and then wipe it out with a paper towel.  If you try to use water, you will not succeed!  Then dip the spoon in the boiling water and wipe the wax off of it.  Much easier than how I initially tried to clean up :)**

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