I remember obsessively using and collecting lip gloss as a mature middle school student. My friends and I would swap colors, constantly pick out new selections, and we wouldn’t be caught without at least one lip gloss on our persons. Time hasn’t changed me too much. I still love carrying one of those little tubes around. What has changed though is what’s inside! I’ve replaced the shimmering, mocha and hot chocolate flavored tub (my 7th grade favorite), with herbal infused, naturally tinted lip balm.
I think it can go without saying that typical lipsticks and lip balms are full of toxins. Even many “natural” lip balms resort to not so natural ingredients, like this “natural” one containing wholesome ingredients like geraniol, citral, and limonene…while racking up a wholesome 6 on the EWG toxic scale. Mmmm, not so much.
Healthy lip balms can be found, but it’s cheaper and more fun to make your own natural tinted lip balm! There are oodles of great recipes out there, but what I like about this one is the smell. I’m all for gourmet lip balms, but you don’t have to resort to unnatural flavorings to get a great one!
Cocoa butter gives this a whiff of chocolate, while essential oils add a heavenly scent. And of course there’s plenty of nourishing oils and healing calendula flower for super soft lips! Learn more about the amazing powers of calendula here.
And did I mention it’s tinted?
This lip balm is the full package.
Step One: Infuse Carrier Oil
Fill a dry, clean mason jar half full of dried Calendula or full of fresh. It’s very important that there’s no moisture in the jar or this could mold! I like using half pint jars for lip balm since it yields so much! Pour carrier oil over the herbs, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
Put a lid on the jar and place in a slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover the herbs, right below the lip of the lid. If you don’t like running a slow cooker just for one jar, you can infuse oil for some salves, too. Here’s a simple lavender balm that a great all purpose salve.
Set the slow cooker to warm and leave let it infuse for three days, refilling with water as needed. Strain out the herbs with a clean cheesecloth, old (but clean!) tshirt, or coffee filter. Be sure to really squeeze all the herbal goodness out! Unless you want a gazillion lip balms, you can use the extra infused calendula oil to make a salve for eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
Step Two: Make DIY Naturally Tinted Lip Balm
- 1/3 C Infused Carrier Oil (you could use organic, unrefined coconut oil, almond oil, apricot oil, jojoba oil, etc; learn more about carrier oils here and buy dried calendula here)
- 2 T Organic, Unrefined Cocoa Butter
- 2 T Unrefined Beeswax
- 1 tsp Alkanet Root Powder
- About 8 drops Orange Essential Oil, about 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, or a few drops of your favorite and most trusted oil (organic or wildcrafted and ethically sourced)
- It’s best to do this in a double-boiler. I just make one with a small pot filled with shallow, simmering water and a glass bowl on top. Trust me…this makes for much easier cleanup and you don’t run the risk of burning your new creation from heat being too high.
- Gently heat infused oil until very warm, but don’t let it simmer.
- Stir in the alkanet, turn off the heat and let this infuse for 5 minutes.
- Strain out the alkanet. Wipe out the double boiler to remove any alkanet powder before pouring the oil back in.
- Turn the heat back on. Add the beeswax and cocoa butter, stirring gently just until melted.
- Turn off the heat and add the essential oils.
- Immediately pour into desired containers. These look like nice lip balm tubes or you can use cute tins like these. MRH also carries both lip balm tubes and metal tins at very reasonable prices and I can vouch for the quality.
I am looking forward to making the lip balm but I do have a question about the alkanet root powder. It is recommended that this root not be used internally and since lip balm seems to be in ingested naturally in small amounts, is there an alternate way to add color? Maybe beets?……..
I tested this recipe almost a dozen times trying to get beet root to work. Beets work great for dying water, but not oil. You either end up with a colored, gritty substance that leaves little to no color on your lips, or if you strain it, you end up with virtually no color whatsoever. Alkanet root is a natural plant that has historically been steeped and drunk for medicinal purposes so I felt perfectly safe using it on the lips. Hibiscus and beet just didn’t give any color.
Since the only place in the yard they would get enough sun is by the road, I wonder how much car pollution the plants would pick up if I put them there. I would like to use them to make salves and such, but wouldn’t want to put bad stuff in there too. Any thoughts on how much stuff the plants would absorb? I guess I could still have them to enjoy looking at them. They are lovely, aren’t they?
Hi Louise! Sorry I’m just now seeing your comment. I’ve always heard that roadside plants aren’t good to use because of pollution, but I’m not exactly sure how much they actually pick up. You can also purchase already dried calendula petals from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Where do you get these containers and is it safe to use plastic or do we need to use glass? I keep hearing about plastics not being safe and am still sorta confused on it all. Thanks for your recipes!
Mountain Rose Herbs has nice glass containers, or I’m sure you can find some on Amazon. The issue with plastic is that it contains chemicals, like BPA that leach into your product.
Hi Jamie! Thanks for a great recipe. I was wondering approximately how many ounces you end up with as a final product for this. I’m trying to figure out how many containers I’ll need. Also, do you think I could substitute shea butter for the cocoa butter without it affecting the consistency too much?
This yields about 4.5 ounces. Also shea butter is a soft butter, while cocoa butter is much harder. If you used shea butter you would have to increase the beeswax, but the more beeswax you use the waxier it feels on your lips (obviously) and the less vibrant the color will be. Because this is a natural product the color is already subtle and harder to draw out.
I would also recommend using coconut oil for the carrier oil since this also helps reduce the waxy feel.
You can try using shea and increase the beeswax, but it wouldn’t work as well. Mountain Rose Herbs is a reliable place to buy cocoa butter and you can use it for so many natural bodycare recipes!
Hi, thanks for the recipe! I made this 1 week ago, and towards the end of the week, my lip balms have developed tiny little white flecks in them…they are like little dots. I made 2 batches, one tinted and one with no tint. Both of these have these little dots. What am I doing wrong? Is it because of the beeswax and this just how it is settling? I was very careful to keep it away from water or any contaminants. Would appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!
Hi Mandy! It might have been how the product was cooled, or it could have been contaminated and developed mold. If you’re hands weren’t just cleaned or you weren’t wearing gloves, or if an ingredient had been exposed to contamination you could have unknowingly contaminated the product. Did you use white beeswax? Or did you not completely melt the product before pouring it in your containers? Unless it’s mold it should be completely safe to use and work just fine!
I made sure to clean my hands, and I don’t believe any of my ingredients were containated, as I have used them to make other products and those were fine. I did use white beeswax…perhaps I didn’t melt it completely? The tiny flecks are round and kind of hard, pebble-like, but melts in contact with skin. That doesn’t sound like mold does it? Also, could a product like this develop mold in less than a week? The only other thing I did differently is I substituded half the cocoa butter with shea butter bc I didnt have enough cocoa. I appreciate your input! Thanks!
It sounds like its the shea butter then. I’ve had that happen before when it was melted and then cooled down too quickly, it can get grainy.
This looks like a great lip balm recipe, I can’t wait to try it out! I do have an unrelated question, where do you get you labels for your products from? I’m going to be making some gifts soon and I would like to have some labels for them. Do you make your own, or do your order them?
Hi Amanda! Jess gets her labels from a company that has a minimum order of about 200 I believe. I also make my products and I either upload an image to vistaprint and order through them or print my own onto labels I buy from onlinelabels.com. Both of these don’t have any minimum orders and are pretty affordable. I order the lip balm labels from bulkapothecary.com and print them myself.
Great suggestions, Jamie. Yes, I order mine from StickerGiant now and you do have to order in bulk. When I first started I would just print my own labels. Avery labels like these are great. They have lots of sizes, colors, and finishes…I’m sure you could find some that meet your needs and it’s easy to just print them at home.
…and yay for DIYing your own from scratch products as presents. I love it!
Hi! I’d like to give this recipe a try, but was wondering if I could substitute Zinc Oxide for the Alkanet Powder to give it an SPF factor?
You could try adding zinc oxide but I think that would make it gritty. The alkanet powder gets strained out, so the powder isn’t left in the product. It’s also what makes it tinted, so it wouldn’t have any color. I’ve heard that carrot seed essential oil has some spf so maybe you could add a few drops of that!
Thanks for the quick reply Jaime! I’ve discovered that Red Raspberry Seed Oil offers both UVA and UVB protection and I can get it locally. If I sub this in instead of the Alkanet (which I cannot get locally), do you think I’ll have to add more beeswax as it is an oil, not a powder?
Hi. I love your site and recipes. Just wondering what is best to use to strain out the alkanet root. Thanks
Hi Lisa, I’ve found that a fine mesh strainer is easiest, but a coffee filter is more thorough. The coffee filter is just a pain to work with. Happy DIY-ing 🙂