I was never much of a Chapstick fan until a few years ago, when the brand released their 100% Naturals line. I had a crazy-good coupon that got me my first tube of the glorious lip butter for free. After that moment, I was hooked….until the brand discontinued the line! They left me and countless others out to dry… dry out our lips, that is. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Amazon reviews of people desperately trying to find tubes; these people are willing to pay $20 for .15 of an ounce of this glorious butter!!
As much as I loved the stuff, there was no way I was willing to pay a dollar for .0075 of an ounce (and some places more…it is currently selling on Ebay for a disgusting $49.95!) Instead, I thought of an idea: I’ll make my own!
This was probably the most foolproof project I’ve ever encountered. I’m prone to flops (ask Alex, she’s seen some of my good ones, maybe I’ll share one day). This, however, was almost too easy. I literally just went to the back of the box, looked over the ingredients, ordered them off the internet, melted them all together in a mason jar in the microwave, and TADAAAA!!! More of my favorite lip balm than I could ever hope to use in my lifetime.
The ingredients are listed as follows (this is specifically for the Lip Butter flavor. The ingredients on the botanical medley are very similar, though):
Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower), Jojoba Esters, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Cera) Wax (Candelilla Cera), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Flavor, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera) (Apis Mellifera), Copernicia Cerifera Wax (Carnauba), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Glycine Soja Lipid (Soybean), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed (Mango, Mango Butter), Octyldodecanol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Olive, Olive Butter), Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado, Avocado Butter), Rubus Idaeus
(Raspberry) Seed Oil (Raspberry, Raspberry Butter), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E)
Basically, there is a lot of stuff I’d never heard of, and a few things I’ve seen listed on the back of my shampoo and conditioner bottles. I did a bit of research so I would only have to buy the necessary ingredients. Below, I’ll break it down in order of the ingredients (translated so a normal person can understand them).
What I purchased:
Sunflower Oil (you can also easily find this in your grocery store or natural food store)
Coconut Oil (also found in your grocery store or natural food store…one of my favorite cooking oils as well!)
Cocoa Butter (deodorized!!)
Olive Oil (took this right off of the shelf next to my stove…)
Vitamin E Oil (I purchased this in the pharmacy section of my local grocery store)
Like I said before, some of these items (2) were already in my kitchen. A few I was able to find at the grocery store (3) and the rest I either purchased on amazon.com or from an etsy.com store (who worked with me to lower shipping costs because I ordered multiple items).
You’ll notice a few ingredients from their list are missing from mine. I chose not to add “flavor” (Who even knows what “flavor” they added anyway? You can absolutely do this, I just didn’t see the need to.) I also used more beeswax and candelilla wax instead of carnauba wax because it was harder to find and more expensive. My research lead me to find that carnauba wax and candelilla wax have many of the same properties and functionality (both are water resistant). Carnauba’s melting point is very very high, and this seemed bothersome to me at the time of purchasing ingredients. I also eliminated soybean because it acts as an emollient (softener) and I felt I had a lot of those already. I eliminated octyldodecanol (this is an alcohol), because although it acts as almost a preservative in a lot of cosmetics, and has antibacterial properties, I don’t like the drying out that alcohol often does to skin. I elmiminated Rubus Idaeus (raspberry), and raspberry seed oil/butter because they were incredibly expensive and seemed less necessary as they were listed farther down in ingredients. I can honestly say I do not see a difference in my chapstick and the original, even with these substitutions and eliminations, so they must only be trace amounts and not vital, but I’m no chemist. I added 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter to the mix, because it was cheaper and has the same effects as many of the butters I eliminated (avocado butter, raspberry butter, etc). If you choose to add cocoa butter BE SURE IT IS DEODORIZED (otherwise it will smell like chocolate, which isn’t too horribly unpleasant, but not what I was going for).
The first time I made it, I eyeballed the measurements. I remembered the old rule of thumb that in an ingredient list, they include the most prevalent ingredient first, and the ingredients that are used less towards the end of the list (remembering to account for the extra wax substitution). I read online that people often melt the ingredients in a double boiler, but I was impatient, so I threw the ingredients in a mason jar and plopped it in the microwave. Story of my life.
Note: it is recommended not to overheat Vitamin E Oil, so apply this ingredient to mixture after you’ve heated the other ingredients.
The waxes obviously took the most time to break down (higher melting points than the butters), the candelilla wax more than the beeswax. I stopped the microwave every few seconds to stir everything together. After about two minutes, the mixture was completely liquid. I let it dry and harden, and then had a big mason jar of chapstick. The first batch was a little too waxy, I could tell by the feel of it, so I adjusted it a little, throwing the whole thing back in the microwave and mixing it back together. When I was happy with the ingredient ratio, I used a pipette to suck it out of the mason jar, and piped it into tubes from Amazon.
This project probably cost me $40 (with tubes and shipping), when all was said and done (I ordered WAYYYY too much of all of the ingredients, and have tons of extras). As of now, I’ve made about 70 (YES, SEVENTY) tubes of chapstick (crazy, right????) and I still have leftover ingredients. This means each tube could have cost me less than 50 cents to make, had I ordered the correct amount of ingredients and not gone overboard. Not bad at all, especially if you are a frequent misplacer of chapstick like I know a lot of people are. I now have tons of homemade lip butter to give away to friends and family, and all who have tried it love it.
Below you’ll find the final recipe I’ve crafted after several attempts. I suggest adding more or less of one ingredient or another according to your personal preferences, but this can be a pretty good guide, and is super basic. This recipe is pretty soft but if you like it softer, add more butters and oils and less wax. If you like it stiffer, add more wax and less oils and butters. I know there are far easier recipes out there offer a decent lip balm, but I wanted THIS particular kind that I’d been missing so badly, and I’d have to say it is worth the extra effort gathering all of the additional ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
- 1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
- 1 teaspoon Candelilla Wax
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 2 tablespoons Beeswax
- 2 teaspoons Shea Butter
- 1 teaspoon Cocoa Butter (deodorized)
- 1 teaspoon Mango Butter
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
- Measure waxes into microwavable container (or double boiler). Heat for 30 seconds or until halfway melted. Remove from heat and stir.
- Measure butters and oils that are NOT liquid, and add them to the semi-melted waxes. Heat for 30 seconds, or until mixture has become liquid. Remove from heat and stir.
- Measure liquid oils (adding Vitamin E Oil last) and add to mixture. Stir completely. Let rest several seconds (until it is cool enough to not melt plastic, but still warm enough to remain in a liquid state).
- Pipe from microwavable container with pipette into upright empty tubes. Do this over a piece of paper or a plate so as to avoid large clean-up. Pipe carefully, but quickly enough so the mixture doesn't solidify before you have finished. Fill tubes to the top, but avoid letting them spill over.
- Wait several minutes before applying caps to plastic containers. Leave tubes upright at room temperature to cool and harden overnight.