Soap and Lip Balm with Ingredients from Thompson’s Cupboard

I hope you have all had a wonderful and safe holiday! I’m glad to be back in the saddle working on more formulas. (I still have a mountain!) Before I continue with today’s post, I have a question for you. Would you like us to continue the “From the Cupboard of” series by making it a monthly event? Let us know what you think!

The first request I received was for a soap recipe. Most of the oils in Thompson’s cupboard are liquid oils, but we can easily work with this! If you would like to add another oil to your cupboard, I would recommend adding Coconut Oil or Palm Kernel Oils. You can follow this link for my recommendations for basic soap making ingredients.

Recipe in ounces:
10 ounces Olive Oil
4 ounces Avocado Oil
2 ounces Shea Butter

2.02 ounces Sodium Hydroxide for 6% Excess Fat
4-6 ounces Water

1 teaspoon Honey (Max amount per pound of oils used)
2 teaspoons Finely Ground Oatmeal (Max amount per pound of oils used)

Recipe in percentages:
62.5% Olive Oil
25% Avocado Oil
12.5% Shea Butter

q.s. Sodium Hydroxide for 6% Excess Fat
q.s. Water

q.s. Honey
q.s. Finely Ground Oatmeal

*q.s. = Quantity Sufficient. This is an ingredient that needs to have the amount calculated to match the size of batch that you are making.

Due to the current cold winter temperatures in the New England area, make this soap with a starting temperatures of approximately 130° F. Make the soap and when you cut it the next day, take a small bar or sliver off the sink and try it out!

I hope you enjoy this soap!

Thompson also requested a lip balm that would help lips in the harsh New England winters. I reformulated my current favorite lip balm that is helping my lips with the windy Beijing winter!

20% Beeswax
10% Castor Oil
25% Apricot Kernel Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
29% Shea Butter
1% Vitamin E

I hope you enjoy these recipes! I have still more formulas that I’m working on! If there is something you would like help with, please feel free to send us a message through the Contact Us page! I’m having fun with all the formulas!

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15 thoughts on “Soap and Lip Balm with Ingredients from Thompson’s Cupboard”

  1. I love these ideas for recipes and would enjoy seeing ideas like this regularly. Thanks, Andee for all of your work and great ideas. Cindy

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  2. Ooh, that lip balm looks great! I’d like to try the soap too.
    And yes, I would like it if ‘From the Cupboard’ was a monthly event.
    Thanks for the great products, and great recipes!

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  3. Thanks so much for the recipes, I’ll be making both. I love this feature, and I hope you keep it going!

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    1. How would you change the recipe to incorporate coconut oil?

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      1. To include Coconut Oil, I would adjust the recipe to the following:

        6 ounces Olive Oil
        5 ounces Coconut Oil
        4 ounces Avocado Oil
        1 ounces Shea Butter

        2.25 ounces Sodium Hydroxide for 6% Excess Fat
        4-6 ounces Water

        37.5% Olive Oil
        31.25% Coconut Oil
        25% Avocado Oil
        6.25% Shea Butter

        q.s. Sodium Hydroxide for 6% Excess Fat
        q.s. Water

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  4. Hi Andee. I love your blog and find it very inspiring. I have a question and hope you can help me. I have recently started experimenting with making my own lip balms. However, sometimes they tend to, after a while it “granulates” or react somehow so that it gets small lumps in them. It still works, but I am just wondering why this is, and how I can avoid it in the future. Has it something to do with the oils I am using, or the level of heat. Again, hope you can help me. Kind Regards from Cecilie in Norway:)

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    1. This sounds like fractionation which is separation of some of the parts of the oils. This could be due to a few things, so I’m going to ask a few questions that will help me determine what is causing this fractionation.

      What ingredients are you using?
      What is your high temperature?
      What types of containers are you putting your lip balm in?

      I hope we can find the cause of this fractionation!

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  5. Thank you so much Andee for getting back to me. I didn’t see your answer until now therefore the late reply.

    To answer your questions in order to determine if this is fractionation:

    Ingredients are:
    Shea Butter
    Cocoa Butter
    Olive Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Castor Oil
    Vitamin E
    and the essential oils in this are Spearmint and peppermint.

    I am using ‘normal’ plastic lip balm tubes like these:

    and I am actually not sure of the exact heat cause I am fairy ‘analogue’ as I have the ingredients in a pyrex-jug and then in a pan with heated on a little cooking-plate. The water never boils as I am sure to keep it warm but not boiling.

    Should I maybe invest in a combined heater&weight (Don’t know what it is called)? Is that what you are using?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me. Looking forward to hear your verdict:)


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    1. I think the Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter are causing this problem. If the percentage of these two oils is greater than 25%, in a combined situation, then you will need to reformulate. If they are between 20 and 25% then changing to High Melt Point Shea Butter and increasing the beeswax a single percent or two will make a huge difference.

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      1. Hi again Andee. Since your reply I did reformulate and change to the high melt shea butter with a great outcome.

        However, suddenly, for some reason the latest batches started to become very soft. Too soft, and and almost a bit porous (if I break them in to they are very soft in the middle, and slightly grainy). I researched further and found out that the reason could be that the oils haven’t melted enough/for as long as they should in order to be properly blended. Especially the shea which needs to be “broken down” over a long period of time with steady heat (?). So I am now melting the base for a longer. –And also putting the tubes straight in the fridge after I have filled them. I have not reformulated since the batches that came out good (I believe it was a case of ‘art by accident’ as I do remember I heated it for a longer period than the ones that came out soft) Nevertheless, I have also changed supplier of some of the oils and butters. After a bit of tweaking with the recipe and the heat, they have a much better/smoother texture, are slightly firmer, but the are still a tad too soft. I don’t want to change the formula too much, but have now made one where I increased the amount of beeswax just a bit. I therefore wanted to run it by you in order to see if you think the precentage of the different oils/butters look ok. I am also writing this cause in your reply mentioned that shea and cocoa should not go over 25% (I have them at 23%) but I just read on the mms website that one should only use high melt shea if the percentage was high. I therefore wonder if you think it is high enough in this formula? And what do you think about the other %s?

        22% beeswax
        15% cocoa butter
        8% High melt shea
        5% Aloe Butter
        8% Lanolin
        24% Jojoba and sweet almond oil
        16% Castor
        2% Vitamin E

        If I want it even slightly harder, without loosing the exceptional glide and moisture they have, what would you suggest I do?

        Hoping to hear your thoughts and if so: thank you so much! Kind regards Cecilie

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        1. Cecile,

          Please do not heat and hold the shea butter or any other fat like this. Damage to the mixture and a shorter shelf life will result.

          Try refrigerating your tubes prior to filling. This will help the mixture set up quickly. Never freeze the empty tubes or the filled tubes.

          Are all of these items measured on a scale or are they volume measures?


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          1. Hi Tina. Thanks for your reply. This is why I tried to heat it on low heat for a longer period:
            Even if it did seem to work I will not continue to do this if it shortens the shelf life.

            The measurements are by scale.

            I am so frustrated as I do not understand why the recipe I’ve used for over a year suddenly becomes way too soft… If it is not the heating it must be the new oils, or something else… This is the original recipe for the base :
            32 g beeswax
            18 g cocoa butter
            12 g high melt shea butter
            6 g Aloe Butter
            12 g Lanolin
            22g jojoba Oil
            22 g Sweet Almond Oil
            25 g Castor Oil.
            3 g Vitamin E
            (As you can see, I have increased the beeswax and the cocoabutter in the new stated above, which helps a bit)

            I feel though, when adding more beeswax to the balm it becomes too waxy and does not melt into the lips (especially here in Norway where the weather is cold). And if I increase the cocoabutter I am scared it will fractionate together with the sheabutter as it gets close to the magic 25% limit for these to to be combined.

            So if you have any tips for me of what to try next I very much appreciate it:) (either with heat, or increasing/decreasing some of the ingredients)

            Kind Regards

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            1. Cecilie,

              I am aware of the many who tout the benefits of long heating periods for shea butter. It is one I fail to understand because we are not packing the fat to be sold as a fat, we are mixing it in a blend of oils and the whole must remain cohesive not with concern to a single fat but only concern to the whole. Damage to one oil is damage to all. Passing the melting point and into a state of complete clarity (no fractionation) will complete this task for our needs, we are not concerned about fractionation in a 55 lb block, as others may be.

              While reviewing your formulation I suspect your cocoa butter has changed. We have seen this before and to horrid results. Sometimes the fatty acid profile will change and the cocoa butter will have few stearines. It is common thought in the world of cacao that any fat derived from the nut is completely incompatible with other fats, either animal, vegetable or mineral. While we know this to be untrue, it does not change the belief in the industry. It is my suspicion that if you change your cocoa butter to another lot, brand, or both that this problem will go away. To use this cocoa butter will require that you decrease the percentage of this item to half that of your original formulation. Replacement with something like Palm Kernel Oil can help but can also far exceed your expectations in firmness/brittleness.

              If your cocoa butter has arrived to you in a fractionated state, or has become fractionated while in your control (both are so easy to do it isn’t an intentional act that is always the cause), then I would consider melting the cocoa butter gently and once it becomes glistening clear to pour it out on a cool/cold surface in a shallow pour. If the cocoa butter remains fractionated after this treatment then the fatty acid profile is off for lip balm making yet is perfectly acceptable for chocolate makers.

              I wish I had great news for you. This is frustrating to go through and wish you didn’t need to do so.


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  6. Thank you so much Andee. Looking at my recipe that seems like a plausible reason for the fractionation. I will reformulate and am also ordering the High Melt Point Shea Butter asap:)
    Have a great day!

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