Flavor Usage Rates in Lip Balm: How Much Should I Use?

Have you ever wondered how much flavor you should use for your lip balms?

Natural Vanilla Oil in lip balm.

This is a frequent question we get from lip balm makers, and it’s a good one. Taste is a tricky thing, being part smell and part actual taste. You know how it’s hard to taste things when your nose is stuffed up? That’s because you need that nose to give you the scent part of the flavor of something. Remove that piece of the flavor, and you’ll lose a lot. But if the scent is the only factor at play in a flavor, the taste will be lacking. This is why our flavor oils are formulated for taste first and scent second.

There are two parts to safe flavor usages rates: 1) The supplier’s recommendation, and 2) the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) rate in category 1 for maximum allowed use.
Take Buttercream as an example. We recommend 2-4% usage rate, but the IFRA maximum is 9.1837%. Just because the maximum ALLOWED by IFRA is 9% doesn’t mean that’s the best usage rate. You’ll get the best amount of flavor with 2-4% without risking skin irritation or wasting your money by using an excess of flavor oil.
Flavors tend to be a case of less is more, so test on the light side first. A usage rate of 2% for Natural Vanilla may taste better than 4%. And if you combine 2% Natural Vanilla with 1% Sugar Baby, you’ll discover it tastes even better. That is because we taste sweetness best. When you are looking to improve a flavor that seems a bit lacking, try adding a touch of sweetness before increasing the usage rate of the flavor.
We’re always happy to recommend usage rates based on our experience with our flavors or any of our products. Give us a call at 435-755-0863 or email help@thesage.com and ask for technical support. We’ll get you headed in the right direction.
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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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