Lip Balm 101 – Making Adjustments

This week I’ve been working on a lip balm formula. Yesterday I made a test batch using the formula I’d devised based on our guidelines.

Although I liked the way the lip balm felt, it was too soft and oily for a good summer lip balm. Today I intend to make some changes to the formula to see if I can stiffen up the lip balm a bit without losing the properties I like: its spreadability and quick absorbency.

The formula I used yesterday contained Candelilla Wax, Handcrafted Shea Butter, Palm Oil, Babassu Oil, Cocoa Butter (deodorized), Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

To decide which oils needed to be changed, I went back and skin tested several of them to see which ones were contributing to the oiliness and softness I did not like in the finished balm. I think there is too much Babassu Oil in the formula. It’s an oil that melts really quickly on contact. I’m going to cut the amount of Babassu Oil in half and add that into the Shea Butter, which is less oily at room temperature.

I’m also going to add some Castor Oil. It’s a really thick liquid oil that works extremely well in lip products. I’ll reduce the amount of Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oils to get the Castor Oil in the formula.

Join me in my workroom!

What You’ll Need


Candelilla Wax
Handcrafted Shea Butter
Palm Oil
Babassu Oil
Cocoa Butter, deodorized
Avocado Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Castor Oil
Jojoba Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil


Small heat-proof container
Lip Balm Jars and Lids


10% Candelilla Wax
22% Handcrafted Shea Butter
5% Palm Oil
3% Babassu Oil
17% Cocoa Butter, deodorized
12% Avocado Oil
10% Apricot Kernel Oil
11% Castor Oil
8% Jojoba Oil
2% Peppermint Essential Oil

50-gram Test Batch

5 grams Candelilla Wax
11 grams Handcrafted Shea Butter
2.5 grams Palm Oil
1.5 grams Babassu Oil
8.5 grams Cocoa Butter, deodorized
6 grams Avocado Oil
5 grams Apricot Kernel Oil
5.5 grams Castor Oil
4 grams Jojoba Oil
1 gram Peppermint Essential Oil


Weigh all ingredients but the essential oil into a small beaker or other heat-safe container. Microwave in very short time bursts (10 seconds), swirling the mixture after every heating. As soon as most of the ingredients are melted, stir with a spoon to finish melting the wax.

Add the essential oil, stirring well to combine.

Pour lip balm into containers. I’ll be using jars instead of tubes this time.

Allow to cool completely before capping and labeling. Enjoy!

Ingredients before melting.

Stirring to melt the last of the wax.


The addition of Castor Oil didn’t make as much of a difference as I’d anticipated, but lowering the Babassu Oil and replacing it with Shea Butter did give me the less oily texture I wanted.

I still don’t think this is a great summer lip balm because it is still quite soft, but I like it better than the first one. The change I’d make next time is to increase the Candelilla Wax by 2% and reducing the same amount of Shea Butter. That ought to give me a firmer lip balm.

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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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