Soft and soothing, this easy, homemade healing lip balm can be whipped up in just a few minutes, and will help heal chapped lips and skin.
Over the last few weeks, the weather has been crazy around here. We saw snow on the ground for the first time in over 30 years, followed by warm, sunny days, followed by cold, windy, stormy days. It's hard to know what to expect, and the harsh weather has finally gotten to my son's sensitive skin.
I've written to you in the past about my son's atopic dermatitis and how he's very prone to rashes and dry, flaky skin. One of his most sensitive areas, though, is the area around his mouth.
When we visited the dermatologist a few years ago, he clued us into the fact that the rashes could be exacerbated by certain foods. We found that after my son ate acidic fruits, bananas, and a few other foods that were problematic for him, that we would often see a rash form around his mouth within a couple of hours. By now, he can eat most of those foods again, most of the time, without issues, but at this time of year, the rash seems to end up forming around his mouth no matter what he eats. It's more a sign that the cold, dry weather is taking its toll.
No matter what the cause of the dryness of the lips and surrounding areas, this homemade healing lip balm will help soothe irritated skin. I purposely formulated the lip balm so that it would be soft enough to easily rub it over the most sensitive areas without causing anymore pain.
My son has been extremely sensitive to any sort of lip balm or cream being used on his lips and the area around them. He's picky about scents and picky about textures. That's why it was important to me to make a homemade healing lip balm for him. I controlled the quality of the ingredients, and everything else about it. For now, this is the only lip balm or cream that he will let me use!
The benefits of mango butter
I chose to use mango butter in this lip balm for several reasons. My son hates the scent of cocoa butter and shea butter. Both of them, when bought unrefined, can have an overpowering scent and flavor. Mango butter is much milder and has a smooth and creamy texture. I like the texture much better than that of either shea butter or cocoa butter, and you could really just rub pure mango butter over your lips and/or irritated skin in a pinch.
Mango butter is very nourishing and hydrating, and is said to benefit rashes, eczema, sunburn, insect bites, and even frostburn. It's not greasy and is easily absorbed by lips and skin. It helps prevent wrinkles and sun damage, meaning that it's a great addition to lip balms year round! It also has antioxidant properties. What more could you want?
Choosing essential oils for your homemade healing lip balm
The great thing about making your own lip balm is that you can choose which essential oils to use to help aid in healing, or you could choose to not use any at all. If you are sensitive to certain oils, you can avoid them. You can also choose oils whose scents you enjoy.
I chose a mixture of lime essential oil and lavender essential oil because both lavender and the citrus peel essential oils are thought to aid in healing chapped skin and minor cuts and scratches. I would normally use lemon or orange oil, but I hadn't tried out my bottle of lime essential oil yet, and this was the perfect opportunity. The combination of lavender and citrus sounds a bit strange, but I actually quite like it. Interestingly enough, my picky son doesn't have issues with the scent of either oil either. Plus, they are relatively safe oils for using with somebody of my son's age.
In the photos, you'll see that I also photographed a pink colored chocolate peppermint lip balm that I made for myself using cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil (see notes on coloring below). Peppermint essential oil gives a cooling sensation to lip balms which I happen to love. Some people, though, may find peppermint oil to be irritating to their skin and lips!
Watch how to make the homemade healing lip balm:
Other healing ingredients for a homemade lip balm
Apart from the essential oils, this lip balm also incorporates tocopherol, or vitamin E. Vitamin E not only nourishes the skin, but it also helps prevent the other oils and fats from going rancid. Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals which can damage cell membranes.
Next time I make this lip balm, I plan on adding a couple of drops of d-panthenol. D-panthenol is a form of vitamin B5 that can help bring moisture down to deeper areas of the skin. It's known to help with healing wounds, regenerating skin, and cell renewal. It helps relieve dryness and chapping. I just recently bought some because I've been formulating some new DIY hair conditioners, and d-panthenol is also a wonderful addition to hair products. I'm planning on sharing my favorite new recipe for a leave in hair conditioner soon!
If you want to add something like d-panthenol to your lip balm, you'll need to keep something in mind. D-panthenol is water soluble. Adding a water soluble product like this one can add moisture, albeit a very tiny amount, to the final product. Moisture in cosmetics can allow for the growth of bacteria and/or mold. After a bit of investigation, I found a Spanish recipe online for a healing lip balm (made with shea butter and cocoa butter) from an online natural products company that also uses d-panthenol. They sell natural preservatives, and didn't recommend any for that particular recipe. My gut feeling is that a couple of drops isn't going to add enough moisture to warrant needing a preservative. (It may even evaporate away during the elaboration.) All of that said, don't go overboard on an ingredient like this one. In large quantities it probably wouldn't combine well with the other ingredients anyway. When only using a drop or two, the beeswax should be enough to emulsify it into the rest of the ingredients.
Natural colorants for homemade lip balms
I really need to do a post just focusing on natural colorants that can be added to homemade makeup. I recently did an experiment using everything from fruit powders made from dried strawberries and raspberries (worked horribly!), to beetroot powder, etc.
I'll be doing further experiments using iron oxides and micas now that I plan on sharing more homemade cosmetics with you, but for now, I'd have to say that my two favorite super natural colorants for this type of recipe are alkanet root and annatto powder from seeds of the achiote tree.
Achiote is an orange colored seed often used as a spice/natural food coloring in Latin American foods. When ground into a fine powder, it easily disperses into the rest of the ingredients and works pretty well to color lip balms and other cosmetics.
Alkanet is an herb whose root gives more of a burgundy red color. I used a mixture of finely ground alkanet root powder and a touch of cocoa powder to the colored lip balm in the pictures.
You can read more about how I used both in my non-comedogenic blush stick experiments. To get the color to be even, it's important to obtain a fine powder and make sure it gets mixed in well to the rest of the ingredients. I go more into detail about that in the other post.
For now, I'd like to concentrate on the healing lip balm part of this post…
DIY Homemade Healing Lip Balm
DIY Homemade Healing Lip Balm
- 2 tsp. sweet almond oil 8.5g
- 1 tsp. jojoba oil 2.5g
- 1 tsp. mango butter 5.5g
- 1 tsp. beeswax I use pastilles for easy measuring. (4g)
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops lime essential oil or another cold pressed citrus peel oil like lemon or orange
- 2 drops vitamin E
- 2 drops d-panthenol optional- see notes above
- Measure out the almond oil, jojoba oil, mango butter, and beeswax pastilles over a double boiler, heating gently while stirring until the beeswax and mango butter have melted and are fully mixed with the oils.
- Remove the mixture from the heat source, and add in several drops of soothing essential oils and vitamin E. I used lime and lavender because both citrus peel oils and lavender are said to be soothing, healing oils for chapped, irritated skin. I also wanted to use oils that didn't have a strong scent or flavor that would bother my son. (He hates peppermint, for example, but some people like the cooling, tingling sensation that peppermint essential oil gives in lip balms and glosses.) The tocopherol vitamin E that I use is very thick, so it's difficult to measure out a drop or two. I just try for a drop, which is usually the equivalent of 2-3 drops, and use whatever comes out. (At this point you can also add in a couple of drops of d-panthenol if you plan on using it.)
- Whisk together all of the ingredients, and then pour the mixture into empty chapstick containers. I completely filled 3 containers with this recipe, with the tiniest little bit left over. If you prefer, you can use aluminum tins for the lip balm instead of the chapstick containers.
- Allow to cool completely and fully set before using. You can place them in the fridge or freezer if you're in a hurry! Enjoy!