My DIY Lip Balm Recipe With Cocoa & Shea Butter

My DIY Lip Balm Recipe With Cocoa & Shea Butter

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A good quality balm is one of my skincare essentials, so today I’ll show you how to make it at home. This DIY lip balm recipe is absolutely gorgeous, it’s made with shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, olive oil, sweet almond oil, and some lovely essential oils.

This balm is different from the vegan lip balm I made last week. As well as being luxuriously scented, it’s also designed to re-hydrate and tackle those unsightly patches of dry, flaky skin that we all have but won’t admit to. I tend to make more of my own lip balms during late autumn through to early spring, as cold and windy weather is one of the skin’s nemeses.

DIY lip balm

Homemade Lip Balm For More Than Just Your Lips

When we talk about moisturizing balms, it’s easy to think about just making them for the lips and skin. But actually, they can help soothe and stimulate the mind as well as the body.

As a kind of aromatherapy technique, essential oil-infused balms can be applied to the temples or pulse points for their mood-altering properties, and if I’m gifting I’ll keep the person in mind when choosing the essential oils (e.g. lavender for sleep issues or lemongrass to invigorate all day long).

Ingredients for a lip balm recipe

You’ll find I’ve included many variations of this recipe below, and it may seem daunting which one to go for. But don’t worry, start with my basic DIY lip balm with beeswax and shea butter, then go from there!

More on the different variations and recipe adjustments that you can play around with later.

DIY lip balm

Gorgeous DIY Lip Balm Recipe

This homemade lip balm recipe is gorgeous, it's made with shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and some lovely natural oils.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield: 35 grams (approx)
Author: Angela Wills
DISCLOSURE: is reader-supported. The ingredient and equipment links below are affiliate links, If you buy via the links we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more here..



  • Pour or place all of your oils and butters (excluding your essential oils) into your heatproof container. I find heatproof, glass beakers are the best option for this job.
    Place the beaker into a saucepan of water, taking care to make sure the water is lower than your beaker’s rim (this is called a water bath). Simmer over a low heat so that your butters melt into the oils slowly.
    If you have a double boiler you could also use that. And I sometimes use a microwave to speed this part up. Put it on for 30 second increments and make sure you’re not using any metal.
    Start by melting your solid butters and wax into your liquid oils
  • Once melted, remove from the heat and saucepan and allow it to sit for a short while. Do not allow the mixture to thicken. If it does thicken, pop it back in the saucepan, melt and have another go.
    Once melted, remove from the water bath
  • After a little less than a minute of waiting, the mixture should leave a sort of residue on the sides of the beaker. At this point add the ssential oils, a pipette can come in real handy here, and stir well.
    add the essential oils after the mixture has cooled slightly
  • Working quickly as not to let it cool, pour your mixture into your chosen glass, aluminium or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic storing container. If you have to spoon it in, you’ve let it cool for too long (that’s okay, just means the surface will be less smooth on the finished product).
    Do not attempt to melt the mixture again like in step 2, as the essential oils have now been added and will lose their active properties or scent when subjected to heat.
    Sometimes this happens to me when I’m a bit absent-minded and I warm it up again without thinking, but I never throw it away. You still have a lovely balm, and the rest of the oils and butters are still excellent for your skin.
    Once the mixture is in the lip balm tube, container or whatever you are using to store your product, do not put the lid on until the mixture has completely cooled.
    Pour into storage container and allow to cool before putting the lid on
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How To Use The DIY Lip Balm:

  • There are a whole range of uses for this beyond dry lips, as I’ve already said. It’s great for scrapes, bumps and bruises, so if you’re a mummy (or daddy) keep one in your purse as a cure-all for your kids adventures and antics.
  • My DIY lip balm produces a mixture that doesn’t fully sink into the skin, with a little sitting on the surface to create a barrier between your skin and airborne bacteria. But don’t worry, the ingredients are so natural and skin friendly that it still somehow allows your skin to breath.
  • It can also be applied to large areas of dry skin and several times a day. The limbs, ankles, feet, hands, face, chest, back, and pretty much any part of the body can benefit from this. I’ve even used it as a prewash treatment for my hair, and people I know have used it to soothe the itch of a new tattoo (keep it clean though and lose the essential oils) or keep their beards looking healthy.
  • Apply to the temples or pulse points as a beautiful perfume that can soothe the mind, invigorate the senses and ease tension throughout the body through aromatherapy (more on this later).
  • When using any balm, try to make sure your skin and fingers are clean first.

How To Gift This Lip Balm:

giving lip balm as a gift

I find these DIY balms make such wonderful homemade beauty products! Make up some labels out of paper or card to affix to the container with glue or tape. I like to handwrite these as it gives it that personal touch. You could also stick little fake flowers, rhinestones, ribbons and more to give it that sparkle!

Personalized lip balm will always be received better so think about the loved one you are gifting to and try to match it to them.

These are great to give in lip balm tubes with a wind-up mechanism for easy application to the lip, face and temples. When giving multiple tubes, a fabric pouch with an assortment of scents, colors, fragrance oils or aromatherapy essential oil blends with different properties is fabulous to gift in (see pic below).

Homemade lip balm gift

Some Lip Balm Recipe Variations

Homemade lip balms are pretty forgiving and flexible when it comes to ingredients, and you’ll find that when you can substitute nearly everything or tweak the measurement ratios to your liking!

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils For Lip Balms

When I’m just looking to make a quick balm that smells nice, I just throw in any essential oils I like the smell of. Try opening the bottles and wafting them towards you in different combinations to build a quick scent profile that you like. If your selection of essential oils is small or like me you have a thing for peppermint, using just the one essential oil is fine too.

However, balms are perfect for infusing the aromatherapeutic properties of essential oils as well as smelling wonderful. I could go on and on about how great essential oils are for this, and all the different properties each essential oil has. Maybe take a look at our essential oil use page to learn more about that.

Here are a few examples of essential oil blends and their application for aromatherapy:

Uplifting Blend
8 drops Bergamot
3 drops Geranium
3 drops Grapefruit
3 drops Lemon
3 drops Lime

Go Get’em Lip Blend
2 drops Grapefruit
2 drops Lemon
2 drops YlangYlang

Wake Me Up Blend
3 drops YlangYlang
3 drops Bergamot

Sleepy Time Blend
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Chamomile
2 drops Cedarwood

Heavy Night Fix Blend
This one can be quite strong!
10 drops Neroli
5 drops Sandalwood

More info on all of these oils can be found on my essential oil use page.

Fragrance Oils For Lip Balms

Fragrance oils, which are a blend of preselected scents suspended in oil, are an excellent alternative to essential oils and come in many varieties. You can get hold of blends which are made to mimic popular perfumes, colognes, flowers and even food! Fruity, chocolate, honey and vanilla are all firm favorite fragrance oils for lip and body balms.

Scent preference is very subjective, so use what you’re comfortable with or enjoy. You could even omit them completely for a cheaper, scent free balm – though butters and oils still have their own subtle aromas.

Butter & Oil Substitutes

The butters and oils can be substituted for many different types. The balm above contains shea and cocoa butters, but you could easily use something like mango butter. Same for the oils, as organic coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and calendula oil can be used instead if you know your skin prefers a particular variety.

Keep the melting point of butters in mind before making a rash decision, as you may need to increase the amount of beeswax pellets if you choose a very soft butter. Maybe combine a soft and hard butter, as I have. You could also adjust the ratio of hard to soft butter (e.g. 3g cocoa to 7g shea, which will produce a softer balm) to alter the consistency of the final product.

How Much Beeswax?

Beeswax is essential for most DIY lip balms, but sometimes is not necessary when making a particular type. Although the consistency can be altered by tweaking the ratios or types of butters, I always find it easier to just increase or decrease the amount of beeswax slightly.

If you need a thinner balm use 5g of beeswax instead of 7g. If you live in a hot, humid country you probably won’t want to do this unless you’re planning to store in the fridge. This will give you a slicker balm that will more readily collect when you skim the top of the mixture with your finger. I wouldn’t recommend decreasing the beeswax if you are planning to store in a lip balm tube, as a thinner balm will not wind up the tube properly. You could even add more beeswax if you like; be careful, too much and the balm will become brittle and cracks will appear.

How To Make Lip Balm Without Beeswax

When gifting this, remember that beeswax is not vegan, as it’s made by the honey bee. Substitute it for olive wax to keep your meat and animal product-free friends happy! Check out my Vegan Lip Balm recipe here

Coloring Your Lip Balm

coloring your lip balm

You may want to combine your new favorite balm with a chic tint for your lips. Why decide between lipstick and DIY lip balm when you can have your cake and eat it too? Cosmetic colors are readily available online, and won’t break the bank either. Micas are great and come in powder form.

Stir in very small amounts at a time, right before you add any essential oils, in increments of about the size of a grain of rice until you achieve the desired tone.

If your mixture hardens before you’ve done this, just melt it again (unless you’ve already added essential oils). If you’re lazy, like me, you could cut a couple of slithers from your favorite lipstick and pop it in when melting the butters and oils. It won’t be as vibrant, but it will give your lips a subtle, healthy glow!

colored lip balm

Have fun making a lip balm at home, feel free to ask any questions below in the comments. And remember to come back here and post a photo when you’ve made it!

How To Make Your Own Lip Gloss

Homemade lip gloss

How To Make Homemade Lip Gloss

Ever wanted to replicate your favorite lip gloss? I’ve got a DIY lip gloss recipe that will help you do exactly that.

And, due to the moisturizing power of its ingredients, and the way it glides across the lips, I’m going to describe this particular recipe as a cross between a lip gloss and a DIY lip balm. Learn how to make this lip gloss recipe…

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Angela Wills
Angela Wills
Hi, I’m Angela, I make most of the homemade things here at Savvy Homemade. I'm an experienced soap maker, skincare formulator, author, busy Mom of 3, and recently a Grandma! "Every day I share my experience while crafting something new, it’s fantastic".

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