How To Make DIY Lip Balm At Home – 7 Tried & Tested Recipes

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If you’ve found this post, it’s probably because your lips are chapping, and you’re ready for a new DIY lip balm. Below, I’m going to show you in detail, with videos, how to make lip balm at home (with seven unique recipes)!

For anyone who doesn’t know, lip balms are magical, all-oil skin care products that keep our lips moist and flake-free all year round. We need lip balm more during the winter months because moisture loss from the skin is at its highest during the festive season.

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homemade lip balms


Applying a little lip balm is a great way to seal in moisture so it can’t escape into the cold air. Balms are also great at stimulating skin healing, as well as being a carrier for a whole host of oil-soluble, skin-nourishing botanicals and ingredients.

If you have very dry skin, you might find that one of my natural DIY lip balms is useful all year round, and not just for your lips. Because balms are generally anhydrous (all oil and no water), they tend to be intensely hydrating for the skin.

Therefore, many people use lip balms on other very dry patches of skin no matter where they are on the body. In fact, you might want to whip two of these up – one for your lips, and another for your dry, chapped feet!

The Basic Lip Balm Recipe

The first lip balm recipe I’m showing below is my tried and tested formula, but don’t miss the 6 more lip balm recipes further down the page. And for even more info check out my face creams and moisturizers course which has a whole chapter on making balms.

diy white lip balm

But, you’ve already learned the golden rule of making a balm – no water is required!

This is a great thing because it means we don’t need to worry about a preservative, and can focus on our lovely oil-soluble ingredients.

But before we can talk about all those lovely oils, let’s break down exactly what a balm formula should look like, in percentages.

Basic DIY Lip Balm Formula

  • 33% Beeswax
  • 33% Cosmetic Butter
  • 33% Carrier Oils
  • 0.5% Vitamin E (Antioxidant)
  • 0.5 Aromatic oil (Essential & Flavoring Oils)

The general rule of thumb for a balm is 1-1-1 of wax, butter, and oil. Of course, this is not set in stone, as all ingredients have different densities and consistencies. One butter might be a little harder and may not need as much as 33%.

Nevertheless, this is a good starting point. Also, notice that we’re not including a preservative in this formula because it’s not needed! Although, to keep our oils fresher for longer, a bit of Vitamin E has been included.

how to make lip balm at home

But this formula is a bit vague. What kinds of butter might you need, and what oils are we even talking about? Let’s take a look.

Best Waxes (Including Vegan)

You’ll notice we only mention beeswax in the formula above. That’s because it’s perhaps your best choice. Beeswax is intensely nourishing and also very versatile. You can learn more about beeswax here at NCBI.

It helps to seal in moisture against the skin, including the moisture that sits alongside it in our formula (our butters and carrier oils). Beeswax is also readily available worldwide. It’s much easier to get hold of than other waxes.

It’s also worth noting that beeswax comes in two varieties, yellow and white (although yellow is the standard). This is important if you plan to add dye or a tint to your balms, as white beeswax is much easier to dye than its yellow cousin.

white beeswax for a lip balm recipe

However, one thing beeswax isn’t is vegan. You might think ‘this isn’t a problem for me’ if you aren’t yourself vegan, but if you plan to gift or sell your products at any point, it might be.

And if you are vegan, don’t worry, we have you covered! You make vegan lip balm by substituting beeswax for candelilla wax. It has many of the same properties, but also provides some excellent shine and gloss to your balms (something beeswax doesn’t do).

However, it cannot be substituted like for like. Candelilla has about double the stiffening power of beeswax, so you’ll need to half the amount and up your oils and butters to compensate.

The Best Carrier Oils

Selecting the right oils is daunting, as there are hundreds of carrier oils to choose from. However, the best advice you could follow when selecting oils for any skin care product, is to go for ones that your skin loves.

If you’ve used coconut oil before and it works great for you, then consider that. If jojoba oil makes your skin feel amazing, then that’s a no-brainer too!

If you’ve never made a DIY skincare product before, do some research and see what you like the sound of. All carrier oils have their own unique therapeutic benefit. But keep in mind, not all oils are suitable for all skin types.

When making a body lotion, selecting the right oil is very important. But you have a lot of wiggle room when making a balm, as it’s a semi-solid skin care product. You don’t have to worry about your oils being too heavy, because balms, by and large, are already heavy.

Of course, we would recommend the choices of oils we’ve selected in our recipe below, but you might want to substitute these for oils that you prefer, or find easier to get hold of. So, what are some good substitutes? Below is a list of a few suggestions we would offer.

My recommended brands for these oils can be found online in the carrier oil section of my Amazon ingredients list.

  • Argan Oil: Softens lips and restores moisture to the skin
  • Avocado Oil: Deeply nourishing, gives slip and slide and adds a mild green color to your balms
  • Calendula Oil: Healing and nourishing, perfect for super chapped skin!
  • Castor Oil: Another healing oil that adds lovely shine and glide, but don’t use more than 15% as it can become a laxative
  • Coconut Oil (solid): Fantastic for sensitive and chapped lips
  • Jojoba Oil: Wonderfully nourishing oil that forms a protective barrier on the skin to further prevent moisture loss
  • Olive Oil: Softens the lips, hydrates the skin, and prevents damage from the elements (wind, rain, and cold weather)
  • Sunflower Oil: Very high in the antioxidant vitamin E and forms a protective barrier on the lips.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: Deeply soothing and helps to prevent chapped lips from reoccurring

The Best Cosmetic Butters

Butters provide both functional and therapeutic benefits for our diy lip balms. Firstly, they provide some stiffening power. Without it, we’d need to use more wax, and it would end in a lip balm that has far too much drag.

Not only do we get some slip and slide from our butters, but we also get lovely skin benefits too. Cosmetic butters are deeply moisturizing and conditioning, helping to restore moisture radiance to skin.

While there are a variety of butters available to use, keep in mind that they may not be easy to source. Shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter are readily available online, but the more obscure butters might be more difficult to hunt down. They’re also likely much more expensive.

melting butters, oils and wax for a lip balm

So there are a few considerations you might want to take before selecting the right one for you. You can, of course, begin with our recipe below, which is tried and tested. But here’s some inspiration if you need to substitute. It’s worth noting that all the options below are vegan.

  • Cocoa Butter: Provides excellent slip and slide, and makes a good solid balm that works great in a wind-up or push-up lip balm tube.
  • Kokum Butter: Deeply nourishing, but a little drier and can cause some dragging on the skin. Use it alongside another butter that provides good slip and glide.
  • Mango Butter: Excellent glide, very moisturising, more lightweight than some of the other butters but still deeply conditioning.
  • Shea Butter: Perhaps the most readily available cosmetic butter, with excellent skin softening benefit. However, if used without a harder butter, it will make a soft balm that may not be suitable in a wind-up or push-up lip balm tube. Consider a pot, or partnering with a harder butter, such as Cocoa.

What About Essential Oils?

Ordinarily, essential oils are a very important part of skin care. They carry the beautiful aromas of the plants they are derived from, as well as their therapeutic benefits too.

However, they become a little problematic when it comes to products that are applied to the lips. Because essential oils are powerful extracts, many of them are toxic and should never be ingested.

However, they are a few lip safe essential oils. Of course, you don’t want to consume a lot of this, so we limit our lip safe essential oils to no more than 0.5% in a leave on product intended for the lips.

Your lip safe essential oils are as follows:

  • Benzoin: A beautiful vanilla scent. Provides protection for the skin and soothes dry chapped lips
  • Chamomile: Intensely soothing and cooling, as well as moisturizing. Has a mild, sweet fragrance that smells just like chamomile tea.
  • Grapefruit: Prevents dryness and has a sweet, citrusy aroma that is very uplifting.
  • Lavender: Fantastic moisturizing properties, great for dry chapped skin with a floral yet herbaceous fragrance that is instantly recognizable.
  • Lemon (Distilled): Beautifully uplifting aroma of lemons with some great antibacterial properties
  • Peppermint: Cooling and plumping for the lips, with a fresh sweet aroma
  • Sweet Orange: Helps heal dry chapped lips and is amazingly anti-inflammatory. Beautiful aroma of oranges.

This guidance extends also to lip-safe Co2 extracts. But it’s best to check with the manufacturer to ensure that they are lip safe, and never use more than 0.5%. My favourites are Vanilla, Chamomile and Calendula Co2 Extracts for my homemade lip balms.

However, if essential oils aren’t for you, you do have another option. While synthetic fragrance oils are entirely unsuitable for the lips and should never be used in a lip balm, you absolutely can make use of good old fashioned flavoring oils!

These cool oils allow you to not only impart a fragrance to your products, but also a flavor too! Perfect for your next DIY lip balm recipe. We recommend using around 3% flavoring oils in a lip balm formula.

The variety of different flavoring oils is massive. Cola, root beer, fruits, chocolate, candies and so many more are available to use in your lip balms. You just need to find the right one for you.

The only downside to flavoring oils is that they are largely synthetic and do not have any therapeutic benefits for our skin. They just smell and taste nice – but that might be all you need or want out of your DIY lip balm.

About This Lip Balm Recipe

Now, we come to our formula. We’ve opted for beeswax, because as you know it’s the easiest wax to find, and generally the easiest to use.

We’ve paired this with some lovely carrier oils, to include castor and sunflower oils. Castor oil provides us with a lovely slip and glossy shine to our homemade lip balm, and the sunflower oil will help to protect our lips even in the coldest of climates.

We want to use these balms in a lip balm tube, so we’ll be using cocoa butter. But we’re pairing this with some lovely mango butter, just to ensure we have some good slip and no drag. Both of these butters are intensely moisturising, and should keep our lips feeling soft and smooth.

And because we wanted to keep this natural, we’ve selected Sweet Orange as our lip safe essential oil. You’ll notice that at 0.5%, this product won’t smell or taste strongly of oranges.

However, swap this out for an orange flavor oil and up the percentage to around 3% for a balm that smells like you’re in an orange tree orchard! You will need to adapt the recipe to make this happen, of course. Lower some of the carrier oils to compensate.

homemade lip balm

How To Make DIY Lip Balm At Home

A good quality homemade lip balm, formulated with gorgeous natural ingredients, is your first line of defence against dry and chapped skin.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 50 grams
Difficulty Level: Easy
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Place the beeswax, cocoa butter, mango butter, and castor oil into a heat-proof beaker
    16 grams Beeswax, 10 grams Cocoa Butter, 7 grams Mango Butter, 6.25 grams Castor Oil
    white beeswax for a lip balm
  • To melt the oils, place the beaker into a water bath or bain marie. You can create a water bath by filling a saucepan with a couple of inches of water and bringing it up to a gentle simmer. Let the beaker sit in the simmering water until the wax and butter have just melted.
    melting butters and wax for a lip balm
  • Once fully melted remove the beaker from the saucepan, but keep the water bath close by as you may need it again. Now it's time to add the sunflower oil.
    The reason we are adding sunflower oil at this point is to protect it from too much heat and to lower the temperature of the molten oils ready for the vitamin E and essential oil. This can, however, shock the waxes. If they do start to become hard again you can pop the beaker back into the water to gently re-melt them. This is the best way to protect your oils from being stripped of their skin-loving benefits.
    10 grams Sunflower Oil
    adding sunflower oil
  • When the oils are cooled slightly but are still liquid, We can add the vitamin E and essential oil, stirring until fully combined. Once again, pop it back into the water bath to gently re-melt if it starts to solidify.
    0.5 grams Vitamin E Oil, 0.25 grams Orange Essential Oil
    add essential oil
  • Make sure any tubes that you are using are fully twisted down. Pour the oils into lip balm tubes or containers. Lip balm containers can be fully filled, but tubes are best left with a little space at the top ready for topping up later. For this, you will need to hang on to a small amount of the balm mix.
    When filled Leave the lids off, and put them into a cold place to solidify. A fridge is a perfect place for cooling them quickly, they shouldn't take much more than 30 minutes.
    5 Lip Balm Tubes
    Re-melt the leftover balm mix and top the tubes up
  • Re-melt the leftover balm mix and top the tubes up, then set them aside to solidify.
    When they are solid and cool pop the lids on and leave them to sit for 24 hours before using. This gives the lip balm time to thicken and bond with the lip balm screw at the bottom of the tube.
    how to make lip balm at home

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Shelf Life: Providing you’re using a good quality antioxidant like vitamin e, and you don’t expose your lip balms to a significant amount of water your balms should be good for at least 12 months
Category: DIY Skincare
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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How To Use A Lip Balm?

Using lip balm is really easy. Just apply a little to the lips, and spread evenly across the skin. Don’t use too much, or you’ll end up with sticky, greasy lips.

You can apply lip balm as little or as often as needed. However, it is recommended to apply every 3-4 hours if you’re experiencing some nasty chapping on the lips.

But remember, your lip balms can be used in more places than just the lips. For those with seriously dry skin on the face, you can apply a pea-sized amount like you would a normal facial moisturizer. This is not recommended for anyone who doesn’t have very dry skin.

You can also apply it to very dry patches of skin on the body. An extra lip balm for use on the elbows, knees, feet, and anywhere else that is prone to dryness or chapping, can be a godsend!

How To Store A Lip Balm?

Lip balms are thick skin care products, so you’ll need a method of storage that allows you direct access to the product in order to apply it.

The most basic and easy to use is a small cosmetic pot, with a screw top lid. These are ideal for balms that are a little soft, but equally good for a harder balm too.

However, lip balm tubes, like the ones you find chapsticks in, are actually really easy to use. Although, they’re only suitable for balms that are a little stiffer (no shea butter lip balms, I’m afraid).

If you do decide to go for a lip balm tube, don’t forget that it’s best to hold back some mixture in order to top up. When our balms solidify in their tubes, large holes and sinking appearing at the top is very common. By topping them with a little more mixture, you’ll not have to worry about this.

Providing you’re using a good quality antioxidant like vitamin e, and you don’t expose your diy lip balms to a significant amount of water they should be good for at least 12 months

6 More DIY Lip Balm Recipes

I’m loving this beeswax lip balm recipe, and it’s come at such a good time with the weather getting colder by the day. My lips feel great, and so will yours!

This DIY tinted lip balm can be a fun treat for when your lips are chapped & you still want color on them. It’s function as a balm is still absolutely excellent

We’re enjoying this lip balm recipe with shea butter. It’s one of my favorites so far, & I’ll be using it a lot this winter. It’s so soothing and hydrating.

I’m loving this balm. It’s kind of like a cross between a skin care product and a cosmetic. A cosmeceutical, as some people call them. Either way, my lips are super soft and look gorgeous too.

This lip balm recipe is made without beeswax, I compensated by selecting wonderful carrier oils, butter and vitamin E, it’s just as good my other balms.

I just love this fun DIY lip balm with coconut oil. I think the colors are great & I can imagine these sitting beautifully next to other products in a skin care hamper.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, how to make a good quality DIY lip balm at home, formulated with gorgeous natural ingredients. This is your first line of defense against dry and chapped skin. So keep your lips looking gorgeous year-long with this easy-to-follow, tried, and tested DIY lip balm recipe.

You’ll have loads of fun making these, and we know because we had a lot of fun too! If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below, and we can troubleshoot together.

I also love to hear about your successes, if you find an amazing substitution we haven’t mentioned, do let us know. I always enjoy reading your comments.

Discussion (2 Comments)

  1. Hi Angela, thanks for sharing this recipe. Can you provide some information on how it feels – is it sticky, tacky, glossy, creamy?

    • Hi Del,

      I found this one very creamy, although not that sticky or tacky at all. I think this is due to the addition of two different cosmetic butters. Leaves the skin feeling very supple! I wouldn’t say it’s that glossy, though. If you were looking for something more glossy, I would include something like bisabol. This would also add some great skin soothing properties too!


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