Mar 28, 2013

Homemade Peppermint Honey Lip Balm

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of the body?  And what you put on it is absorbed into the body-- in fact, many medicines today are available as skin patches for those who can't swallow pills or tolerate shots.

One thing I have been considering lately is the lotion, soaps, and moisturizers that I use on a regular basis.  Here's a tedious but well-documented article on the dangers of just one of the chemicals used regularly in toiletry products, sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS.  While I'm not ready to turn all-out crunchy anytime soon, it's a little hard to deny that there may be some wisdom in avoiding it when possible.

Have your tins all ready for pouring before you begin the melting process.  The balm hardens quickly.

I was super excited about making my own lip balm.  I actually volunteered to make it as a favor for our church's ladies retreat back in November.  I had all of the supplies on hand, excepting the salve tins, so it was way inexpensive.  If you don't have the supplies on hand, the beeswax is probaby the most difficult to find, but you can order some from eBay very reasonably.  The honey, coconut oil and lanolin (find it in the baby aisle!) are available at most grocery stores, and the peppermint oil is available at a craft store like Hobby Lobby with the candy-making supplies.

Plop the coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax in the top pan of a double boiler, or if you're like me, just rest an oven-safe bowl (preferably with a pour spout) on top of a smallish pot with a bit of simmering water in it.

Over a medium-low heat, melt it all down.

The beeswax will be the last to melt and incorporate.  Because the mixture is a little messy to clean up, I recommend using something small and simple to clean, like the handle end of a wooden spoon.

All melted!

Quickly add the honey and peppermint oil, whisking constantly, and begin to pour into your containers as soon as it is incorporated.  The honey does not mix well with the oils, so I had to stir constantly while pouring into the tins.  If you have two people, this step may be a little easier.  I didn't get any pictures of this step, because I needed both hands.

All done!

Peppermint Honey Lip Balm
7 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. lanolin
3 tbsp. beeswax
1-1/2 tbsp. honey
30 drops peppermint essential oil

Melt the coconut oil, lanolin, and beeswax over low-medium heat in a double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and quickly add the honey and peppermint oil and stir until incorporated.  Immediately pour into tins.

The stats:
Time: 15-20 minutes
Cost: about $.88 per tin
Yield: 12-15 tins (probably about 1 oz. tins)

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