The 21st Century Herbalist

DIY Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Lip Balm

Dry winter weather fast approaches, but you can get ready this season with this easy-to-make lip balm.  It’ll help your lips stay soft and fight off chapping in the coming months.  If you’re one of the many people who ends up fighting off a cold or the flu this season, you can rub a little of this balm on your nose between nose-blowing sessions, to keep it from get red and chapped.  This also makes a great little gift to have on hand.  So grab a couple of small containers, gather your ingredients and let’s make some lip balm!

Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Lip Balm

The honey in this recipe will act as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air, to your skin.  The combination of the cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and vanilla gives this balm a sweet and comforting scent and taste.  You should be able to find all of these ingredients in your local grocery or whole foods store.

As a precaution against spills or splashing, you may want to wear old clothing when mixing this because getting wax out of clothing is a nightmare.  It’s also very hard to get this off of a counter top, so I usually lay down some newspaper, especially on the area where I’ll be pouring the lip balm into containers.

  • 3 tbsp. pure cocoa butter
  • 1/2 c. olive oil or sweet almond oil
  • 4 tbsp. beeswax
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 vitamin E capsule
  • 5-8 drops of pure vanilla essential oil
  1. Use a double-boiler on the stove to melt the beeswax.  If you don’t have a double-boiler (or a stove!) you can put the beeswax in a glass, microwave-safe container and heat it in the microwave slowly, taking it out and stirring every 25-35 seconds.
  2. Once the wax is melted add the room-temperature cocoa butter and sweet almond oil.  Continue to slowly heat the mixture until the cocoa butter is melted, stirring often.
  3. Add the honey and the vanilla essential oil.  Then pierce a vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents into the mixture.
  4. Remove the mixture from the stove and pour into individual containers.  Allow your new lip balm to cool for 1-2 hours before use.

There are countless lip balm recipes on the internet but this is one of my favorites because the warm flavors are perfect for fall and winter weather and it makes me feel cozy.  If you’d like your lip balm to be a bit more glossy, you can add a little more olive/sweet almond oil but if you prefer a more matte finish, add more beeswax.

Have you ever tried to make your own lip balm before?  What did you think?

This post is part of the Celebrating the Multi-Generational Traditions of Women series.  Women used to make balms like this for both men and women to use.  It wasn’t just used on the lips either, it could be used on hands that were chapped from working outside in the elements and on the soles of cracked, dry feet (this bit was kept in a separate container from the stuff that went on their lips…I hope).  Often they would come together as a group and make large batches so each woman would have some to share with her family.  So keep the tradition alive and be sure to make some extra for family and friends!

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