Of course my loyal readers won’t be fooled into trying to slice that hunk of pseudo-cheddar to add to their platter of Christmas nibbles – well, maybe you would since I know there’s probably more than one practical joker out there – because you know that’s actually rendered beeswax just waiting to be put to good use.
Those good uses for beeswax include all sorts of things including furniture wax, hand salve, and candles. Unfortunately, I proved a couple years ago that I have absolutely no talent for candle making – having the patience to get that wick to stay straight is just not in my skill set.
Of all the experiments I’ve tried, my favorite use for the wax I’ve stolen from my bees is lip balm. All hail the lip balm!!
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a complete lip balm addict, but I hate the stuff in stores…even the “natural” ones because they toss in all kinds of weird additives. Sure there’s nasty stuff like toluene (the equivalent of lighter fluid), but also menthol which (being an alcohol) only makes your lips feel drier so you have to keep re-applying to maintain any feeling of moisture on your lips. Oh, you clever lip balm manufacturers!
So I was thrilled when I found out I could make my own lip balm from my own wax from my own hive that gets treated with no chemicals. I do have to put it in plastic tubes which offsets some of the “good,” but now that I used up all the tubes from my last order I’ll be searching for a recycled plastic or other eco-friendly option when I buy my next batch of tubes.
Finn, actually being helpful for once, started lining up a few tubes for me to fill.
Now it was time for me to put together my secret formula that only me and a certain stripey Beastie know. Okay, maybe not so much “secret,” more like “I can’t remember what the exact ingredient proportions are.”
The batch I made last year turned out perfect…of course I failed to write down the proportions of oil to wax I used, so this time around it was back to the proverbial drawing board. Since pure beeswax won’t spread across your lips, you add oil to soften the wax…the oil also gives your lips little treat. I mainly use olive oil and coconut oil, but also add a dash of argan oil and apricot oil to add a touch of lip luxury to the mix.
Unlike the rendering process during which I toss the wax into hot water to melt it down, this future-lip-balm wax is melted on its own over a double boiler. Okay, I don’t really have a double boiler. In my kitchen “double boiler” means an old metal cup heated in an old saucepan of water, but you get the idea.
Once everything is melted, there’s the painstaking process of getting the wax into the tubes… using an eye dropper. Yep. Dropper-full by dropper-full. And the dropper occasionally gets clogged as wax hardens up toward the top. Talk about tedious. After a few tubes, Finn got bored and went to take a nap.
After squeezing that eye dropper somewhere around a billion times (that’s what it felt like anyway), I’d finally filled about 25 tubes.
The problem…too much wax so the stuff wouldn’t glide over my lips. Sigh. I melted everything back down and tried again. This time it was too oily, which not only feels disgusting but also means the balm would turn to mush on even s moderately warm day.
So, for the third time I removed all the stuff from the tubes, melted it, and went through the painstaking process with the eye dropper. And as they say, the third time’s a charm. The lip balms is now soothing, non-gooey, and smells lovely!
With all the additions I made trying to get the recipe to that Goldilocks point, i ended up with over 40 tubes o flip soothing goodness…that should last me a couple weeks, don’t you think?
Thanks for stopping by everyone. This blog runs on comments so be sure to leave one! And please please please head over to my post from Wednesday and cast a vote in my latest book cover survey (it’s tied right now so I REALLY need your votes!!)
If you’re curious about making beeswax lip balm at home, the basic/approximate recipe I ended up using is something like 1.5 parts wax to 1 part oil, with that 1 part oil being about 25% liquid oil (olive) and 75% solid oil (organic coconut oil in my case). Then add a small amount of whatever “additives” you like: argan oil, vitamin E oil, apricot seed oil…
The tubes I used are these from Natural Cosmetics: 50 Lip Balm Empty Container Tubes 3/16 Oz (5.5ml), Natural (Translucent) Color