How to Make the Most Hydrating Lip Balm Ever

model with brown hair

Since hydrated lips not only feel better but also make a perfect base for your lipstick application, we figured we would go in search of a simple lip balm recipe that you can try at home. We called on Lorraine Dallmeier, biologist and director at Formula Botanica (an online organic cosmetic science school), to share a lip balm recipe that isn't just natural but vegan too. Graduates of the school have gone on to create brands like Lilfox and Clean Beauty Co. Not only has Dallmeier shared with us her citrus lip balm recipe, but she has also given some recommendations on how to customize your balm to suit your personal taste.

DIY Lip balm
@formulabotanica / Instagram

Okay, first things first: You're making a small 20-gram tin of lip balm here, so you'll need to get an empty lip-balm pot or buy some, like these Aluminum Jars ($7) from amazon. When it comes to making your own lip balm, you are going to be weighing out minute amounts of each ingredient (we're talking 0.04-gram tiny), so your usual kitchen scales won't be up to the job. We recommend the American Weigh Scales Pocket Scale ($9). You can guesstimate your weights, but Dallmeier cautions that if you've used more than 10 drops of essential oils, then you've gone too far!

The Recipe: Vegan Citrus Lip Balm

This recipe will fill a 20-gram lip balm tin.


  • 10 g. cocoa butter
  • 1 g. candelilla wax
  • 3 g. coconut oil
  • 7 g. apricot kernel oil
  • 2 g. sunflower oil
  • 1 g. castor oil
  • 2 g. natural vitamin E
  • .06 g. grapefruit essential oil (bergapten-free)
  • .04 g. sweet orange essential oil

Tools and equipment

  • Bain Marie or pan of hot water and heatproof glass bowl
  • Small glass bowl or beaker
  • Scale
  • Glass rod
  • Disposable pipette (optional)
  • Lip balm tins
  • Labels


  1. Weigh the cocoa butter, candelilla wax and coconut oil in a glass bowl.
  2. Prepare your Bain Marie or water bath and heat the water.
  3. Put the glass bowl with the butters and wax on top of the water bath. Start melting the ingredients, stirring occasionally. Do not let the water boil and don’t allow the water to touch the glass bowl.
  4. Weigh the castor oil, sunflower oil and apricot oil in a beaker and set aside.
  5. Once the butter and wax have melted, add the oils into the mixture and stir well. Continue heating it very gently and stirring occasionally to allow the ingredients to combine properly.
  6. Turn off the heat and keep stirring to cool down the mixture. Add the natural vitamin E and the essential oils.
  7. Transfer the blend into your lip balm tin (you can use the pipettes for precision) and allow it to cool completely before covering with the lid.
  8. Add a pretty label with the product name and date.

You can even out the top of the balm by heating it gently with a hair dryer.

Customize Your Lip Balm

The lip balm recipe above uses various oils and essential oils and this where you can have a play.

  • Avocado oil—this gives you a beautiful green color and is seriously nourishing thanks to the essential fatty acids.
  • Strawberry seed oil—this smells amazing and helps prevent collagen breakdown in the skin.
  • Plum kernel oil—this will give your lip balm a lovely sweet scent. It contains vitamins A, C, and E to protect and nourish the skin.
  • Buriti oil—this will turn your balm a beautiful red color. Essential fatty acids and antioxidants smooth and protect the lips.
  • Sea buckthorn oil—this will impart a pretty orange hue. Known for its healing and rejuvenating properties use this if your lips are sore or chapped.

These will give your lip balm a different scent and taste. Try lemon, lavender, rose geranium, frankincense, ginger or German chamomile (this also gives an amazing blue color).

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