Lip balm formulation - sharing my castor wax experiment

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Savage Daughter

Formerly known as Quasi Quadrant
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Work has been in a bit of a lull in the past few weeks, which has given me extra time to play with my raw materials. I just spent the last few days farting around with my big bag of castor wax, beginning to put it to use in different formulations. As I love castor oil so much already, so I have been really excited about getting into the castor wax. I have also always been a huge fan of lip balms containing castor oil, which are a far cry above the typical beeswax & sunflower oil or whatever oil combination which doesn't stay on the lips very long. I love raw beeswax, but I don't find that it's best use is as a main wax in a lip balm formulation. Feel free to disagree, but I know what I like, and that which I don't :) This is also why I use a combination of butters & waxes in my salves, rather than just beeswax. Castor wax is also - according to the research I did - a stabilizer for lip balms / lip sticks in terms of making it more resistant to melting in a warm pocket, that kind of thing, and has many other uses. We shall see, as spring is just now beginning to show itself in my area. My community testers will let me know how well this pans out for them.

I wanted to share what I came up with as it took some time, and half way through my experiment I nearly tossed the whole pot as it got grainy feeling. The issue was that it needed some coco butter & another wax besides castor, and besides beeswax. I didn't want anyone playing with castor wax to give up too easily, because this stuff is amazing! My last application of lip balm has been on my kisser for the past hour, and I still feel it there.

My formulation, using simple tablespoons, which I will at some point convert to grams as well, but I sometimes like to work with simple measurements when first figuring out a formulation. The only thing I measured in grams were the cocoa butter & wax. Feel free to do it whichever way you're comfortable with. I did NOT use shea butter because I'm sick & tired of having lip balms turn grainy a couple of months down the road. Nearly at the point of forgetting about shea butter altogether. There are better choices for this use IMO.

Anyways, heere we goooo....

3 TBSP castor wax
3 TBSP jojoba oil
3 TBSP mango butter
2 TBSP avocado oil
1 TBSP rosehip seed oil
1 TBSP wheatgerm oil
1 TBSP castor oil
1 TBSP sunflower oil
6 grams candelilla wax
8.6 grams cocoa butter (this ended up being exactly 4 pastilles of cocoa butter; I used this amount simply to make things easy)

This is a super moisturizing lip balm, it has real staying power (not like many of the typical ones which disappear in less than a minute, having too light of a texture) and it gives the lips just a hint of gloss. I haven't poured all of it yet, so not 100% sure how many of my lip balm tubes it will fill, but I'm sure people will figure that out for themselves soon enough.

I would be interested to hear other people's experience with this formula, likes / dislikes, comments, suggestions & more. I am considering adding just a touch of cupuacu in my next batch, maybe just a pinch of kokum, just for fun 😁

And a thank you to all who have shared their knowledge & suggestions with me. Much appreciated :)
 
3 TBSP castor wax
3 TBSP jojoba oil
3 TBSP mango butte
2 TBSP avocado oil
1 TBSP rosehip seed oil
1 TBSP wheatgerm oil
1 TBSP castor oil
1 TBSP sunflower oil
6 grams candelilla wax
8.6 grams cocoa butter
add 6 grams of cupuacu butter
Since we know that converting volume measure (TBSP) to weight measure (grams) is best accomplished by weighing each ingredient, we can still get an approximation of the total weight of the batch by using

CONVERT TABLESPOON TO GRAM CALCULATOR

Assuming "level" tablespoons, and knowing 1 TBSP water = 15 grams and that the non-water recipe ingredients weigh somewhere between 13-14 grams, this recipe makes approximately 223 grams (more or less) that fills 53 standard lip balm tubes.

15 TBSP X 13.5 = 202.5 grams + 20.6 grams (6 + 8.6 + 6) = 223 (approx.)

223 grams = 8 oz. (rounded up) divided by 0.15 oz. per tube = 53

I readily admit I'm Math-challenged but that's the best I could do. Feel free to correct my logic and reason if you feel up to it. LOL No worries!

Math Chanllenged.gif
 
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Awesome, thanks so much :) I have been busy bokashi-ing (totally not a word) my garden space, getting some early seeds & bulbs in & chopping a whole lot of cedar, so hadn't bothered yet.

Incidentally, I got approximately 30 tubes of lip balm, and I am really liking it, using just simple little dinky lip bam tubes. My new paperboard lip balm tubes from Nutley's are waiting to be picked up, which will give me a different tube total (a new thing, I guess 😂 just like bokashi-ing) altogether as their volume is much higher. This will also allow me to charge more per tube due to packaging, present a more polished look, and increase the amount of lip balm customers are getting. Those paperboard tubes sell very well in my area, and I much prefer using them as it doesn't add any additional plastic to the environment. I feel very upset when my supply orders come in triple wrapped in plastic, bubble wrap, then sat in a nest of non-degradable styrofoam, so at least I can choose better packaging than what I see on store shelves which contribute to all the plastic waste I am constantly picking up on the shores of the ocean here.

As with everything I initially put together, this formula will continue to be tweaked. It's definitely a higher-end lip balm 😁 and making things as cheaply as possible is rarely my initial goal. First is to make a formulation as good as I feel it can be, then I figure out which raw materials to swap out with other, less costly materials which have similar properties.

Thanks again & enjoy your day :)
 
Yeah, after sitting for a couple of weeks, I am NOT happy with this formulation & am tweaking it. Fair warning :)

I believe the castor wax needs to be combined with another wax in order to keep it from getting grainy, using the castor wax in a much smaller proportion. I may try some laurel wax as I have that on hand.

It obviously can be done as this wax is commonly used in lipsticks, or used to be anyways. I don't use much lipstick - or gloss or anything else - anymore out in the bush.
 
Thanks for the posts on Castor wax. Sounds like I'll have to try that now, lol!
If you're looking to try another wax, Rice Bran Wax is a nice one to include in lip balms (it compares more to Carnauba Wax in hardness) so you don't need much.
Also make (or compare if you've any of your old batch left) a lip balm w/o the cupuacu butter to see if that's causing the graininess. I had to temper my bulk Kokum and Cupuacu butters before using them in lip balms (my whipped body butters are cooled rapidly down in an ice bath first and have never been an issue). A previous small order of Cupuacu I used, didn't cause this (it was creamy vs my new large bucket which was all over the map!), so I figure that was the culprit.
The latest small batch I made yesterday, I did a slight flash cool in an ice bath while blending before blasting the top of the metal jug with a heat torch and pouring into tubes, then into the freezer for 5 mins and then the fridge. I also find it helps to keep the balms and my whipped butters in the fridge for a few days to set but that may just be my OCD kicking in!
 
Thanks for the posts on Castor wax. Sounds like I'll have to try that now, lol!
If you're looking to try another wax, Rice Bran Wax is a nice one to include in lip balms (it compares more to Carnauba Wax in hardness) so you don't need much.

I don't have either of those on hand. Only laurel wax, local unrefined beeswax, candelilla wax, castor wax & a huge box of soy wax which I intend on making massage candles with. Any tips for massage candles? 😂 Another have-never-done-this-in-my-life project, but I have never let that stop me 😁 I tried them some years back & absolutely LOVE them & do intend on making these a part of my line. I will pick up some rice bran wax when I make my next raw materials order in a few months, thank you so much for the suggestion :)

Also make (or compare if you've any of your old batch left) a lip balm w/o the cupuacu butter to see if that's causing the graininess. I had to temper my bulk Kokum and Cupuacu butters before using them in lip balms (my whipped body butters are cooled rapidly down in an ice bath first and have never been an issue). A previous small order of Cupuacu I used, didn't cause this (it was creamy vs my new large bucket which was all over the map!), so I figure that was the culprit.

That is interesting as I had never run across mention of this in relation to cupuacu. I'm wondering if melting the entire bucket & holding it around 120 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or so to temper it, similar to needing to do that with shea, would be a good idea. I will try a small amount first as I don't wish to bugger an entire bucket of cupuacu. Beautiful stuff!

The latest small batch I made yesterday, I did a slight flash cool in an ice bath while blending before blasting the top of the metal jug with a heat torch and pouring into tubes, then into the freezer for 5 mins and then the fridge. I also find it helps to keep the balms and my whipped butters in the fridge for a few days to set but that may just be my OCD kicking in!

Wow, using my heat gun hadn't occurred to me other than for melting the tops when sinkholes occur 😲 An ice bath is also a good idea, thank you again.

I ended up reformulating this lip balm because wow, some terrible stuff 😂 and I am known to get a hair up my bum when I get a new ingredient in & begin playing without any previous experience with said raw material. It's part of my own personal learning process, which helps me see how bad an ingredient can behave vs how well it can behave when used in different proportions & combinations. My marshmallow-spray-foam-insulation-whipped-sugar-scrub from a few days back is a testament to that 😂 although still pretty cool! 😁 I learn more from things like this rather than following the 'must-do' group consensus, and often find that those must-do statements are incorrect, which for me is exciting. It gives me more room to freely play & experiment.

I am now using mango butter, castor wax, candelilla wax, cupuacu butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, my infused calendula oil in olive, avocado oil & a few other things I don't remember off the top of my head. This is more like a lip butter vs a lip balm, which I like much more than typical lip balms, and is resistant to melting. It also gives a nice gloss to the lips & has good staying power. After approximately 2 weeks, it's still going strong in the tube & on my lips. I think I may have settled on this specific formulation at this point.

Thanks so much once again for your suggestions & sharing your experience :)
 
That sounds like a nice ingredient list for a lip balm!
Well, I messed up the first time trying to temper my Cupuacu Butter so I'm not sure if my result was a combo of both attempts or if the 2nd worked by itself! I treated it the same way as a Cocoa Butter temper but I poured it on trays in my fridge to cool and I should have done a quick ice bath. The first pic is what I came home to an hour later. Hills and fat blooms! And it was crumbly soft.
So I shoved it in a pot, put it in a 200 F oven and when it just started to melt, I blitzed the heck out of it with my hand held mixer. I did this on and off until it reached 93-95F (it didn't take long). I put it in an ice bath and blended/ stirred it with a large metal spoon until it reached 87F, put it in the fridge for a bit until it went to 85F and then took it out. It's been stable at room temp since. And my lip balms are nice and smooth again! The 2nd pic has weird lighting, btw, it's a uniform creamy yellow color and texture!
Yep, liquid oils are a great way to get infusions into your products. I infuse Helichrysum flowers, calendula and chamomile, in a bunch of my carrier oils. In my current batch of lip balms, I have an infusion in my hibiscus oil that includes comfrey root and leaf and lemon balm also (two great additions for a healing lip balm). I haven't experimented yet with a zero beeswax lip balm yet, but it's on my list!
And I just bought a bag of soy wax to make some stearic free shave soap. I was thinking a candle experiment would be in my future also!! 😅
I can't remember where I saw the heat gun tip, but I'm pretty sure it was a wonderful person on this forum! It really has enabled me to pour at a lower temp. with kokum and cupuacu butters, they're definitely more gloopy! I can get a whole tray done now without cursing!
 

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It's been stable at room temp since. And my lip balms are nice and smooth again!
Congratulations!

TIP: When my butters first arrive. I melt them in the microwave, pour into 1 oz., lightly greased, round individual cavity molds, pop into the freezer for one hour. Take them out. Let them rest at room temp for 5 minutes; then unmold into a freezer ZipLoc bag and store them in the freezer until needed. Works for me! 😁

HTH
 
Thanks Zany! I never knew you could store the butters in the freezer and the tip about melting in the microwave would definitely be better than stirring for hours! LOL. I have my Kokum Butter in the fridge r/n in a ziploc b/c I was terrified it would go out of temper if I left it out at room temp! Being able to use the freezer opens up more options!👍🏻
 

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