Lip balm melting point, beeswax, and flavors

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GemstonePony

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Formula stuff first: I'm not planning to sell, this would just be for friends and family (maybe as Christmas gifts), and I need to use Argan oil since I don't like it in the recipes I bought it for.

So I just whipped up a little batch of:

4g refined argan oil
3g refined Shea butter
3g refined cocoa butter

The texture is absolutely dreamy, and it's odorless and tasteless. I hate the texture of beeswax, but I know I should add a little anyways to get the melting point higher. I live in Minnesota, so I was thinking of doing 2 formulas. Temperatures I might encounter in the winter are -130-80°f, but I suppose I should bring the melting point up to 110° just to be safe.
In summer, the temp range is 40-115°f, so I'll need to bring that melting point up above 125°f.
I think the melting point right now is around 85-90°f.
As mentioned, I'll use some beeswax, but I'm trying to wrap my brain around the arithmetic. Is there a formula for melting point calculations?

Now to flavor: My sister and I are both extremely allergic to Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn syrup. I got carried away and ordered sweetened vanilla flavor oil, then realized to my chagrine that it's a "proprietary blend" and no ingredients are listed... And I haven't found a supplier for whom that isn't the case. Is there a way to flavor lip balm and know what's in it? Or should I just toss xylitol in it and call it a day? I could also leave as is, it's completely inoffensive, but I was hoping to be fancy.
 

amd

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Flavor oils are scented and then sweetened to give you the sense of taste. You could achieve the same thing using a lip safe FO and the xylitol. I have not done this personally. Although I think most flavor oils use sacharine (spelling is so wrong but hopefully you know what I mean) as a sweetener. I'm not sure if this would irritate your allergies.

With my lippies, I don't worry about melting point as much as I want a good product on my lips. I use HumbleBee and Me's lip balm recipe from her book, although she has several variations on her website using different ingredients. It has been car and purse tested without having issues. I live next door to you in South Dakota, so we likely have the same climate issues. :D I think from memory it is 12% beeswax, but don't quote me on that.
 

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I have no help for the melting point questions, thats science beyond my abilities. What I can add is a comment on flavor oils. The LorAnn brand candy flavoring has a lip balm recipe on their site. I won’t vouch for their recipe but I will count it as a manufacturer statement that their flavorings are safe for lip balms. I used to get my flavors at Walmart or Michaels, some of the natural sounding flavors are just that natural flavors. Orange, peppermint, and cinnamon are the straight oils and guaranteed lip/food safe. Stuff like watermelon has “flavor” as an ingredient and may not be a smart choice. That brand can be a start, some extracts in the grocery store may be straight oil. You’ll have to do your research but that’s another option for some flavors
 

AliOop

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I've used vanilla oleoresin, cocoa absolute, and coffee absolute as lip balm flavorings, all sweetened with xylitol. The cocoa absolute was the hardest to incorporate. I still have a bunch of tubes with visible brown splotches where it didn't emulsify with the remaining ingredients. I never researched how to overcome that, but if you find a solution, the flavor is amazing.
 
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GemstonePony

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I've used vanilla oleoresin, chocolate absolute, and coffee absolute as lip balm flavorings, all sweetened with xylitol. The chocolate absolute was the hardest to incorporate. I still have a bunch of tubes with visible brown splotches where it didn't emulsify with the remaining ingredients. I never researched how to overcome that, but if you find a solution, the flavor is amazing.
Do you remember where you got the vanilla Oleoresin? Vanilla would be my preferred flavor of choice, but Google is giving me a bunch of aromatics, and I don't want to buy from bad company.

As far as the beeswax math goes, I'll probably just end up spending quality time with some paper and my fuzzy memories of algebra.
 

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I don't think there's a tidy math formula for determining melting point of a mixture like a lip balm. One reason is fats and waxes are mixtures of chemicals and these chemicals don't melt at one specific temperature. Another issue is the temp at which a fat or wax melts isn't necessarily the same as the temp at which it solidifies. (This is a quality called hysteresis, in case you're curious and want to know more.) A last thing I can think of is that a fat or wax in a mixture doesn't always behave like the pure fat or wax behaves -- the total is not just the sum of the parts.

I think your heart is in the right place, but I'm concerned if you make the balm so it won't melt in a Minnesota summer, it will be so firm it won't glide very well on the lips and will feel waxy on the skin. Like Amd, I think lip feel is way more important IMO.

I make a lip balm that does pretty well here in northeastern Iowa, and maybe this will give you some ideas. If you use butters, you won't have to use as much beeswax as I do. If you use candelilla wax rather than beeswax, you will probably need an even lower percentage of wax.

High oleic Sunflower (or any similar oil) ... 33.8%
Jojoba (nice on lips, has a looonggg shelf life) ... 33.8%
Beeswax ... 31.5%
Essential oil blend (optional) ... 0.9%
Total ... 100%

All ingredients are measured by weight, not volume. A 275 gram batch as written will fill about 50 regular-size (0.15 oz) lip balm tubes. A 90 gram batch will fill about 16 tubes.

This recipe passes my "pocket test" -- the balm in a regular lip balm tube doesn't melt in my pants pocket. It also passes the Iowa winter test -- the balm remains soft enough when it's cold to glide smoothly over sore chapped lips. Tweak the proportions to get the consistency you want. More wax (or less oil) will make the balm firmer and more melt resistant. It will be harder to smooth onto the lips, but will stay put longer on the skin. Less wax (or more oil) will make the balm softer and more melty. It will wear off the skin sooner.
 

AliOop

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Do you remember where you got the vanilla Oleoresin? Vanilla would be my preferred flavor of choice, but Google is giving me a bunch of aromatics, and I don't want to buy from bad company.
I looked back through some of my orders and am not seeing it. Now I am wondering if it was vanilla absolute, rather than oleoresin. They do have all of the absolute flavors at Mountain Rose Herbs, which was my first recollection of where I might have purchased it. Sorry not to be more helpful!
 

GemstonePony

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I don't think there's a tidy math formula for determining melting point of a mixture like a lip balm. One reason is fats and waxes are mixtures of chemicals and these chemicals don't melt at one specific temperature. Another issue is the temp at which a fat or wax melts isn't necessarily the same as the temp at which it solidifies. (This is a quality called hysteresis, in case you're curious and want to know more.) A last thing I can think of is that a fat or wax in a mixture doesn't always behave like the pure fat or wax behaves -- the total is not just the sum of the parts.

I think your heart is in the right place, but I'm concerned if you make the balm so it won't melt in a Minnesota summer, it will be so firm it won't glide very well on the lips and will feel waxy on the skin. Like Amd, I think lip feel is way more important IMO.

I make a lip balm that does pretty well here in northeastern Iowa, and maybe this will give you some ideas. If you use butters, you won't have to use as much beeswax as I do. If you use candelilla wax rather than beeswax, you will probably need an even lower percentage of wax.

High oleic Sunflower (or any similar oil) ... 33.8%
Jojoba (nice on lips, has a looonggg shelf life) ... 33.8%
Beeswax ... 31.5%
Essential oil blend (optional) ... 0.9%
Total ... 100%

All ingredients are measured by weight, not volume. A 275 gram batch as written will fill about 50 regular-size (0.15 oz) lip balm tubes. A 90 gram batch will fill about 16 tubes.

This recipe passes my "pocket test" -- the balm in a regular lip balm tube doesn't melt in my pants pocket. It also passes the Iowa winter test -- the balm remains soft enough when it's cold to glide smoothly over sore chapped lips. Tweak the proportions to get the consistency you want. More wax (or less oil) will make the balm firmer and more melt resistant. It will be harder to smooth onto the lips, but will stay put longer on the skin. Less wax (or more oil) will make the balm softer and more melty. It will wear off the skin sooner.
I was afraid the chemistry might not care for my math, Lol! And that explains a bit of my experience getting my soaping ingredients to melt (looking at you, cocoa butter!). And I ran across your recipe already, but was hoping to use as little wax as possible. If I have to experiment a little, so be it. My IR heat gun is fairly accurate, so I can test melting point a little bit so I have some idea where my final formula lands.
The 125°f melting point was something I ran across on Google while looking at other formulas, and it felt like a worthy goal for summer. But if you guys care more about the product than it's indestructibility, I'll follow suit and figure out how much adds a little staying power without changing the formula feel.
If nothing else, I can advise people to treat it like chocolate- keep it relatively cool and use it in a few months. Which, TBH, I'll probably do anyways so nobody tries to see how long they can stretch it out. I don't think anything I'm using would handle the 5-year purse-bff test.
I looked back through some of my orders and am not seeing it. Now I am wondering if it was vanilla absolute, rather than oleoresin. They do have all of the absolute flavors at Mountain Rose Herbs, which was my first recollection of where I might have purchased it. Sorry not to be more helpful!
That at least gives me a starting point, thank you!
 

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My bestust in Virginia likes my lip balm because, as she says, "It's not hard like the ones in stores." So, for her, lip feel is more important than it not melting in her backpack during a summer hike. She also says it does not melt in her pocket and so is "ideal". My recipe is the same as DeeAnna's as far as percentages, fyi. I don't like that it gets very soft in high summer when we're camping, but it never completely melts or turns greasy. I added carnuba wax once...blech!
 

GemstonePony

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My bestust in Virginia likes my lip balm because, as she says, "It's not hard like the ones in stores." So, for her, lip feel is more important than it not melting in her backpack during a summer hike. She also says it does not melt in her pocket and so is "ideal". My recipe is the same as DeeAnna's as far as percentages, fyi. I don't like that it gets very soft in high summer when we're camping, but it never completely melts or turns greasy. I added carnuba wax once...blech!
Good to know! I'm sure I can deal with a little beeswax, but I absolutely can't stand the lip balm of a particular brand that rhymes with Kurt's keys, but both words start with B. I also don't like EOS brand, and I swear chapstick changed their formula as well. Or maybe the one I'm used to is just old? Anyhow, if I get frustrated with trial and error, I'll try a slight modification of Deanna's recipe.
 

KimW

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Good to know! I'm sure I can deal with a little beeswax, but I absolutely can't stand the lip balm of a particular brand that rhymes with Kurt's keys, but both words start with B. I also don't like EOS brand, and I swear chapstick changed their formula as well. Or maybe the one I'm used to is just old? Anyhow, if I get frustrated with trial and error, I'll try a slight modification of Deanna's recipe.
Yeah - what happened to chapstick anyway?! It used to be so perfect...
 

DeeAnna

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I use fats with a really long shelf life ... jojoba being my favorite for lip balm for staying "sweet" as well as feeling nice on the skin ... and thankfully the balm has not gone rancid within 2-3 years. I've had other people's balm go off ... and found that out only after I'd put it on my lips. Ewwwww. That is why I'm paranoid about rancidity.
 

GemstonePony

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I use fats with a really long shelf life ... jojoba being my favorite for lip balm for staying "sweet" as well as feeling nice on the skin ... and thankfully the balm has not gone rancid within 2-3 years. I've had other people's balm go off ... and found that out only after I'd put it on my lips. Ewwwww. That is why I'm paranoid about rancidity.
That is horrifying. I put a few drops of ROE (it's supposed to be lip safe) into all my new oils, and in theory everything I'm putting in this should have a 2 year shelf life. I'll probably have a 6 month use-by date on everything, anyways. I have jojoba, but I'm also figuring out a couple body butter formulas, so I'm trying to avoid using it where I can get around it. I'm sure I'll order more jojoba eventually, but I was hoping to figure out formulas with what I've got and then order for (non-soap) Christmas supplies.
 

GemstonePony

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I looked back through some of my orders and am not seeing it. Now I am wondering if it was vanilla absolute, rather than oleoresin. They do have all of the absolute flavors at Mountain Rose Herbs, which was my first recollection of where I might have purchased it. Sorry not to be more helpful!
So I love the idea of absolute, but my wallet is giving me the side-eye. Do you by any chance remember how much you were using?
 

AliOop

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So I love the idea of absolute, but my wallet is giving me the side-eye. Do you by any chance remember how much you were using?
The recipe I used called for 30 drops to flavor a 90g batch. Sorry I can’t be more specific as to weight, but that was in the days I was blindly following blog recipes.
 

GemstonePony

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The recipe I used called for 30 drops to flavor a 90g batch. Sorry I can’t be more specific as to weight, but that was in the days I was blindly following blog recipes.
I can work with that. I seem to remember from working with aquatics that it's about 5 drops per ml, depending on the substance. And I'll taste-test before cooling it anyways.
ETA: Not buying from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are way outside my budget, but I've found a Vanilla Oleoresin Extract that is nontoxic, so I'm giving that a whirl. Might try some in frosting just to get a feel for it's impact before putting it in lip balm. Also got Xylitol.
ETA: my flavorants haven't come in yet, but I threw together 3:3:3:1 Argan: Shea: cocoa: beeswax. The texture was almost perfect, but then the Shea turned grainy from the heat. I'll try 6:3:1 Cocoa: Argan: beeswax next.
 
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MGM

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Just looking at old posts for a new lip balm recipe (I know, there's only so much you can tweak) and was interested in @GemstonePony's use of Argan...does anyone else use Argan oil? Mine is so stinky that I can hardly stand it. Also did you say that you encounter -130F temperatures in Minnesota?? Am I reading that right??
(I also have two formulations, but do not live in quite so extreme a climate...)
 

GemstonePony

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Just looking at old posts for a new lip balm recipe (I know, there's only so much you can tweak) and was interested in @GemstonePony's use of Argan...does anyone else use Argan oil? Mine is so stinky that I can hardly stand it. Also did you say that you encounter -130F temperatures in Minnesota?? Am I reading that right??
(I also have two formulations, but do not live in quite so extreme a climate...)
Strange, my argan oil doesn't smell at all. And yes, you're reading the temperature correctly, it does get that cold here.
 

MGM

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I have Argan from two different places and it all smells terrible. I hesitate to get another.

I am very surprised by the temp, yes! Considering that the world record for cold temperatures is in the Antarctic and it's -135F. Coldest temperature on record for MN is only -60F (1996, Tower) ("only"...hee!). I come from 1000 miles north of MN, with no big lakes for temperature mitigation, so that number caught my attention!
 

GemstonePony

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I have Argan from two different places and it all smells terrible. I hesitate to get another.

I am very surprised by the temp, yes! Considering that the world record for cold temperatures is in the Antarctic and it's -135F. Coldest temperature on record for MN is only -60F (1996, Tower) ("only"...hee!). I come from 1000 miles north of MN, with no big lakes for temperature mitigation, so that number caught my attention!
Oops, sorry, -30. I don't know how I missed that there was a 1 in there. Twice. 🤪
 
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