Lip Balm need advice !

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DeeAnna

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The stronger odor and dark color of the beeswax most likely means you are using wax that has been mostly harvested from brood comb (the comb that bees raise babies in). Wax from brood comb is not something you want to use in lip balm, in my opinion.

If you want wax that smells better and is lighter in color, you want beeswax from honey comb (the comb where honey is stored). Even better is "cappings wax" which is the thin, pale colored wax cap that bees use to seal the cells of honey comb. I make lip balm with only honey comb wax and it is a pale lemon yellow and smells nice.

If you absolutely cannot stand the odor of beeswax even from honey comb or cappings wax, then you need to bleach and deodorize the wax using chemicals or sunlight. But start with honey comb or cappings wax if you do this -- don't waste your time trying to fix brood comb wax.

I personally wouldn't use lavender EO in lip balm. A sweet smelling blend of citrus EOs or a light dose of mint EO work better for me.
 

cmzaha

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When I become inclined to make lip balm I always make a minty lavender, lavender with anise and plain lavender using EO's. They happen to be my first to sell out. I also add in some TD and Zinc to my lip balms but absolutely do no claim any SPF values
 

Hendejm

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sweet smelling blend of citrus EOs
I would love to use citrus but here in the south - we have to worry about sunburn so I don’t use any citrus as it can cause sunburned lips! That would not feel good.
 

DeeAnna

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@Hendejm -- Research citrus EOs a little more, because you'll find, although some of them are photosensitizers, many are not.

I use a blend of sweet orange, red mandarine, and rosemary EOs in my lip balms. My experience supports information I learned from reputable sources -- these EOs do not cause photosensitivity. While Iowa isn't Florida, we still get plenty of summer sunshine. If these EOs were going to cause trouble, my lips (and my friends and family's lips) would know about it.

Of the most common citrus EOs, cold pressed lemon, lime and grapefruit are photosensitizers*, as is regular bergamot. Steam distilled lemon, lime, and grapefruit are fine as is bergaptene-free (also called furanocoumarin-free or FCF) bergamot. Sweet orange, mandarine, tangerine EOs are not photosensitizers regardless of whether they're cold pressed or steam distilled. There's more info here: https://www.aromaweb.com/articles/phototoxicity-essential-oils.asp

* Which is why you don't want to suck on the slice of lime in your gin and tonic and then spend a few hours outside on a sunny day.
 
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Hendejm

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DeeAnna

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If you don't want to use citrus EOs in your lip balm or whatever, then don't. No one, least of all me, is going to argue with your decision. :)

The message I'm trying to deliver is not about which EOs you want to use or don't want to use. It's about being accurate about the "whys" and passing that accurate information to others who are learning too. It's not helpful for us to perpetuate inaccurate statements such as "all citrus EOs are phototoxic" because this belief, while quite simple and easy, is provably incorrect.

I never rely on run-of-the-mill internet websites for creditable information. Your comment about seeing conflicting info on the phototoxicity of citrus EOs proves my point.

Tisserand and Young's book Essential Oil Safety is the most creditable and well-researched resource for this kind of information. The book is not available to read online, however, which is why I cited the Aromaweb article in my earlier post. The Aromaweb article jives well with the info in Essential Oil Safety.

Since people can't read Essential Oil Safety for themselves unless they have access to a hard copy, I'm going to transcribe a short list from the book. Y'all will have to take my word that I'm citing this source directly and correctly ... or shell out $90 or whatever it costs nowadays for a copy of your own.

Per Essential Oil Safety, 2nd edition, here is a list of non-phototoxic citrus peel and citrus leaf essential oils --

bergamot oil FCF (furanocoumarin free)
lemon oil distilled
lemon leaf oil
lime oil distilled
mandarin oil
orange oil, sweet
orange leaf oil
satsuma oil expressed
tangelo oil
tangerine oil
yuzu oil, expressed or distilled
 

Hendejm

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Respectfully - According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, sweet orange oil is ok if distilled but iffy if cold processed. It appears to a well documented site that bases its statements on science...perhaps a branch of government?? Not sure - just see the .gov extension.

The site states that distilled removes furanocoumarins (while cold pressing them does not).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073409/#!po=91.8301

And according to AromaWeb that you referenced :

“ Some people can't tolerate citrus essential oils (or are even allergic), so be prudent when diffusing Orange Essential Oil around others, but overall, Sweet Orange Essential Oil is a winner with children and adults alike.

Unlike most essential oils that are extracted using steam distillation, most citrus oils including Orange Oil are extracted by cold pressing the rinds of the orange. You will sometimes find a steam distilled variety on the market, but it is fairly uncommon.”

So your assertion and proclamation that sweet orange essential oil is safe - May seem to be in conflict to the website I referenced. Aramoweb may be a good reference for information but they even acknowledge:

I have read conflicting reports as to whether Sweet Orange Essential Oil is phototoxic. However, essential oil safety experts Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young do not indicate that it's phototoxic. Do pay close attention to the type of orange oil you are using as Bitter Orange Essential

Since they “don’t indicate” that it’s phototoxic - I would assume that they cannot confirm the assertion that it is or isn’t - especially knowing that the process method is important when determining its safety.

Since many people ( me included) don’t know the differences between different oranges (other than taste and name) - there could be a potential problem when purchasing essential oils. I know that the orange essential oil I have from “Now” is cold processed - So not advisable to use

So in my eyes - the verdict is still out and again I will choose not to use orange EO in my products.

Thanks for informing me and urging me to dig deeper and investigate rather than assume!
 

DeeAnna

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I appreciate you're willing to take a serious look at this issue. It's good to know you're interested in digging into it deeply enough to make an informed decision.
 

SaltedFig

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Is there a first post to this thread? It seems to start with a reply, rather than a question or opening statement?

@Hendejm, as you can imagine, we burn a little bit down under (the reduction in the used of CFC's and hydrochloroflurocarbons from the 90's has helped - the hole in the ozone layer that used to expose parts of Australia to high levels of harmful UV radiation has diminished some) ... but I still remember blisters on the lips of friends and family (orange was a popular flavour, and natural orange is an easy way to get it, then orange skins were a waste product for a long time, until orange oil became popular as a green cleaner, but I digress ...).

If you can find a way, get hold of reputable supplies of both cold-pressed and distilled citrus... (in a general sense, without discussing individual oil varieties) you might be able to smell the distinctly sharpness of the cold pressed oil that isn't in the folded oils (multiple distillations reduce it even further ... so as the oil becomes better at staying in soap, it also loses it's ability to intensify sun damage in leave-on products).

It also might be worth trying to get hold of some (BF/FCF free) perfumers oils suitable for lip products - the industry standards used for manufacturing and testing may allow you to use these beautiful citrus scents :)
 

Hendejm

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I think we hijacked the original post so they broke it off to its own thread(?).

Thanks for the info. I understand that it does not pose a problem in wash off products but “may” be harmful in leave on products. Finding distilled orange essential oils (regardless of variety) is somewhat challenging. I checked Wholesale Supply and their is cold processed ( and they recommend usage for leave on products). Brambleberry’s is distilled. 2 reputable companies selling a product produced via 2 different methods....one that “may” be harmful and one that is not. Does that make sense?

So it isn’t easy when faced with choices. One reputable seller sells something that “may” be unsafe and another sells something that has been determined as safe. Both advertise their orange essential oil ( sweet or otherwise) as safe for leave on products.

I know that it’s up to us to make informed choices and I have been accused of “not being accurate” when stating that it “may” not be safe to use orange EO in lip balms. If there is conflicting information when doing the research - what’s the average person to do when they don’t dig deeper and investigate?

People that make balms and such, generally don’t sift through dry research papers to determine an ingredient’s safety. They rely on their sources of the product to educate and inform the consumer as to a products safety. They may also rely on those wiser and more informed (like many on this forum) to assist them in the process.

I have scoured IFRA website and have come to the conclusion that they also recommend distilled vs pressed yet soap/lotion (WSP) ingredient distributors sell a product as “safe” when, in fact, they “may” not be safe.

So in conclusion - I understand and respect that orange EO “may” be safe. I also understand that it may not be safe...depending on process. I also understand that we cannot wholly trust a reseller/distributor to provide us with accurate information.

It is my understanding that DISTILLED citrus oils ( all varieties) ARE safe. The distillation process removes furonocoumarins ( unsafe as specified strengths). Some citrus oils may be safe with the cold pressed method. Armed with this information - in order to streamline processes and information to align with my responsibility for safely to any potential users of my products - I will use distilled citrus oils and avoid cold pressed citrus oils in any and all of my products.

Thanks for allowing me to rant! Feel free to block me for being a bit obnoxious :nodding:
 

DeeAnna

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You aren't a bit obnoxious. We get a few of those types from time to time, and you don't remotely have what it takes to run with those particular dogs. And that's a Very Good Thing. :)
 

SaltedFig

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"I think we hijacked the original post so they broke it off to its own thread(?)."

Thanks @Hendejm, that makes sense :)

"Thanks for the info. I understand that it does not pose a problem in wash off products but “may” be harmful in leave on products. Finding distilled orange essential oils (regardless of variety) is somewhat challenging.... Does that make sense?"

It does.

I have a set of requirements for the products I produce, and these are only partially described in our otherwise excellent labelling system - it seems as soon as you find you want to purchase something very specific, like your precise requirement for distilled (only) citrus oils, the labeling might not be there, the supplier might not know and sometimes it's just not recorded with the product - there are all sorts of ways it gets hard to find (before the lovely advertising layer is even added ;)).

"It is my understanding that DISTILLED citrus oils ( all varieties) ARE safe. The distillation process removes furonocoumarins ( unsafe as specified strengths). Some citrus oils may be safe with the cold pressed method. Armed with this information - in order to streamline processes and information to align with my responsibility for safely to any potential users of my products - I will use distilled citrus oils and avoid cold pressed citrus oils in any and all of my products."

It's the citrus oils from the mandarin line that appear to have the least amount of furanocoumarin, which would explain why some (possibly most, but not all) sweet orange varieties contain very little to no furanocoumarin, but I do admire your safety-first attitude. The (positive) bottom line with your approach is that you can use the same folded oils across your whole range (wash off and leave on products) :)

In the long term, keep an eye out for block-chain ingredient lists and citrus breeding programs (being developed to remove coumarin and furanocoumarin from the pulp and peel of citrus varities) :)

Thanks for allowing me to rant!

I liked your rant - it's interesting :)
 

Hendejm

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That’s very interesting! Thanks for that. I’m going to do some reading on that subject. Of course this is all predicated on the fact that while I question essential oils - I’ve been perfectly fine with fragrance oils - go figure! :tub:. Not sure I want to go down that rabbit hole with everything that’s in FO - natural or otherwise!
 

MGM

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I started my whole products and soap-making journey with lip balm....for my entire life, I've never been able to wear lipstick or any lip balm other than Burt's Bees and two flavours of Blistex. Even "organic" "artisinal" "natural" "homemade" and EXPENSIVE lip balms would get pitched after a try to two. Once I found how easy it was to make, well...let's just say that I buy my lip balm containers in packs of 100 and I've just bought my 4th!! All this to say that sensitivity is a relative thing and whereas it's great to avoid phototoxic EOs, they will be phototoxic to varying degrees on different people anyway and there may be something completely different that people are sensitive to. I've started making a lot of coconut oil-free formulas...I myself notice CO to be irritating and coconut flour makes me cough even though I love all things coconut (and it's so cheap!).
Not that phototoxicity is to be taken lightly....at least not when it comes to giant hogweed! Such a pretty plant....
 

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