To the Lip Balm Gurus...

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Stacy

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First off, if you've ever posted advice on or troubleshooted a lip balm post, I thank you!

I've decided to get into making balm and I've spent the last few days reading over archives. There is a lot of useful and interesting info amassed here. As always so many people are very generous with their time and knowledge.

I do have a couple of quick questions that I didn't see covered in my travels. Fair warning, this is a product I plan to sell, so absolutely no hard feelings if anyone would rather not post!

I haven't decided my base yet but I'll be experimenting with beeswax, Carnauba and Candelilla Wax to see which I like best.

What is a realistic expectation for melting point for a balm? Obviously if it's in a hot car, it will melt. but if someone keeps it in their pocket is there a fair expectation that it stays solid?

When it does melt does the tube tend to hold it? I'd hate to ruin someone's bag or the contents of their pockets. :sad:

I've read about using EO as flavour (mint etc) and with the exception of photosensitive ones like the citrus family, is there any thing that should be absolutely be avoided? Is there any special grade or source for the oils since there is a possibility of ingestion (albeit at tiny amounts)?

Are all lip balm tubes more or less the same when it comes to packaging (as long as it's bought from a fairly reputable supplier)?

Many thanks again for any advice you can provide and the many you've already answered!
 

Susie

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1. Use flavor oils specially made for lip balms. They are lip safe, which is very important if you intend to sell.
2. I always did the pocket test on my balms. They needed to be higher in harder oils/waxes during the summer.
3. If they fully melt, the tube does not necessarily protect bags and clothing completely. No matter where you get the tube.
4. I never did a formal temperature test, but my pocket tests were performed with 90F + weather in Louisiana.
 

BattleGnome

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I second the use of harder oils. Look at your favorite commercial brand and apply these questions best you can. Do the same for a brand you don't like.

What in the ingredient list can you easily replicate? Burt's Bees obviously uses a lot of beeswax while Chapstick brand is petroleum based (I think, it's been a while)

What flavored do you like? Are they easily replicated in eo? (Personally I'd still look into flavor oils to avoid eo sensitivity for those with delicate skin)

I don't make too much lip blam (just for personal use). In my experience most balm tubes are the same the biggest differences are in the shape/size.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with Susie once again. :) I really like the flavor oils from Elements Bath & Body and Rustic Esscentuals. I have a few from WSP and Nature's Garden as well.

I get my tubes from Elements as I use the colored lids and all tubes are not created equal.

The tubes will seep a bit if the lipbalm melts.
 

osso

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I use a combo of beeswax and candelilla, which is really nice. And also a hard butter. Mine does very well for not melting, except in extreme temps.

Ditto on flavor oils mentioned from places above. Only EO I have used is peppermint.
 

Stacy

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Yes definitely going with flavor oils specifically for lips. I was mostly thinking about the mint EO for a chocolate mint mix. There will be some some extensive trial and error phases coming up but everyone in my life will have wonderfully moist lips. My mother happens to be the most well moisturized person within a 100 mile radius ;-)

Thanks for the pointers, it's nice to be able to run things by people who have been there!
 

dixiedragon

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Your lip balm should pass the pocket test, as we call it. IMO, lip balm should not turn to mush in your pocket.

If it does melt the tube will USUALLY hold it. But that's not a guarantee.

Tubes - they come in different sizes so make sure you are getting the size you want. Also you will need a lip balm filling tray!
 

IrishLass

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I make 2 lip balm formulas- a men's formula which uses beeswax, and a lady formula which uses combo of double-refined candelilla and carnauba waxes. Candelilla and carnauba lend a glossy sheen to my balm that the guys in my family don't appreciate so much, which is why I only use them in my ladies formula.

Candelilla and carnauba are so similar to each other in hardness level that they can probably be subbed for each other, but I've not ever tried doing so yet. The only reason why I use the both of them in my ladies formula is because it's a tweak of MMS Firm & Glossy lip balm which uses both, and I still have a goodly amount of each on hand.

I always do the pocket test with mine. If it can survive that without melting or becoming too soft, it's good. If not, I just keep increasing the wax % until it can survive the test. I refuse to do the car test where I live because I know it'll never survive it without me having to use gobs more wax in my balm, something I refuse to do because it'll make the balm way too waxy-feeling.

The only EO's I use in my lip balm are spearmint or peppermint. I Like to mix them with MMS's Vanilla Banilla flavor oil for a vanilla-mint flavor, or with their Raspberry flavor oil for a raspberry mint flavor. MMS is where I buy almost all my flavor oils (they have so many awesome ones), and I use their Sugar Baby sweetener to sweeten my balms . They also sell a handful of EO's for lip-balm use and their site lists the safe usage rates for each of them.

Except for the clear oval tubes I bought from Elements, I buy all my lip balm tubes from MMS. I especially love their little half-size mini-tubes for making sample size batches.


IrishLass :)
 

HowieRoll

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I've only made one kind of lip chap, solely for personal use/family & friend gifts, and it's one of the first homemade DIY projects I tried 2 years ago (it was my gateway drug to this B&B addiction!). For reference, the recipe came from Wellness Mama (the Imitation Burt's Bees Lip Balm) and I continue to use it to this day, as it works really well for me and I've gotten great feedback from others who have tried it. I do not use beeswax pastilles in mine (they smell funny to me), so I opt to sub 1oz of regular beeswax (the kind you can buy in bars that smells heavenly), and I add a little vitamin E.

BUT, one thing I have noticed is that the tube that stays in my purse (and, subsequently, is often stuck in a hot, hot car or out in hot weather) gets grainy. I also keep a tube at my desk in a temperature-controlled environment, and that one is still very smooth and is from the same batch. I really have no idea why that is, but for some reason suspect the shea butter has something to do with it. The graininess doesn't seem to be an issue in the winter.

It has gotten soft many times due to heat, but I've never noticed it outright melting and making a mess.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience for what it's worth, and wish you well with your new product line!
 

Susie

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You need to temper shea butter before using it in balms. This is the site I used for mine:

http://intheinterestofannie.blogspot.com/2011/03/tempering-butter-101shea-mango-and.html

Shea Butter: Heat to 170 - 185 degrees. Maintain this temperature for approximately 15-30 minutes.
Mango Butter: Heat slowly to 100 degrees. Maintain this temperature for 45-60 minutes.
Cocoa Butter: Heat slowly to 100 degrees. Maintain this temperature for 45-60 minutes.
 

HowieRoll

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You need to temper shea butter before using it in balms. This is the site I used for mine:

http://intheinterestofannie.blogspot.com/2011/03/tempering-butter-101shea-mango-and.html

Shea Butter: Heat to 170 - 185 degrees. Maintain this temperature for approximately 15-30 minutes.
Mango Butter: Heat slowly to 100 degrees. Maintain this temperature for 45-60 minutes.
Cocoa Butter: Heat slowly to 100 degrees. Maintain this temperature for 45-60 minutes.
Huh, interesting. I'll have to try that next time I make it to see if it makes a difference during hot weather (probably have to wait until next summer). Thanks for sharing!
 

IrishLass

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Or you could do things the lazy way like me, lol. I use an ingredient called ButterEZ that I buy from LotionCrafter that works like magic to keep the grainies away. I use it @ 25% of the butter amount in my formula (i.e., not 25% of my entire formula, just the butter amount).


IrishLass :)
 

HowieRoll

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Or I can go the extra, extra lazy way and talk myself into not bothering doing anything at all if it's only a batch meant for my husband and I. :) And with the grainy one sometimes I put it on and it leaves behind little crystallized lip chap that I try to wipe off but sometimes miss one or two and end up in public looking like that. I'm classy that way.

Stacy, I hope you find this sidebar topic about grainy shea butter useful and/or interesting so as not to hijack your thread!
 

Stacy

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Not a problem at all! I was aware of the whole tempering issue, but there cannot be too many reminders when approaching something new ;-)

Besides if someone else finds this topic in the future it may help them too.

Once again thanks to everyone for the tips. The glossiness from the different waxes that IL mentioned wasn't something I'd considered and very interesting!
 

BrewerGeorge

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If you really care about tempering, it can be done easier - assuming that lessons learned from cocoa butter/chocolate bear fruit with other butters. The basic process is to temper a small amount of butter the laborious way, then grate it into fine shavings. (May have to freeze to grate and store frozen with some of the softer butters.) Then, use these to "seed" a melted butter to short-circuit the long holding time. The crystals in the well-formed butter provide nucleation sites to jump-start the formation of the correct crystals in the larger batch.

The only question with butters other than cocoa is what temperatures the various polymorphs form at. Google might tell us, or experimentation might be required.
 
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