Homemade Chapstick – Round 1

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Chapstick, Round 1I have been having a strange allergic reaction to store-bought chapsticks, lip balms and glosses lately. Even the “natural” stuff is giving me this weird hives-esque reaction just around my lips when I wear it for more than a couple hours.

I’ve tried about 9 different types (bet you didn’t know that there were even that many types!) and spent TONS of money on trying to find a lip product that didn’t make my lips itch and breakout… to no avail.

I’m not sure exactly what it is in them (probably a preservative of some sort) but it was just not good. Normally, I drink enough water that a constant layer of waxy balm isn’t really necessary, but with the cold, wet weather and all the working out (and therefore subsequent loss of fluid), I have been feeling REALLY dehydrated and dried out. So I spent a lot of time with Google and I discovered that I’d been not only wasting money all these years, but that I might have found a solution for my dry lips issue.

Did you know that lip balm is ridiculously easy to make? I did it in less than a half hour, before we went out to the grocery store. The longest part of it was finding the beeswax. I started with a recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs, the Lemon Coconut Lip Balm. And as much as I love Lemon… I don’t want to wear it!

So I made a few adjustments to the recipe before I’d even gotten started!

Riss’ Spicy Sweet CinnaKiss Balm

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Almond Oil
1 Tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Beeswax
4 Vitamin E capsules (punctured and drained into mixture)
9 drops Cinnamon Candy Flavoring

You just melt down all the oils and wax until it’s just a slightly yellow-colored liquid in a double boiler (or in my case, a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup in a small pot of water). Once it’s all combined, add in the flavoring oil and mix it again. Then fill your tubes. BE CAREFUL! The liquid will be hot and hurts if you splash it on your skin. Use a pot holder or oven glove to make sure that you don’t burn any fingers. I found that the Pyrex’s little pour spout made it an easy transition, though I think the next time I do this I’ll invest the buck to get a pack of those little plastic droppers. It will probably be a lot cleaner in between tubes that way. Once they’re filled, add another drop to “top off” the tubes. You’ll notice as the wax starts to cool, it shrinks in it’s new home, and then you end up with concave little chapstick tubes. One extra drop to just bubble up on the top of the tube at filling makes a nice flat stick, just like the kind you buy at the store! The hard part: waiting for the tubes to cool and solidify before diving in. I will admit, I didn’t wait the recommended hour to snag one of the CinnaKiss ones. I took it with me when we went to the store and it was amazing, even when it wasn’t completely hard all the way through. (You could feel a little of the warmth from the heated wax and oil still in the center of the tube, but even that cooled quickly in the Oregon weather!)

I filled about 4 tubes with just the cinnamon flavor, then added an additional 6-7 drops of the cherry flavoring to the remaining wax/oil mixture. I’ve only tested the cherry version once or twice, but I think next time I could definitely use a bit more of the flavoring for a truly cherry experience. These are vaguely reminiscent of candied apples, but that sense fades within a few seconds of applying the balm. I personally like that, so I’ll have to whip up a batch that are more strongly flavored later on.

So far, I’m pretty much addicted to the cinnamon one though. There’s just a slight little spicy tingle when it’s applied and then you get this wonderful sweet and spicy aroma. A little flavor goes a long way here, and you can’t really taste it when you lick it off your lips, but once it hits your tongue, it’s delicious. Like Christmas in a tube, in your pocket!

And on that note, I’ve been lugging this thing around with me all day at work, and it’s not getting mushy or melty in that little pocket they insist on putting on jeans. (You know what I’m talking about!) That’s a big selling point for me, because I like my chapstick to stay in the tube and not go all slush and mush on me when I take the lid off!

I think my favorite part about this whole “homemade natural chap-lip-balm-stick” thing is that I can apply it to little A’s lips without worrying about whether or not she’ll have an allergic reaction to it! Goodness knows I’m doing MUCH better with it!

So, I’d say 8 out of 10 for my first test batch. I could use more flavor next time, and maybe a dropper for a cleaner application from pot to tube, but other than that, this has been a GREAT SUCCESS!

Update 4/7/2013: Day 2 of my usage, and I’m happy to report, noticeably softer lips, NO HIVES and I could, in all reality, apply it less often than I have been. Flavors started to come out more the morning after, and it’s just so delicious that I can’t stop using it!

Update 4/14/2013: One week and counting. So far no reactions, other than positive ones! I’ve given a couple tubes to some friends for them to try and they’ve been giving me rave reviews! I can’t wait to do this again!

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