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Print Posted By Safe Cosmetics Australia on 01/12/2017 in Skin Care

Make your own luscious lip balm! DIY Recipe

Make your own luscious lip balm! DIY Recipe

Why You Should Consider Making Your Own Luscious Lip Balm, By Kirsten McCulloch

Do you use a daily application of lipstick or lip balm, to moisturise and protect your lips? And okay, maybe for the aesthetic appeal too? You do? Do you want the bad news first, or the good news? Okay, we’ll start with the bad, but make sure you read down to the end to find out the good news too.

The bad news: you might be surprised by just what you are smearing onto your skin, and just how “moisturising” it actually is. Or isn’t.

Is your lip balm drying you out?

Commercially available lip products, including lip balm, frequently contain not only toxic chemicals (as if that weren’t quite bad enough), but chemicals that dry out your lips, making another application of said lip balm inevitable. To avoid the drying out effect, skip products containing menthol, camphor, phenol or alcohol (OL).

Does your lip colour contain heavy metals?

There is more bad news about commercial lip products, especially lip stick. Studies in the US by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the FDA and more recently by researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have found unexpectedly high levels of lead and other heavy metals in many lipsticks. These won’t be shown on any ingredients list, because they aren’t deliberately added: they originate as contaminants, mostly in colouring agents. The FDA says the levels are safe, and have not set an upper limit for contamination in the US.

Others disagree, citing the fact that no safe blood level of lead has been identified, and no level of exposure appears to be safe for children. The European Union’s Cosmetics Directive is sometimes cited as not allowing any level of lead, cadmium or chromium, however it is worth noting that while they do not allow them as ingredients, they do accept a certain level of contamination as inevitable.

However, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics notes that not all lipsticks tested contained lead – it is possible to produce lipstick commercially without it, by using different ingredients.

Or is it just plain toxic?

In addition to the possible heavy metal contamination, some ingredients that can be found in commercial lip balm that you may want to avoid are: petroleum jelly or mineral oil, paraffin, parabins, including parahydroxybenzoate, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, and ethylparaben, unspecified “fragrance” or “flavour”, oxybenzone, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), diazolidinyl urea, octinoxate/ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (this is a sunscreen ingredient), propylene glycol, menthol, camphor, phenol and alcohol (which can all be drying)

The last piece of bad news: that is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have a particular product you are concerned about, you can check it out on the Environment Working Group’s Skin Deep database. But what’s the good news? There are two pieces of good news, in fact. Firstly, you can check out Safe Cosmetic Australia’s Toxic Free List, for products which only use ingredients allowed on their Permitted Chemicals list. Secondly, making your own lip balm is dead easy.

How to make your own luscious lip balm:

The basic recipe for lip balm is 1 part liquid oil to 1 part beeswax, by weight. But you can be a bit more adventurous than that! Try this recipe for a choc-orange flavoured lip balm.

Ingredients: 10 g beeswax (about 3 tsp), 30g coconut oil (about 6 tsp), 14 g grated cocoa butter or shea butter (or use half and half) (about 3 tsp), ½ tsp honey (approx. 4g), 1 tsp cocoa powder (approx. 3 g), 1/8 tsp or 12 drops natural vitamin E oil (about 2 capsules worth, depending on size), 3 drops sweet orange essential oil

Method: Use a double boiler over a low heat. You can also use a low, wide mouth glass jar in a small pot of water. Just don’t let any water accidently splash in, and keep the heat very low. If you want to be precise and have an appropriate thermometer, heat the wax and oil to 68C, and no more than 78C. Make sure you have lip balm containers ready, because the mixture starts to set almost as soon as you take it from the heat.

1. Place beeswax, coconut oil and cocoa or shea butter in the double boiler. Stir intermittently until it all melts. The beeswax will take longest. It’s easiest to melt these together, because the beeswax on its own will resolidify the minute it hits your spoon. This step will take about 15-20 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, and whisk in honey, cocoa, vitamin E and essential oil. Keep whisking until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.

3. Transfer to lip balm tins or tubes and leave to set for at least three hours.

Notes: This recipe makes a little over ¼ cup. You can make less, but it’s hard to get the measurements right unless you have jeweller’s scales, and you’ll lose a bigger portion that sets in your saucepan or jar as you pour it out.The honey is something of a preservative, and so is the vitamin E (which stabilises the oils). The cocoa and orange are just for flavour (and the cocoa adds a little colour too). Just don’t let your sweet toothed child loose with this. You may find it all gets used up rather quickly. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Author BIO.

Meet Kirsten McCulloch an Australian freelance writer and mother of three, passionate about living a more sustainable, healthy life, for herself, her family and the planet. She writes about non-toxic cleaning and other aspects of a healthy home at SustainableSuburbia.net, where you can download her free non-toxic cleaning printables. Her book “Less Toxic Living” is available now

Visit Kirsten’s website and find out how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Find easy DIY recipes that will help reduce your exposure to nasty chemicals commonly found in Australian products and check out the many articles concerning your home, garden and beauty bag, you’ll love Kirsten’s ideas as well as her seriously good advice!


Kirsten McCulloch

Living a less toxic life – www.sustainablesuburbia.net

Published by www.safecosmeticsaustralia.com.au

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