January 14, 2013

Create Your Own Lip Balm to Combat Winter Dryness


If you're one of the legion of women addicted to lip gloss, you may find that you're using your many lip products a lot more during the winter, and there are a couple of reasons for this. First, your sticks, balms, and glosses may actually contain drying agents. Many women don't realize that some of the ingredients common to these products, such as camphor, menthol, and alcohol, which are added to create that cooling tingle, also cause dryness, meaning you'll use them more frequently, despite the fact that they are actually damaging your lips. And ingredients that sound useful, like aloe and vitamin E, can cause irritation for some users. Also common are fragrances and dyes that can lead to irritation, dryness, and even allergic reactions in some cases. So what can you do to combat the cold and dryness of winter weather while avoiding these many hurdles? Why not make your own moisturizing and protective lip balm?

lip balm
You might be surprised to learn that lip balm is pretty easy to make. With nothing more than some Vaseline and the remnants of a couple of old tubes of lipstick you can easily create a custom color (just melt, mix, and pour in a small container, then refrigerate until solid). But if you're looking to create a custom balm that is perfect for winter wear, you'll probably want to choose targeted ingredients and put a little more thought into the process, especially if you want to make easy-to-carry tubes of the stuff instead of bulky pots.
So how do you start? The first thing to consider is the list of ingredients you'll need. You'll find all kinds of recipes online, but generally speaking they call for a carrier oil (olive, coconut, almond, avocado, sesame, and so on), a solid butter (shea, cocoa butter, etc.), beeswax, and other additives like essential oils for fragrance and/or something to add color. A good rule of thumb is to use 3 parts carrier oil to 1 part solid butter and 1.5 parts beeswax (plus a small amount of any extras). You'll likely end up tweaking this basic recipe to get the consistency you desire, but it's a good place to start.

Some of these ingredients can be found in your average grocery store or beauty supply outlet, but the rest you may have to order online. As for blending the ingredients, there are a couple of easy options. The best method is to use a double boiler, although in a pinch you could simply use a heat-resistant glass measuring cup (Pyrex) in a pot of boiling water on the stove (use the handle to hang it on the edge of the pot). You might even use the microwave, but this could result in burned balm, ruining your efforts. The double boiler method is much easier to control. Just remember to mix in any additives at the end, when the oils, waxes, and butters are already melted. Then pour into containers and let set in the fridge.

If all else fails, you can ask about creating custom products at your local makeup counter when you go in for a new compact or cosmetic brush set. In truth, there are stores that offer this service as a sort of gimmick to draw in customers, although they tend to be localized. You can also go to any number of services online that let you create and order your custom balm, gloss, or lipstick with a few simple steps (liliemakeup.com and smoochstudio.com are two good options). But you'll likely find that it's so easy to make your own that you won't need any help in the long run.

(Guest Post by Carol)



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4 comments:

  1. Jamuna2:32 PM

    Wow, I can't wait to try this! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Namita2:32 PM

    Cool, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nilima2:34 PM

    This looks great! I'm going to try to make an alternative recipe for my favorite tinted chapstick Alba's Terra Tints.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a fantastic post! I just linked to it. Thanks for all of the great info!

    ReplyDelete

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