We keep our lips pretty busy on a daily basis: eating, sipping, talking, smooching…it's good stuff! So much so, in fact, that we can find ourselves utterly disturbed by dry, cracked and sore lips due to blistery winter weather. But don't slather on the petroleum products! Heal and protect your lips naturally with your very own DIY herbal chapped lip balm recipe. It's easy to make and works wonders.
Lips crack and dry out more quickly in the winter. Outside it's cold, dry and windy, and inside, it’s even drier, especially if you've got the heat going around the clock. We also have a tendency to drink less water when it's cold out, and dehydration can exacerbate dry, chapped lips.
While there are plenty of natural lip balm products available-some of them can be quite pricey, setting you back as much as $5 a tube! If you're anything like me, they're easily lost soon after purchasing them, too. Making your own herbal chapped lip balm is not only more economical, but it's also fun and easy. Lip balms always make great gifts, too.
If you haven't spent too much time making your own personal care items yet, lip balm is a pretty good place to start. Consistency is the biggest issue when making your own balms or body butters, and in the case of lip balm, you can re-melt and adjust thickness as needed. For the wintertime, you want a softer balm that's gentler and can penetrate sore lips easier. This recipe includes calendula. The herb can be found in liquid tincture form at most health food stores. It's got a history of reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing of wounds and a variety of skin conditions.
Healing Herbal Chapped Lip Balm Recipe
1 tbsp shea or cocoa butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp jojoba oil
2 tbsp beeswax or carnauba wax (vegan option)
30 drops calendula extract
1 tsp raw honey or aloe vera gel
5 drops vitamin E oil (optional)
4 drops geranium or chamomile essential oil (or mixture of both; optional)
Shred or grate the wax and place it in a small double boiler pot with the butters, olive oil, jojoba oil and calendula. Gently heat until wax melts, stirring frequently. Add honey or aloe vera and mix well. Remove from heat and add essential oils and vitamin E. Mix well and pour into containers. Reused small lip balm tins are great as are small glass jars (think marmalades from a recent hotel stay). You can also use a funnel to pour into a used lip balm tube. Leave uncovered until cooled.
You can experiment with the recipe using different carrier oils such as almond, apricot kernel and coconut. Essential oils can also dramatically change a lip balm recipe. Generally though, they can be drying on skin, and are not recommended if you're battling chapped lips. But once summer rolls around, try spicing it up a bit with citrus or mint scents.
Image: Nina Nelson