There are lip balms, and then there are lip balms (as in the bomb, lip balm bomb). Spoiler alert: our all natural lip balm is the bomb of lip balms.
Before moving to the desert, I lived in cold climates—New England, Shanghai, the midwest, Colorado. Inevitably, every winter, I suffered from chapped and cracked lips. Sometimes, my lips would get so dry and cracked that it hurt to smile.
Here, in the desert, where it’s dry and sunny year round, and where wind can be brutal (they have wind farms here if that gives you an idea), lip balm is the first line of defense! The first time we went on a hike, I felt like my lips had been dragged through the desert. They were completely chapped from the harsh elements. And, go figure, I had no lip balm.
We never intended to add an all natural lip balm to our apothecary and spa line because EVERYONE makes lip balm (especially all natural lip balms). And yet, I had not found one that I loved. So, like with everything else, we set out to make our own.
What makes a GREAT all natural lip balm?
The first thing we did was create our criteria list—what we wanted in an all natural lip balm based upon our personal preferences and our surrounding environment (i.e., the desert). It had to:
- Stay on, so you don’t have to reapply every 30 minutes
- Protect your lips from getting chapped as well as soothe and moisturize your lips if they were already chapped
- Have great slip (where it glides easily across your lips when you apply)
- Be edible, containing only food grade ingredients
- Contain a mild sunscreen
- Smell and taste nice
Of course, as with any ApothecaryCo product, our all natural lip balm had to contain natural ingredients that are organic, sustainably and ethically sourced, and cruelty-free. That goes without saying!
Lip Balm R&D
As with most products, we start with research. Most all natural lip balms contain similar ingredients: oils, solid oils, butters, and waxes. The key is the ratio. Too much oil or butters and you end up with a greasier lip balm. Too much wax and you’ll be dragging the lip balm over your lips. Thus, it’s important to have worked out your ratio (as much as possible) before attempting to make it.
After R&D comes testing. Once we whipped up our first batch and were happy with the results, we gave a sample to our friend. Our friend is an avid hiker whose job takes her out in the field (which is a lot of desert wilderness). After the first day, she wrote and said she loved our lip balm. She said she was really picky about lip balms and liked that ours didn’t feel greasy, or too waxy, or too pepperminty. We did our own field testing and it worked like a charm! (Imho, I concur with our friend and think it’s the best lip balm ever!)
After testing, we made some tweaks to the original formula. We started with grapeseed oil, but since we carry Argan oil, it was a no-brainer to switch to Argan oil. And Argan oil is edible (though the toasted variety is what Moroccan’s use for cooking). We also increased the amount of candelilla wax because, well, most things melt in the desert heat!
All Natural Lip Balm Ingredient List
Here are the ingredients for our all natural lip balm and why we chose them:
|Organic Argania Spinsosa (Argan) Oil||A deeply moisturizing oil that absorbs easily and is non-greasy. High in vitamin E and fatty acids, Argan oil soothes and repairs skin.|
|Organic Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil||Naturally antimicrobial (thanks to a high lauric acid content), coconut oil deeply hydrates skin as well as reduces water loss, and it helps to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells. (I don’t know how it does that…that will require further investigation!)|
|Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax)||Beeswax is a humectant that helps skin attract moisture and it helps the skin form a protective barrier (similar to petroleum jelly) to lock in moisture. Our organic beeswax comes straight from the beekeeper!|
|Organic Theobroma Cacao (Unrefined Cocoa) Seed Butter||Cocoa butter is a rich emollient high in fatty acids allowing it to penetrate deeply, thus hydrating the skin. It helps skin to retain moisture keeping it soft and supple. Plus, it feels and tastes great!|
|Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax||Candelilla wax is a hard, plant-based wax. On skin, it helps to lock in moisture and protect skin from the elements. It also creates a smooth texture in formulations giving our all natural lip balm a nice glide.|
|Lanolin USP||The molecular structure of lanolin is similar to the lipids in human skin. It also serves as a moisture reservoir, thus keeping skin hydrated. USP means pharmaceutical grade, i.e., hypoallergenic. Imho, there’s nothing better at healing cracked skin.|
|Zinc Oxide||Zinc oxide is a mineral. As a sunscreen, it sits on the surface of your skin where it scatters, absorbs, and reflects ultraviolet radiation. We only use a little and the non-nano particle kind at that.|
|Organic Peppermint Essential Oil||What’s not to love about peppermint? Not only does it taste great, but it leaves a cool and tingling sensation on your lips. If it promotes circulation and stimulates blood flow to your scalp, wouldn’t it do the same to your lips?|
Because we like our products to pull double duty, this all natural lip balm can also be used on cuticles, hair ends, to smooth out eyebrows or moustaches & beards! It also works great as a lipstick base.
Available on Etsy!