This is The Only Lip Balm Recipe You'll Ever Need! | Living, by Maggie (2024)

I am never without lip balm on my lips! Not for one second. Since I learned to make my own over 15 years ago, I’ve perfected the formula and become absolutely addicted. I love the feeling of moist and plump lips it gives me, which lasts for hours.

This simple and easy DIY lip balm recipe with beeswax is the only one you’ll need for soft, plump and protected lips.

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Why is it the only lip balm recipe you’ll need?

The first version of this lip balm recipe I tried all those years ago only included beeswax and olive oil, but over the years I’ve tweaked it and added to it, to try and achieve the perfect texture.

I no longer remember where I got it from – some kind of DIY beauty website. At first, it felt kind of watery to me, so I played around with the ratio and added different amounts of cocoa butter. No matter how many other lip balms I try (DIY or commercial) this lip balm recipe is still my absolute favorite one!

It feels perfect on the lips: moist but not watery, protective but not waxy. I don’t know about you, but I hate the feeling of having a dried up coat of something on my lips, or feeling like I need to reapply after 5 minutes.

I’ve made this recipe for a few people over the years and everyone so far has loved the result. I’ve also been told by a friend that while using this lip balm her herpes sores dried up much quicker.

For myself, I’ve always loved the feeling of extra heat and boosted circulation I get on my lips when I’m wearing it.

I don’t usually put any essential oils in it, but nevertheless the mixture does seem to “warm up” the area. I’m not sure if the vitamin E naturally present in the olive oil is boosting circulation, or if maybe that fatty barrier is keeping the natural warmth emanating from my body from escaping as easily. Maybe it’s a mixture of both.

Whatever the reason, it works for me! My lips feel plump and smooth.

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A few notes on the ingredients

This lip balm recipe has only 3 basic ingredients – olive oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter.

If you can afford it, always get the organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, purest ingredients. I usually do this regardless of the DIY recipe I’m trying. I like to know I’m getting the full medicinal and/or beauty punch any ingredient has to offer. But sometimes you have to make concessions due to budget, availability, etc.

I would argue that in beauty DIYs like this it’s particularly important to get quality ingredients. While products will penetrate your skin to varying degrees, if anything at all, a lip balm will go straight on your lips – you’ll be licking it or otherwise “eating” it all day. Especially if you’re like me and you wear them 24/7 – so get the good stuff!

Also, this is something that you’ll be making in small batches that will last a long time. I’m telling you, I wear it all day and night – a small ounce jar lasts me well over a month!

All the ingredients in this lip balm recipe are by nature long-lasting and will not go rancid on you easily. Beeswax, in fact, does not go rancid at all, unlike other types of waxes. And in all my years consuming extra virgin olive oil (my entire life) I have never seen or heard of it go bad – it can happen but not easily.

So, what makes these ingredients great?

  • Beeswax:it’s an occlusive (it locks in moisture and provides a protective barrier), emollient (skin softener, also protective), it’s rich in vitamin A, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory.
  • Olive Oil:it’sloaded with antioxidants, vitamin K and E, it’s emollient (skin softening, and protective), and a very stable oil.
  • Cocoa Butter: it’s high in antioxidants, emollient (skin softening), and high in stearic acid (very protective fat that provides a very strong protective barrier).

You can usually get all the ingredients for this lip balm recipe in a good health food store, otherwise they are easily found online.

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Optional ingredients for your lip balm recipe

Essential oils. You can add essential oils if you like. Keep in mind that they are very strong and might be too much on such a sensitive part of your skin.

Also, know that certain essential oils can trigger photosensitivity and cause a rash when in contact with the sun’s rays – for instance, citrus based essential oils.

It’s best to do a patch test somewhere else delicate (like the bend of your elbow) before using it on your lips. Also, try not to go over the recommended amounts of just a couple of drops per ounce.

  • Peppermint and cinnamon are very good common choices for lip balms because they give you an extra plumping effect. They both boost circulation. Mint is cooling (very high in menthol) and so might be too much in cold weather – it is for me. While cinnamon is warming and spicy. Both are antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.
  • Lavender is another popular choice for lip balms that has all the properties mentioned above and is usually safe and milder.

Honey.I’ve made this recipe with a bit of honey on a few occasions. Honey is a bit tricky to use, because it doesn’t mix that well in an oil base. I’ve had times when it blends perfectly and other times when it just sinks to the bottom of the jar.

  • To increase the chances of a well-mixed batch, keep stirring frequently as the mixture cools down and don’t use too much honey.
  • Raw honey is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
This is The Only Lip Balm Recipe You'll Ever Need! | Living, by Maggie (1)

THE Lip Balm Recipe!

Ingredients (1 oz / 30 ml):

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter (grated or in pellets)
  • 2 teaspoons beeswax (grated or in pellets)
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • (optional) ¼ teaspoon honey
  • (optional) a couple of drops essential oil peppermint, cinnamon, or lavender


Melt the beeswax, cocoa butter, and olive oil together in a water bath. Make sure the water bath is always just under the boiling point.

Once liquid, stir it all well.

Pour into whatever container you want to use and let it cool with the lid off until hard and cold.

If you’re using a small jar as your container, you can just melt everything together directly in that jar. I usually make it this way, to avoid clean ups and “wasting” any of the amount due to the transfer between containers.

If you’re using honey, keep stirring frequently as the mixture cools.

If you’re using essential oil, let the mixture cool as much as possible before it hardens completely. It should be a bit over hand-temperature when you touch the side of the container, and the mixture should still be fluid enough to stir. Add a couple of drops of essential oil(s) and mix it in.

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Lip Balm Recipe FAQ

#1 – How can I make bigger batches?

This lip balm recipe is very easy to double, or triple if you want to make more batches at a time. You can either double/triple/whatever the number of teaspoons in the recipe, or you can think of the measurements as “parts”.

It’s basically 1 part cocoa butter + 2 parts beeswax + 3 parts olive oil. Which means the “parts” can be any volume unit of measurement – tablespoon, cup, etc. You just need to make sure that you’re using the same unit for all the ingredients.

It doesn’t even need to be an official measuring unit. Meaning, if you’re using tablespoons instead of teaspoons, it doesn’t have to be a measuring table spoon (1 TB = 15 ml). You can use a regular kitchen tablespoon – just make sure to use the same tablespoon to measure all the ingredients, so you’re getting the correct ratios.

#2 – How long will the lip balm keep and should you refrigerate it?

This lip balm recipe consists entirely of oils and fats. Because it doesn’t have any water, or water-based ingredients, you don’t really need a preservative. There is also no need to keep it in the fridge.

With oil-based recipes, the only thing you might potentially have to worry about is that the oils in it might go rancid. However, this lip balm recipe is made with very stable and durable fats, so they’ll keep fresh for a very long time.

As mentioned earlier, cold pressed olive oil is one of the most stable oils and beeswax is itself a time-honoured preservative (used for thousands of years) – it’s antioxidant, anti-bacterialand germicidal.

And if you’re using honey, make sure it’s raw honey, which also has anti-bacterial properties.

If you choose to add essential oils, then you need to worry even less – peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, rosemary – all have antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal properties.

#3 – How can I make the recipe harder, softer, or creamier?

To me this lip balm recipe has the perfect consistency to be nourishing and protective. However, if you find that you’d like it to be slightly harder, or softer, or creamier – that’s easily fixed.

Adding more wax will make it harder and waxier. Adding more oil will make it softer and more watery. Adding cocoa butter will make it softer but creamier.

Like I mentioned earlier, when I first made this lip balm it felt a bit “watery” in the sense that, although it was solid, it seemed to disappear quickly when I put it on my lips. I soon realized that adding more beeswax was just making the lip balm harder and waxier – like having a hard coating on my lips – and adding more olive oil just took me back to the same watery effect.

I decided to try adding a butter, because I thought “they’re kind of in between a wax and an oil” – and it worked!

So, if you want to tweak the end result, just add 1/4 teaspoon of the chosen ingredient (depending on the desired effect – more solid, or protective, easier to melt on contact, or creamier) and test.

Make sure to write down the amount of each ingredient you add, so that you know exactly next time you want to make this lip balm recipe – trust me, you always think you’ll remember, but you won’t!

#4 – Can I use Shea or mango butter instead of cocoa butter?

You can always substitute cocoa butter for any other butter – but keep in mind that the resulting consistency will not be exactly the same.

Different butters have not only different melting points, but also different compositions, which means they feel differently on the skin.

Cocoa butter has the highest melting point (34–38 °C / 93–100 °F), when compared to Shea (29 °C / 84 °F) or Mango (34 °C / 93 °F). Of the three, it’s also the hardest butter at room temperature and the most occlusive – meaning it provides the best, or most complete, barrier for the skin.

Shea butter is the softest and oiler feeling of the three.

And mango butter is the driest – it sort of has a powdery effect.

So, depending on the particular qualities of the butter you choose, you’ll get a different effect on the lips.

One of the reasons I prefer cocoa for a lip balm recipe is exactly because it’s so occlusive – it just feels more protective. But because it’s high in saturated fats, it also balances the “hardening” effect of the beeswax and the more “watery” effect of the olive oil.

It’s a question of trying it out and seeing how it feels on your lips.

#5 – Can I use grapeseed / coconut / (insert oil) instead of olive oil?

Same as above. Different oils will have different compositions and different qualities, which will change the consistency and feel of the lip balm.

Olive oil works wonderfully in a lip balm recipe because it’s a heavy and greasy oil and therefore, by nature, stays longer on the skin – it’s perfect for lip balm.

However, if you don’t have olive oil on hand, or you can’t use it for some reason, you can always try to substitute it for another oil. Just try to pick one with a similar consistency if you can.

Other heavy oils are, for instance: sweet almond, coconut, or avocado oil.

Again, give it a try and see if it works for you. You might have to play around with the ratios as well, since oils are never 100% interchangeable.

#6 – What can I do if it feels too grainy when it solidifies?

This might happen due to the melting points of the butters and waxes in the recipe, as they’re heated and then cool off.

Basically, some bits might solidify quicker than others. Some argue that quick temperature changes might also cause it, although I’ve heard of people putting the balms to cool off directly in the refrigerator as well. So you could give that a try.

I’ve personally never had this problem, so I would advise to make sure to mix and blend the ingredients well, after you’ve melted them. It could be that they’re not well incorporated into each other and then, as they cool down, different bits solidify more than others.

#7 – When should you add the honey?

If you’re using honey in the lip balm recipe, you can add it right at the beginning. Let everything melt together and mix VERY thoroughly.

Since honey can have a hard time mixing with the fats, it’s best to stir occasionally, as it cools down.

If you’re using raw honey and you want to preserve as much of the beneficial qualities as possible, you can also incorporate it into the mixture after it has cooled off a little bit (it should still be warm and reasonably fluid).

#8 – What is the best type of container for this lip balm recipe?

This recipe makes a solid lip balm, so you can use either a tube container or a small jar, or tin. It’s strictly a matter of preference.

#9 – Can you use flavor oils instead of essential oils?

You can always use flavour oils instead of essential oils in this lip balm recipe.

You just need to make sure that particular oil is safe to use on the lips – not all flavour oils are and sometimes they’re just fragrance oils – check with the vendor.

And you need to adjust the amounts. Flavor oils tend to be stronger than essential oils. Depending on the actual oil you want to use, there might be a different maximum amount considered safe. They can range anywhere from 0.3% to 5% of the total product amount.

#10 – I don’t want to use beeswax. Can I substitute with another wax?

You can always substitute beeswax with another wax. Just like the case with the oils and butters, they might produce slightly different results.

The most popular substitutes for beeswax are Candelilla wax and Carnauba wax.

Candelilla has a similar (approximately) melting point to beeswax, so that might get you the closest approximation to the original lip balm recipe.

Carnauba has a higher melting point, so you might need to reduce the amount of the wax in the recipe. Try to cut it in half and test the consistency.

If it’s not what you want, just melt everything back again and add a bit more of the wax to make it harder, or a bit more of the oil or butter to make it softer. And, as always, remember to keep track!

#11 – Can I use spearmint instead of peppermint?

No problem! The main difference between the two is that peppermint is much higher in menthol, so it has a cooling and slightly spicy effect. Spearmint is much higher in camphor, so it has a sweeter and warming effect.

Peppermint is also known as an effective lip plumper, although all mints increase blood flow to varying degrees.

They’re both very strong oils, so make sure to not go over the recipe amounts. A safe ratio for a lip balm recipe is approximately a 0,5 % dilution – so, about 3 drops per 1 ounce (30 ml) of balm.

I have tried many oils and fats along the years, depending on what I had on hand at the time. However, I always keep coming back to this particular blend.

The olive oil is a bit thick on its own and therefore feels more protective than any other vegetable oils I’ve tried.

Likewise for the cocoa butter. I’ve tried replacing it with coconut oil and shea butter, but the results were always a bit disappointing. The coconut always seems to make my lips feel dry after a while, and the Shea does not seem to linger that much either. For my money the cocoa butter offers the best combination of slip and protection.

Of course, this is my personal preference. You can always play around with the ingredient ratio or add other stuff to fit your own taste. That’s the fun of a DIY!

This lip balm recipe has proven excellent in both very cold (Sweden in winter) and very hot weather (Southern Portugal in summer). Nevertheless, adjust the ratios of the ingredients, if you feel you want it more or less fluid.

And happy lips!!

This is The Only Lip Balm Recipe You'll Ever Need! | Living, by Maggie (2024)


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