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Got my lip balm made today! Something we don't think too much about is that most lip balm, even the "natural" brands, have preservatives in them. I discovered this because I bought some made by a local beekeeper and it went rancid after a few months while my national brand was still the same after years! So I found some recipes online and made my own.

It's not too hard - beeswax is available in many health food stores, and I found a 1-pound block for $6.00 at a farmers' market nearby. That makes a LOT of lip balm, like a life-time supply!

I like to store mine in the refrigerator until I need it. It will last long enough at room temperature to use up, but for storage it helps to keep it cold.

Get a dedicated grater to grate the beeswax - it's a mess to clean up. To melt the grated beeswax I used this small enamel pot in a slightly larger pot of boiling water - drop a canning jar ring in the outer pot to hold up the inner pot and keep from getting water into the wax. You can remove the water after the wax hardens if that happens, but you'll need to wait a while. Water in the mixture can cause it to mold.

I've found a spoon is better for pouring the melted mixture into tubes - a funnel just gets clogged up as the mixture cools. A chopstick works great for stirring. Cleanup is made easier by heating and removing excess into your spare tin, then freezing and getting the remainder off that way. Orange oil will help with the residue.

As tempting as it is, I don't recommend citrus oils except grapefruit for the lip balm. Most citrus oils are phototoxic, meaning they can increase the likelihood of sunburn if you put them on your skin and go out in the sun.

Here's the recipe I use, based on several I found online but modified the way I like it:

Lip Balm

1 tbsp shaved beeswax (packed)
1 tbsp coconut oil (scant)
1 tbsp with a few drops of vitamin E oil, then filled with avocado oil
1 drop each peppermint oil and lavender oil

Get your tubes or tins ready. This recipe will fill 5 or 6 tubes, plus a little left over.

Melt beeswax. Turn off heat then add coconut oil. When that's melted, add vitamin E and avocado oils, then the essential oils.

Quickly pour into clean tubes or tins. If you use tubes, it helps to have one tin available for that last little bit that doesn't want to cooperate. Let cool and harden several hours.