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Friday, September 18, 2015

DIY LIP BALM


I used to pay a fortune for my lip balm. But now, I can choose the most natural ingredients possible for some pucker protection at a minimal cost!

I am so excited to share to you about the lip blaming workshop I've attended but before we go straight to this instructional post, it's better to have a brief understanding of what is a LIP BALM and what is its importance.

Anatomy of the Human Lips
The surface of our lips is made up of a very thin layer of skin. Underneath this thin layer of skin is a network of tiny blood vessels, hence its red plump nature. This "Red Margin" separates the keratinized area from the oral mucosa. The skin of the lips don't have sebaceous glands nor does it sweat because of the absence of sweat glands. It lacks the ability to lock-in moisture unlike the rest of the skin of our body and it constantly needs getting wet. Hence, it becomes prone to dryness and getting chapped. Wetting it with saliva is the most natural way. But due to the food that we eat and vices that we adapt (smoking), sometimes, it adds up to harming our lips more than keeping it safe. As part of the integumentary system which is basically the first line of defense of the body against harmful microorganisms, it's just right to take care of it. 

Now, a lip balm is another way of helping the lips stay moist. It is a coat applied to the lips to help it lock in moisture with the use of the fingers upon application. With certain essential oils, topical vitamin E and flavour added to it, it helps in keeping it from getting dry and chapped. The worst part that could happen is that you  neglect your lips then it dries up. If you yawn or even smile, the dried part would crack open and will bleed. This opening can be a channel for harmful microorganisms to lodge and make a mess with your asset. The least that you want is to flash a smile with a canker sore. So here, my friends, is how you make your own lip balm at home. Remember: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!

Notes:
1. Allot 1.5 to 2 hours in making this.
2. 8 sticks will be made if you follow the measurements as per ingredient.
3. Have these tools at hand before proceeding:
- Beaker
- Stirring Rod
- 8 pcs. lip balm tube
- pot with right amount of water (on a burner) enough to submerge 3/4's of the beaker
- weighing scale or precision scales (scales used in baking of in chemistry labs)
4. If you're making this for a friend or for your business, use gloves to avoid contaminating your product.
5. Prepare these too on the side:
- tape
- pentel pen/marker
- potholder
- medicine dropper
- paper towel


Ingredients that you're going to need: (you may get them in local organic shops or online)

1. Sweet Almond Oil = 15g
2. Cocoa Butter = 8g
3. Bee's Wax = 12g
4. Essential Oil for the scent/feel that you like = 10 drops (Depending on how strong you want the flavour, you may add more. Or you may omit this if you want no flavour to your lip balm just like how vaseline is.)

*Our group had used Rose essential oil but some used Orange and Lavender. Depending on the holistic effect that you want, you can base the essential oil to be used on this. Rose always is a feminine flavour but I love Lavender because of its rejuvenating feel. It always reminds me of how relaxing my honeymoon was in Angsana Laguna, Phuket. Orange may be preferred by the active-by-day people because this flavour pops the senses.

Procedure:
1. Make sure your working place is clean, your tools in place and your ingredients, well set on the surface. If you may, label them properly. There were 10 of us in our group for the workshop so we had to label our beakers with our names so as not to get mixed up with whose beaker is which. It is best if everything is within arm's reach.

2. Tape the 4 corners of a ply of the paper towel on one side of the table. This area should be different from your working area. Put your lip balm tubes on top. For now that they're not filled up, they are light in weight so little movement will wreck how they are set up. That is the purpose of the taped paper towel You don't want lip balm to spill on the table and you don't want to make a mess of the tubes.


3. While allowing the pot with water to boil, mix your ingredients (sweet almond oil, beeswax and the cocoa butter) into the beaker. Make sure you add up your ingredients (sweet almondeswax and the cocoa butter) in total grams as you weigh them. Precision is the key.


4. The water in the pot is boiling, you've gathered your ingredients, it's time to see some action. Submerge your beaker into the boiling water like in the picture below. The bee's wax will blend together with the rest of the ingredients once it melts. It will take 2-5 minutes for it to melt and it's up to you when to stop stirring. If you think everything is evenly stirred thru, use your potholder in taking the beaker out of the boiling pot. (Turn off the burner when not used.)

Use your stirring rod to help melt the bee's wax and for the ingredients to be evenly mixed.
Be careful not to burn yourself. Be careful as you immerse the beaker into the water,
make sure you have a space to hold onto and that it's not completely for water to get into your beaker.
5. Let the mixture cool off a little bit. Cool enough for the beaker to be held with your own hands but not too cool for the wax to harden. When that happens, it will be hard for you to put the mixture into the lip balm tube. (Just put the beaker back into the boiling water then give it time to melt again.) But if you're all set, put 10 drops of the essential oil into your beaker and stir it once again for a final mix.


6. Easy as it is, the next procedure is for you to pour the mixture into your lip balm tubes as smoothly as you can. Accidental spills are to be expected but that's what the paper towel is for. For you to possibly come up with more than 8 tubes, you may use your medicine dropper as you transport the mixture into it but this may take you a little longer.


7. It doesn't take long for the mixture to harden. But one thing I have to remind you is you have to fill up the tube until the very rim for a smooth finish. If you'd take a good look at the tube on the far left, that's what happens when you don't fill it up completely. Behind maybe not that clear but just to show what happens as it overflows. It's not hard to clean up but it makes the very surface of the top kind of messed up. Not good for business or for a gift.

You have to know that once you put it inside the tube, you can't repeat the whole process of reheating to reform it once again. The best thing to do is to keep it for personal use when it overflows, as compared to the not-completely-filled-up one is easy to be remedied.

As you wait for it to completely harden (even from the inside), it's good to start cleaning up at this point. Keep the ingredients sealed off from unnecessary exposure. Keep them compartmentalised and out of extreme temperature.

The cooled off mixture would look like the one below. It will be completely good to use as soon as it reaches this state. This DIY lip balm post didn't include chemicals to preserve it longer than it's supposed to for the purpose of keeping it as organic as possible. Otherwise, there's not reason why we have to do make our own lip balm. In addition, preservatives are what make the commercial lip balm expensive.

Shell life: 6 months
Upon application: 3-4 months
8. Label your tube accordingly to guide you in knowing which essential oil you have used in each. What I did was the simplest one. Find some printables that you may paste around the tube to decorate it aesthetically.

As you can see, it's very easy to make your own lip balm. Say goodbye to cracked lips, stress because of expensive tubes and say hello to business opportunities and DIY giveaways for events like bridal showers and slumber parties. Suggestions are welcome in terms of which essential oils are best to use. If you also happen to know nice organic stores to get the cocoa butter and bee's wax from, please let me know thru the comment boxes below.

Hope you'd enjoy making your own lip balm as much as I did.

Reminiscing being a chemical engineering student!

Workshop by Kath Tang. Click here if you would want to book a workshop with her.
Related posts:

1. SPA IN YOUR OWN HOME - Here are some of the things you buy so expensively but you can do it with ingredients from your own kitchen.

2. PRODUCTS I LOVE - Here I have shared some of the products I consider worth investing in.

3. CROWNING GLORY - A post on which foods would help you keep your hair pretty and glowing.



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