Perhaps you’ve been there before: frantically looking into the depths of your bag or glove compartment to find that elusive little tub of lip balm. In desperation, you start to lick your lips furiously to find relief from the raw and painful chapping, but this only makes the irritation worse. All logic aside, you start considering options, and seriously contemplate making an illegal u-turn to get back to the store for just one more chapstick. But not so fast...the ingredients in many lip products are actually harmful and can cause greater irritation to your already tender lips. Not to mention, they are downright expensive and always seem to get lost or tragically melted in the wash. So, instead of running to the store next time you are feeling the urge to smack smooth lips, try this nearly effortless recipe for Homemade Virgin Coconut Oil & Lemon Lip Balm. Blend your favorite healthy oils and luscious essential fragrances for a delightful healing remedy in just 10-15 minutes!
The lips are made up of three delicate layers of skin and are highly vascular beneath, giving them their recognizably pink coloring. Because they are much more susceptible than facial skin, it’s truly important to treat the lips right, and be aware that what you slather on them topically is easily absorbed right into your system. This having been said, pesky chapped lips can be caused by a myriad of factors and sometimes simply can’t be avoided. Intense weather such as the harsh sun, brutal cold and wind can set your gentle lips into an angry red fury. Additionally, personal habits like breathing primarily through the mouth (instead of through the nose as we are naturally intended) or licking the lips too much out of nervous habit, can result in irritation. Beyond mechanical issues, exposure to environmental toxins and the use of strong chemical-based personal care products are also villainous lip-chapping culprits. Some people even develop agitation from the irritants in red dyes and other additives found in processed foods.
Commercial Lip Products: Not as soothing as you think
Most commercial lip products are made to leave you wanting more. Thus, they tend to be flourished with unnecessary synthetic additives like exotic scents and flavors, which (while fun) are chemical-based and harmful in nature. Any item with a sumptuous name like “vanilla cupcake,” “go-go grape” or “succulent strawberry” should be looked at with a critical eye. What’s more, some dermatologists believe that the shiny, iridescent composition of certain lip glosses actually make the lips more vulnerable to sun damage with carcinogenic effect. As for “medicated” salves, the allegedly helpful tingling sensation you get from phenol, menthol or salicylic acid is actually the burning of the outer protective layers of your lips- hardly a helpful process if you are already uncomfortable. Products that claim to be real, natural, naked or "just your plain-old trusty lip balm" often have some sketchy ingredients lingering in the mix as well. Many "organic" lip products still contain the rancid oils from canola or soybean, which may cause free-radical formation. While soothingly smooth feeling, popular wax and petroleum based balms can actually work to thwart the healing process by coating the lips and preventing natural moisture or nutrients from getting in. Put all of these factors together and what do you get? While it may seem outrageous, some psychologists are suggesting that individuals can actually develop an affinity for the artificial lubrication, sensations and tastes that commercial products have to offer, leading to the development of a "lip balm addiction." In the midst of such confusion, sometimes it is important to forget all of the hype and contemplate how something so simple has been made so pointedly complex. Generally, all we need to do is turn to nature and try some trusted traditional ways to reach the wholesome relief we seek.
To the Rescue: Homemade Extra Virgin Coconut Oil & Lemon Lip Balm
When it seems like you just can’t trust what companies' spokespeople have to say, take things into your own hands with some good-natured independence and a dash of creativity. Try out this recipe for Organic Coconut Oil & Lemon Lip Balm, adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs. It is inexpensive and takes 10-15 minutes to complete in total. Made with nourishing organic oils rich in healing essential fatty acids, this balm is absorbed into the lips to act as complete moisturizer that offers antimicrobial protection and nutrients for rebuilding. Experiment with different blends to get the right moisture formulation for the season or to incorporate a variety of aromatherapeutic oils customized for family and friends. Just be sure to test that the essential oil variety you select is appropriate for ingestion before you use it. Cinnamon, peppermint, grapefruit, sweet orange and lime all work very well.
Recipe will fill 8-9 Lip Balm tubes/tubs or one small violiv container
1 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Unfiltered Olive Oil or Organic Sunflower Oil
1 Tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Beeswax
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil
Coarsely chop of grate your beeswax.
Prepare a double boiler with about 1-2” of water in the bottom of your pot.
Measure out grated beeswax and carrier oils into a small pot or glass pyrex measuring cup. Place in the top of the double boiler.
Melt mixture gently over heated water making sure that water does not boil over into blend.
Once melted together, immediately remove from heat and add drops of essential oils.
Pour the hot mixture into lip balm containers. Use tubes or tubs to your preference.
Leave the lip balm in open containers to cool overnight. Once set, give it a try! Then cover containers and enjoy for later.
DIY tip of the week
I store all of my favorite, deliciously wholesome homemade products in Violiv glass biophotonic storage containers. By filtering harmful light rays, these innovative blue-violet glass containers are incredible at preserving the delicate aromas and healthy, organic composition of all of your DIY projects. Not to mention, they make completely unique, charming gifts that always win the most impressive gasps from delighted recipients.
Discovery Health: Can I become addicted to lip balm? by Sara Siddons
Get Over Your Lip Balm Addiction: The Washington Post