Ravenous Craft

Balms and Salves

IntermediateMallory Lance1 Comment
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Have you ever read the ingredients of the chapstick or lip balm you use? A lot of the commercially made products contain unnatural chemicals and fillers, but if you've ever used small batch all natural lip balm you know that it's the best. Luckily it's also super easy to make, inexpensive, and extremely customizeable.

Our good friend and coven member Des made homemade chapsticks as holiday presents and we could not get enough of them. So for our next full moon craft, we gathered the ingredients, brought all of our essential oils, and made several batches.

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What you'll need:

  • Beeswax - if you can find the pellets, they're a lot easier to melt down than the huge blocks. You can find it in this form at Flower Power in the East Village (one of my favorite witchy shops) or online. Make sure to source from a sustainable and natural provider.
  • Shea butter - Easy to find at most health food stores or online
  • Jojoba oil/avocado oil/olive oil/coconut oil - you can use one or two or all three.
  • Essential oils - for the flavor, medicinal or aromatherapeutic properties. Get creative with your choices and try new blends. I have some examples listed below.
  • Tint (optional) - if you have a favorite lipstick, you can melt it down to tint your chapstick a particular shade. You can also use natural pigments or if you're into the dark stuff, try activated charcoal.
  • Containers - you can reuse old ones after sterilizing them, or you can order them online. Again, look for responsible vendors.
  • A pot for boiling water.
  • A tempered glass measuring cup with a spout that easily nests within the pot.
  • A scale for measuring

Directions

1. In the tempered glass cup measure, measure out 2 parts beeswax to 1 part oil and 1 part shea butter. If you want to use multiple types of oil (ie coconut oil & jojoba oil) just make sure both combined do not exceedthe 1 part oil portion. So for instance: 2 oz beeswax, .5 oz coconut oil, .5 oz jojoba oil, 1 oz shea butter. Get creative and try out some different blends, as long as you work within those ratios. Even then, if you prefer a softer balm, reduce the beeswax portion as that is what gives the balm its structure. 

2. Set aside the measuring cup momentarily. Fill the pot about a third of the way with water and bring it to a light boil. Then nest the measuring cup in the pot, making sure to not get any water in the measuring cup as it will make the oils turn rancid. Stir occasionally and heat until all ingredients are completely melted into a clear liquid. If you're using a tint, add it now.

3. Allow the liquid to cool for about a minute, not so much that it begins to solidify again. The essential oils will lose their potency if they're heated too much so you want to mix them in at the last minute while the liquid is not so hot. Add in several drops of each oil for your desired blend. Here are some suggestions: grapefruit oil + peppermint oil + lavender oil, lemon oil + grapefruit oil, rosemary oil + orange oil, vanilla oil + clove oil + tea tree oil. Dip your finger in the blend (make sure it's a bit cool because the oil can get very hot) and try a bit on your lips. If the flavor isn't as strong as desired feel free to add more oils.

4. Carefully pour the liquid into the containers, leaving a bit of space at the top. Once they solidify, they will dip in the center, so you want to fill them in two steps. When the first fill is nearly solid, add more until completely full. 

5. Set the filled containers out, uncovered, for a few hours until they have hardened completely. Make sure to do this in a clean, dry place where there's no chance or leaves or dust falling into the balm.

6. Label them! You'll want to keep track of which batch is which so you can write out the ingredients on the labels. Stay posted for the next tutorial on DIY carved stamps if you want to use those for your balms. Enjoy and give as gifts!