Homemade Lip Balm

You've stumbled upon one of my most popular posts. You might also enjoy let's talk lip balm.

After making my own lip balm I will never buy it again.

It's easy, cheap, 100% natural and good for your lips, especially this time of year. I tried to figure out the actual cost of this recipe but it wasn't worth counting up the pennies. Let's just say Burt's Bees makes a killing on lip balm!


  • 1/2 oz. (approx. 3 tsp.) grated or roughly chopped beeswax
  • 1 oz. (approx. 6 tsp.) coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lanolin
  • 3/4 tsp. vitamin E
  • 2 tsp. hard honey
  • 3/4 tsp. peppermint essential oil


  1. In a small pot over medium low heat melt beeswax, coconut oil, lanolin and vitamin E. Use chopstick or other small, longish stick to stir (chopstick is perfect).
  2. Remove from heat and add honey and peppermint oil. Whisk well with chopstick and try to distribute oil throughout the mixture - this is tricky.
  3. Pour quickly into tins or jars. Let cool on counter till hard.

This recipe makes enough for 3 - 3/4 oz tins (see photo for size) and one 1 1/2 oz jar. I reuse cosmetic jars I've saved from years ago when I actually bought hand lotion and such.


I prefer to measure kitchen cosmetics with a scale but I included the approximate tsp. measurements for those without a scale.

All ingredients can be found at a natural food store or ordered from an online store such as Mountain Rose Herbs. The initial investment is large but these same ingredients can be used for making soap and skin care products.

Some people are allergic to lanolin. If you're making these for gifts you may want to label them.

I always use solid honey, that's just the kind of have. From my experience liquid honey will make the recipe too runny and will cause it to separate. If that's all you have try using less than 2 tsp.

This recipe makes enough to last our family of 5 several months, plus I usually give away a tin from each batch I make. After awhile if the honey in the lip balm starts to crystallize you can melt and re-pour it. Good as new. The photos in this post are actually from that process.

Filed Under

Resource Library

« The purple bamboo eater
Fumbling towards better photography »
  • Karen

    Karen on Feb. 3, 2009, 7:03 p.m.

    No kidding - I recently spent $5.00 for a lip balm from a small cottage supplier. Think I better make a list of supplies and go shopping!


    • renee

      renee on Feb. 4, 2009, 1:30 a.m.

      Ok, this shouldn't happen. My mom needn't buy lip balm! You can ask me to make you some mom - really. Supporting a small cottage business is good, but next time you can get some free.


      • Karen

        Karen on Feb. 4, 2009, 2:35 a.m.

        Thanks, I'll gladly accept it.


      • Rachel

        Rachel on April 21, 2011, 6:57 p.m.

        Found your site through StumbleUpon. I have to say that I loved the mom-daughter conversation as much as the recipe! I'd call it,"Moms in the age of social media."


        • Froggy

          Froggy on May 4, 2012, 5:11 p.m.

          Great recipe! Like Rachel, I came through StumbleUpon and I love the exchange with your Mum! =) However, I am highly allergic to Lanolin in creams, etc. Which limits me a lot as you can imagine! Any alternatives or can I just follow the recipe without adding it in? Thanks!


  • Tracey Miller

    Tracey Miller on Feb. 3, 2009, 7:10 p.m.

    This is very similar to a recipe I've used in the past. Mine didn't have any essential oils, though, and it smelled a little too much like lanolin (you know, that earthy, sheep-y smell?) I haven't made any balm in a while... So maybe I'll try this one! Thanks!


  • Naomi

    Naomi on April 10, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

    I'm sure these recipes are fairly easy, but sometime after I get a vehicle I want to come watch/help you make some so I can be more confident at doing it myself. I've been getting interested in making herbal remedies, starting with the comfrey I have growing in my yard, and I think this might be similar.


  • Cori

    Cori on Aug. 4, 2009, 6:13 p.m.

    The girls and I just made this balm together. It went together very easily and firmed up to a nice uniform color even though we noticed as I was pouring that we hadn't mixed it as well as I'd hoped! It filled six 1 oz tins. We didn't use as much peppermint as your recipe and found it was stil plenty for our noses! Great recipe - thanks!

    Cori's last blog post... link of the day


  • acnee

    acnee on Nov. 4, 2009, 12:04 p.m.

    I'm still struggling with my skin care routine! My derm told me to purchase the Aloe Soothing Day Cream from the Body shop because I have really dry skin which looks flakey and feels rough to touch.


  • Alisha

    Alisha on Dec. 30, 2009, 5:48 a.m.

    Here's probably a really idiotic question, but what is hard honey? I've never heard of it. And where do you get such? Also, where do you buy your beeswax and lanolin?

    I'm really ready to try these things out, but I just am too ignorant as of yet. Lol... heaven help us.

    Alisha's last blog post... Surfin' USA


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 11, 2010, 12:33 p.m.

      Hard honey is not liquid. The raw honey I buy is firm, not runny. That's the best way I can describe it. You could use liquid also but I'm not sure how much, just experiment. Beeswax and lanolin I get at our health food store.


      • Donna

        Donna on Oct. 2, 2011, 11:58 p.m.

        Just curious if you thought (or have tried) using crystalized honey. It melts well anyway, and would be for lack of a better term, stiffer... (have no hard honey, plenty of local crystallized honey!) And curious to know if anyone's played with other forms of extracts?


        • renee

          renee on Oct. 4, 2011, 2:03 p.m.

          I've moved since I wrote this post and don't buy raw honey anymore, have only found liquid. I've adapted my recipe a bit with success (just made a batch) and will be posting it soon. So stay tuned...


  • Heather

    Heather on June 9, 2010, 12:27 p.m.

    I cannot wait to try this recipe (as well as your lotion recipe). Just wondering if the tin of lip balm will melt if left in the car on a hot summer day? I would really hate to have a liquid, sticky mess in the glove box or my purse!

    I'm off to the health food store as soon as it opens!

    Thanks for such a great blog. :)


    • renee

      renee on June 9, 2010, 2:59 p.m.

      Speaking from experience... yes it might melt on a really hot day.  I've never had a huge mess but have had to deal with leaky containers. Keep upright if at all possible (smile).


  • Rie

    Rie on Oct. 28, 2010, 3:45 p.m.

    Maybe this is a silly question, but does the recipe call for vitamin E OIL or is there a different product that is simply vitamin E? I'm not sure what to purchase. Thanks!


    • renee

      renee on Oct. 28, 2010, 4:27 p.m.

      Vitamin E is Vitamin E oil, as far as I understand. 


    • Michele Woody

      Michele Woody on Dec. 8, 2018, 6:37 p.m.

      Vitamin E Oil (to my understanding) is natural whereas vitamin e (that doesn't say "oil") could be synthetic. Our bodies usually do better accepting natural stuff better, more readily and more fully than the synthetic stuff. This is what I understood when I started making my own DIY products for myself and family. To my understanding, if you buy the "oil" it's natural, without the word 'oil' you might be getting the synthetic stuff. I 'use to' puncture my oral vitamin e soft gels and use the vitamin e from it until I read up on the subject. Now I purchase the Vitamin 'Oil."


  • Luisa

    Luisa on Nov. 3, 2010, 9:59 a.m.

    I love your site. Use to visit it once in a while. I translated the lip blam recipe into portuguese and posted it in my blog, with a link to your site. Hope you don't mind, if so let me know please.


  • Jen

    Jen on Nov. 8, 2010, 4:28 p.m.

    Thanks for the amazing recipe! I tweaked it a little since it turned out a little sticky for my taste, and added less spearmint (not good when it BURNS!!!), and put it on my website. So far it's a big hit!! A word of caution to people wanting to make this and use different essential oils - citrus oils make the skin photosensitive (meaning your lips will sunburn more easily).

    Love your site :-)


  • bxrsnkds

    bxrsnkds on March 6, 2011, 3:21 a.m.

    Hi, I am so glad I stumbled onto your site, this is our first year homeschooling so I will be checking out the rest of site! Do you think this balm would work in a tube? It's just a little neater for my kids for now. Thanks for the sharing the recipe.


    • renee

      renee on March 6, 2011, 1:45 p.m.

      Absolutely this recipe can be poured into tubes. I have done some tubes but prefer tins. My friend Spring has done tubes and talks about it on her post about making lip balm.


  • Jonathan M

    Jonathan M on April 10, 2011, 3:08 a.m.

    Quick question: does lip balm go bad? I have never used it, but I'd be interested in making it for someone else. If I made this entire recipe, would it last? If not should I half the recipe? Quarter it? Thanks for your help!


    • renee

      renee on April 10, 2011, 11:24 a.m.

      I've never had lip balm go bad. Even after one year. But to be safe you could keep the extras in the fridge or freezer.

      I think it would actually be hard to measure and mix really well (the essential oil doesn't like to mix into the other ingredients) with less ingredients. I've never attempted to make less than this recipe. I'd make the whole thing and give it as gifts if you don't plan to use it yourself.


  • Mellissa @ delovelyaffair

    Mellissa @ delovelyaffair on April 14, 2011, 2:27 p.m.

    I happened to stumble upon this fabulous post and wanted to say thanks for trying to save us lip balm addicts from ourselves! I used to make all my own bath and body supplies but it got overwhelming time wise. I do however work with brides who are practicing Practical Planning and I would love to share this with them on my site. Please let me know! Thanks and all best, Mellissa


  • Cara

    Cara on April 15, 2011, 2:45 a.m.

    I'm one of those people that have stumbledupon your site! Thank goodness! Such a fan of natural diy tutorials for beauty products. And of course, being a lip balm junkie, this was right up my alley.


  • sophistimom

    sophistimom on April 15, 2011, 3:43 a.m.

    I still need to try making this. I've tried soap before, but never lip balm. I should. My favorite thing that I buy for my lips is actually Burt's Bees Res-Q ointment, in the little green tin. It works so well on my lips, but it IS expensive. I'll have to try this.


    • renee

      renee on April 15, 2011, 11:44 a.m.

      That's basically a salve, which you can also make yourself with oils, herbs and essential oils. Someday I hope to post a salve tututorial but they are fairly easy to find on the internet. You could start here at the Mountain Rose Herbs Youtube Channel.


  • Ann

    Ann on April 17, 2011, 9:25 p.m.

    I also love this recipe! Instead of trying to find lanolin, I used Lansinoh ointment (intended for breastfeeding mothers) because I had that on hand. It worked great. I thought that might be easier for people to find. I can usually get it in the baby department and Wal-Mart or Meijer.


  • GloriousLight

    GloriousLight on April 21, 2011, 12:31 a.m.

    I just made this using Lor-Ann Strawberry flavoring instead of essential oil, at the request of a friend who wanted strawberry flavored lip balm. This is a much better recipe than the one I've used before! Thank you so much for posting this and what a wonderful 'accident' to stumble upon! Do you really use that much peppermint essential oil? I've only used a few drops for my balms before.


    • renee

      renee on April 21, 2011, 1:30 a.m.

      I really do, I like it really minty and refreshing. Also, my oil might not be as strong as what you've used before. 


  • Gold Party

    Gold Party on April 23, 2011, 9:51 p.m.

    I think I'll try making some of these to give to my gold party guests the next time I host a party. I always try to make it memorable and what better way than to send them home with some great lip balm!


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on May 13, 2011, 7:47 p.m.

    OMG! I'm so glad I found this! I make and sell lip balm and everyone loves it, but I'm not satisfied because it starts to seperate a little after a month or so. I prefer to pour into tubes over tubs and I can't with my current recipe. I've tried altering my portions over and over! It's the honey!!! I only use a small amount but that's all it takes I guess! I'm going to try it again without the honey and hopefully I can let my recipe be for good. Thanks so much!! Jenny


  • Kat

    Kat on July 15, 2011, 10:56 a.m.

    Is there something I can use instead of lanolin? That stuff makes my lips itch, I had made due with Chapstick Naturals mint because it didn't have any but now they don't sell it anymore.


    • renee

      renee on July 15, 2011, 11 a.m.

      Just try leaving it out and see what happens. Lots of homemade lip balm recipes don't have any so it should be ok.


      • Kika

        Kika on June 22, 2012, 4:53 p.m.

        I make mine without lanolin and it works fine. Also, I never measure precisely and my homemade stuff always works out just fine :)


  • Anna

    Anna on Jan. 16, 2012, 6:37 a.m.

    Great recipe! I make my own with a simpler recipe - just beeswax and peppermint-infused olive oil.
    Did you know you can take empty chapstick tubes that you've used up, and just pour the balm in while it's liquid? It works perfectly!
    Check out more DIY recipes at my blog if you like - patchworkradicals.weebly.com


  • Suzie

    Suzie on Jan. 21, 2012, 5:54 p.m.

    I just made this lip balm and I am super excited that it turned out perfect! I cannot wait to try different scents and flavors!


  • junn

    junn on Feb. 25, 2012, 8:38 p.m.

    I'm planning to try this recipe


    I have coconut(oil.fruit,dried in every form im mentally allergic)


    what are the substitute for coconut oil?




    • renee

      renee on Feb. 25, 2012, 9:42 p.m.

      Junn, I would substitue 1/2 shea butter and 1/2 cocoa butter. And hate coconut? Oh, the things you miss out on (smile).


  • HomeschoolDad

    HomeschoolDad on March 9, 2012, 3:06 p.m.

    I wonder if there is an easy additive to add a SPF factor? This would be great for hiking if it had, say 15 SPF on it! I'm still going to try it though:)


  • soupdragon

    soupdragon on April 5, 2012, 7:20 p.m.

    Sorry if this has been asked already, but i did look! I am allergic to lanolin, can i leave it out? Thanks for great recipe.


  • Adriana

    Adriana on April 10, 2012, 4:43 a.m.

    Used your lip balm recipe today, didn't have some of the ingredients so I made some substitutions. Sweet almond oil instead of lanolin, Seabuckthorn seed oil instead of vitamin E oil, changed the essential oils to more of a citrus smell and I also really wanted to try out using Alkanet root powder to tint the colour (worked great). The honey didn't seam to mix with the other oils properly but it still turned out fantastic. The ratios of your recipe where are spot on. Thanks!


  • Jamie

    Jamie on June 1, 2012, 4:07 p.m.

    I just wanted to say that this balm is amazing! My recipe made 13 .15 oz tubes and is going to save me a lot of money!


  • Chris

    Chris on Dec. 3, 2012, 2:47 p.m.

    Do you have the update for using liquid honey? I just made some and it separated. Would remelting then cooling and mixing some help?


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 3, 2012, 9:39 p.m.

      No update. My last batch of lip balm, which I made one year ago is still going strong and I haven't made any with liquid honey in recent memory. You could try remelting and pouring. I've never had my lip balm separate. 


  • Alexandra

    Alexandra on Dec. 16, 2012, 7:27 p.m.

    This looks like a great recipe. I've never used lanolin before, though. Where does it come from and where can I find it? Thanks!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 17, 2012, 1:49 a.m.

      See here for a good description of lanolin. You can buy it at a health food store. You can omit it from the recipe if you wish. I like using it and like the results in the lip balm


    • Carolyn

      Carolyn on Dec. 7, 2013, 1:36 p.m.

      I found lanolin on amazon I ordered it and had it in 2 days 


  • Magi

    Magi on Jan. 8, 2013, 12:50 a.m.

    Made lipbalm using 4 different recipes in the last 2 months, planning for Christmas gifts. Everybody who got the other three recipes put in an order for this one when they tried it against the others. May have even converted a few Burts Bees addicts. Fabulous recipe. Now, how do I get it to contain sunscreen, I'm a hiker and my lips get murdered in the summer.


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 8, 2013, 12:57 a.m.

      Magi, I'm thrilled to hear that. I have been making this recipe for years now since we like it so much. I haven't tested any others to compare. Great question about the sunscreen. Damien and I have talked about this since we are big tip hikers and backpackers but we live in a cooler part of the north american continent and don't deal with the sun like western and southerners might experience. A zinc oxide powder is the best I can think of off the top of my head to add to the recipe to make it block the sun. 


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Jan. 9, 2013, 8:38 p.m.

    Expensive. Bees Wax, coconut oil and everything else used to make this is expensive. You may not think but coconut oil is 5-15 dollars a jar. Bees wax, well, I don't know, but the rice of coconut oil is expensive. Spending 1-3 dollars on a good lip balm at the store is much better than spending the money for this.


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 9, 2013, 8:42 p.m.

      That's an interesting way of looking at it. The price of the ingredients will cost for the initial outlay but the actual cost of a tin of lipbalm is pennies, maybe 10's of pennies. Less than .50 for sure. Much cheaper than the cost of a similar store-bought product. 


    • Brenda

      Brenda on March 11, 2013, 4:57 p.m.

      Consider this...

      If you don't use coconut oil on a regular basis and set out to buy it just to make lip balm, yes it is expensive. But you can make about 100 tins of lip balm and invite friends to share in the cost and will you all have your own lip balm (and lip color by adding lip safe mica).

      Coconut oil is good for soooooo many things beside cooking and baking, you can make a ton of beauty products with it.

      As for bees wax, you can use if for various beauty products as well or if you have more than enough you can make candles with it.


  • Lynn

    Lynn on Feb. 3, 2013, 1:50 a.m.

    I recently started making homemade lip balm. There are so many good recipes out there! This one sounds good. I just don't have any lanolin on hand. I will try it without. I have also created different adaptations using natural butters, like mango, shea and cocoa. They work great in lip balm as well as soaps and lotions.


  • Brenda

    Brenda on March 11, 2013, 4:49 p.m.

    Awesome recipe :) I don't use lanolin at all and it's just fine. I ad a little more beeswax. For those allergic to beeswax, use soy wax. I am with ya, I was so tired of spending too much on lip balm, i set out to make it myself. If you add lip safe colorants (mica and oxides) you have a quick and beautiful lip color.


  • Micah

    Micah on April 27, 2015, 6:13 a.m.

    Hello. I am allergic to tree nuts and so am really allergic to coconut. Is there another oil that would work just as well? Thanks.


You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form.

If you have already commented on this article, you do not need to do this, as you were automatically subscribed.