Why mess around with making your own lip balm when there are so many awesome natural choices available at the store for very little money? Because it's fun, thats why! I approach making body care products the way I do cooking - read a bunch of recipes and then do it my way!
That's the cool thing about lip balm (and a lot of other body care products) - the recipes are very adaptable to different ingredients and of course you can scent them with the essential oils of your choice.
Here's what I ended up using for this batch of lip balm:
1 Tablespoon shea butter
1 Tablespoon beeswax
1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil
In the top of a double boiler, heat the shea butter and the beeswax together until melted. Mix in the sweet almond oil. Remove from heat and mix in the essential oil. Working quickly, pour into tins, jars or tubes. This recipe filled up 4 small containers.
Other recipes I've seen use cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E oil...so feel free to experiment. The beeswax gives the lip balm it's 'sticking' power so I'd keep that ingredient in but I have seen recipes without it. (unbleached beeswax pellets look like yellow split peas by the way) I'm lucky that my local co-op carries all these ingredients in bulk so I didn't have to spend a fortune. They sell the tins and tubes too. If you don't have a store nearby that carries these things, check out Mountain Rose Herbs - they carry lots of ingredients and containers.
I did another little experiment that didn't quite work out. I had heard that you could color lip balm with beet juice - sounded fun to me! So I pureed my beets (from my garden no less!) and strained them and added the juice to some of my lip balm mixture. It turned the lip balm a lovely shade of pinky red and I thought it was the bees knees. Until....a couple weeks later when I realized that my pretty pink lip balm had gone moldy! Maybe there's a better way to do it but for now I'm certainly not recommending the beet juice coloring!
(I shared this post on My Green Resource over at The GreenBacks Gal)