No book of cosmetic recipes would be complete without instructions on how to make lip balm, a deliciously simple salve used to anoint and moisten those luscious lips.
Alkanet, a lovely garden flower, is not necessary in the lip balm, but adds a rich red color as well as its protective, emollient properties. A smaller amount of alkanet to oil will soften the color to pink or watermelon red.
This recipe calls for a cup of oil. One cup of lip balm makes a lot of ¼ -ounce containers enough to supply your entire neighborhood with lip balm for a lifetime! You might wish to cut this recipe in half.
1/8 ounce alkanet root (optional)
1 cup apricot, almond, or grapeseed oil
¼ cup beeswax
1 tablespoon honey
a few drops of pure essential oil to taste (orange, wintergreen, mints, vanilla, and rose are my favorites)
1. If using alkanet, simmer the root over low heat in a double boiler in oil for about 15-20 minutes, or until the oil has turned a deep red/black color. The deeper the color the redder the oil will be when strained and bottled. Strain through a double layer of cheesecloth or a fine meshed strainer. If using other emollient herbs, simmer in oil in double boiler over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Strain.
2. Add beeswax, honey, and essential oil. A taste test here is appropriate. Then, test for consistency by placing a tablespoon of the oil in the freezer for 5 minutes. If the test batch is too hard, add a bit more oil to soften; if it is too soft, add more beeswax to harden.
3. Don’t let the mixture cool too much before pouring. If the lip balm begins to solidify and clings to the edges of the pot or measuring cup, quickly reheat the oil. Pour into ¼-or ½-ounce containers and let cool thoroughly before placing lids.