Lately I’ve been enjoying slathering on lip balms and conditioners in an effort to stave off the last gasp of chapped winter lips. August is a tough month for skin; as the seasons begin to change and the weather becomes unpredictable, I find myself resorting to rubbing squalane on my lips straight from the bottle. (By the way, squalane is amazing and I highly recommend you treat yourself to some). So this is the perfect excuse to get busy formulating some interesting new cosmetics. If you are looking to restore your lips to their best after winter, or just to maintain perfectly plump and moisturised lips, then read on.
We have covered lip balms and scrubs before, which are super easy and fun to make, but why not take lip treatments to the next level with lip butters, lip conditioners and lip masks. An overnight lip mask was an intriguing idea, as anyone who has done an overnight facial mask/serum will appreciate how wonderful skin feels the next morning. And lip conditioners and lip butters just sound so luscious.
Here are some basic ingredients you will need for any lip treatment formulas:
Beeswax - a natural humectant, antibacterial and moisturiser. Gives structure to formulations.
Castor oil - a heavy conditioning oil which also adds gloss.
Vitamin E oil - excellent for skin
Essential oils - choose your favourite.
Squalane - an exceptional emollient and moisturiser.
Lanolin - treats dry skin and provides a protective barrier.
Lecithin - a light emulsifier.
Honey - a humectant that leaves skin glowy.
Vegetable glycerine - a great and cost effective natural humectant.
Let’s get to it! First up is a lip butter than smells good enough to eat - and if you do lick your lips, don’t worry, it's safe. Mango and cocoa butters are rich emollients packed with vitamins that heal and prevent dryness and damage. The added soy lecithin gives the formula a lovely creamy, buttery texture.
10g cocoa butter
6g mango butter
5g soy lecithin
Weigh out the cocoa butter, beeswax, mango butter and lecithin and melt gently in a hot water bath. Remove from the bath and stir in the vanilla, then pour into reused lip balm tubes or little tins and leave to set. Apply generously.
For a proper lip conditioner, you would ideally want some water or a humectant in your ingredients list to actually give moisture to your lips (oils don’t do that in quite the same way plain old water does). You could go for a cold cream, or another cream type conditioner. When I started playing around with recipes for a lip conditioner, I initially wanted to make a type of emulsion out of squalane, so I combined squalane with emulsifying wax and water which did not quite yield the desired result. I then tried OliveM 300 in place of the emulsifying wax which worked rather nicely, except that OliveM 300 does not taste very good! I tried to mask the taste with some spearmint essential oil and my cat, who looves anything minty, suddenly found me irresistible. Needless to say I am still perfecting this recipe so I won’t share it just yet.
But for now, try this dead simple edible lip conditioner with honey. Both honey and vegetable glycerine are natural humectants, drawing moisture to the skin. Dry lips will feel plumped up and much better after using.
½ tsp honey
½ tsp vegetable glycerine
Mix the honey and vegetable glycerine together and apply to your lips. Leave on for 20 minutes then wash off - or lick it off!
Tip: if you have any old lip gloss bottles with the soft tip applicator, now is a great time to recycle and reuse them.
The above recipe could also very easily be turned into a gentle exfoliating lip scrub with the addition of some fine coconut sugar or castor sugar. Try it!
This rich lip mask is a combination of a lip balm and lip gloss, and is lovely and conditioning. The featured ingredient here is rice bran oil, a surprisingly cost effective oil that is not to be underestimated when it comes to effectiveness. It is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants that repair damage and prevent free radical buildup. Apply this lip mask before bed and wake up to the softest lips.
4g castor oil
3g jojoba oil or carrier other oil of choice
1g carnauba wax
Cool down phase
2 drops rice bran oil
1 drop Vitamin E oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
Weigh out the heated phase ingredients and melt them gently in a water bath.
Once melted, leave the mixture to cool for a minute, then stir periodically until a soft solid mixture forms. Then add in the rice bran oil, peppermint essential oil, and vitamin E. Lastly, decant into a small jar or tin.
To use, smooth a generous amount over your lips before bed.
Treat your lips to the best natural conditioning ingredients to repair and restore.
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