Make a lip balm: Get started in DIY personal care!
May 27, 2021 · 5 min read
So you’ve founded a new business. You have set out to create personal-care products, you have ideas, and you are learning all you can to prepare to launch something new.
This can be intimidating.
But people have been making things for their own use since the dawn of humanity.
When you’re making products for commercial sale, you must obey laws regarding safety, labeling, and lots of other considerations. There are a lot of business tasks and manufacturing and distribution processes to keep on top of.
But at the core of the whole thing is the age-old question that has launched countless recipes: “I want to make something. What do I need to put together to make it?”
So let’s make a lip balm. Shopify has created a fun home project to get you started, hands-on. (We recommend that you seek advice from a trained cosmetic formulator, professional laboratory, or private label producer before going to market with a formulation.)
The goal: create a lip balm. The ingredients: Stuff you have at home or can easily get online. The time required: Probably an afternoon.
A word of caution: Shopify says you can use this recipe to create lip balm to market, but depending on where you are and what regulations are in place, that’s very likely not a great idea, at least not right away.
Research good manufacturing practices and find out what regulatory requirements you need to fulfill before you offer a product for sale. As we mentioned above, it’s best to consult with professionals who can help you make sure you’re in compliance with all the rules.
Now, the fun part
OK. Ready for some soft lips? Want to get a feel for how straightforward, and how fun, product creation can be? Let’s go! (Shopify created this fantastic infographic; you can follow along there, too.)
- 2 Tbsp. beeswax
- 2 Tbsp. shea butter
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- ½ tsp. colored mica powder or lipstick
- Several drops of an essential oil (your choice)
- Container (tin or tube)
- Plastic pipette
- Double boiler
- Spatula or wooden spoon
The beeswax, shea butter, and mica powder can be bought online at specialty retailers, such as Bulk Apothecary. The rest can be found at regular stores or on Amazon. For specific containers, you might have to go to a packaging specialty store.
- Make sure your work surfaces and materials are clean and sanitary. Wash your hands thoroughly, and wear new latex or nitrile gloves suitable for food preparation.
- Put the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in the top half of the double boiler. Put water in the bottom half, and stack them.
- Turn the stove on to medium-high heat so the ingredients melt. Stir occasionally with the spoon or spatula.
- Once the base ingredients are melted and mixed really thoroughly, remove the boiler from the stove, but keep the top pot above the boiling water to keep the temperature up and the mix soft.
- Add five to 10 drops of your essential oil. Add a little bit at a time, stirring in. Test the scent after every couple of drops.
- Add a pinch of mica powder or lipstick. Stir it in. Add more to darken the color until you like it.
- When it looks and smells how you want, spoon the balm into a pipette or dropper.
- Before the balm hardens, fill the containers (tins or lip-balm stick tubes) with the mixture.
- Let cool for a few hours.
- Put on your brand-new lip balm!
And now, to market
As we said earlier: Depending on local regulations, you likely cannot use household items and facilities to make cosmetics for sale, as there are strict safety rules that must be followed. It’s your responsibility to make sure that any product you put on the market meets all applicable regulations, including for ingredients, procedures, and the facility it was made in.
But for a hands-on intro into cosmetics creation, we think it’s a great idea to make lip balm you can use yourself. Give some to friends as a gift! Experiment with colors and scents! It can help you gain confidence: you, too, can create cosmetics, and put your very own stamp on the beauty industry.
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