FTM Friday: Peppermint Lip Balm

by Janelle Hanchett

Clearly, when we see the words “FTM Friday,” we need to think of them sort of metaphorically, you know, loosely, so when we see FTM Friday on Saturday  morning, we won’t be surprised, and we’ll just roll with it rather than think to ourselves “Janelle really should change the title of this gig.”

ftm friday; www.renegademothering.com

Or we can say to ourselves “There’s Janelle, refusing to obey the man! Defying all rules! Raging against the machine!”

Or, we’ll realize she was studying all day yesterday and lost track of time while simultaneously forgetting it was Friday and couldn’t bring herself to do it at 11pm, when the opportunity finally presented itself.

You choose.

Anyway, this week we’re making peppermint lip balm. If the body scrubs didn’t make you feel like a badass, making this WILL.

It is exactly, and I MEAN EXACTLY, like Burt’s Bees (only without the damn honey (more on that later)) or whatever the hell other $5.00 lip balm you’ve been purchasing at your local granola shop. It’s so easy. You’re gonna trip.

But you are going to need beeswax, which I doubt you’ll have lying around, so you may have to do a little work. You can buy beeswax in two forms: chunks or “pastilles” (little pieces). If you choose the chunks of beeswax, you’ll have to grate them. So duh. We’re going with pastilles.


This brings me to the topic of where to buy ingredients and lip balm containers. I offer you this list, with brief pros and cons.

Mountain Rose Herbs

  • Pros: has everything you need to make anything (carrier oils, waxes, butters, containers, oils); gorgeous, natural/organic selections (If you buy something from Mountain Rose, you KNOW you’re getting quality)
  • Cons: a little more expensive than other places; high shipping costs; kind of a long shipment times

photo(17)Bulk Apothecary

  • Pros: rapid shipping; HANDS DOWN the cheapest coconut oil, shea butter, carrier oils I’ve found anywhere (and they sell containers), even when you factor in the ridiculous shipping costs (for example: with shipping, 8 POUNDS of coconut oil was around $30.00). That’s a shitload of coconut oil. That will last me months (cooking with it and making body products with it).
  • Cons: Must order a lot (which takes organization) to justify the high shipping costs.


  • Pros: free shipping (if you have Prime); super fast
  • Cons: It’s Amazon. You could get crap. However, I’ve tried to beeswax linked above (on the word Amazon) and it’s great, and I’ve bought essential oils there too, as you know.

Or, look for a local place.

I found Sunburst bottle, a wholesale container place in Sacramento with no minimum orders, and they let me pick up my orders. So I get low prices and no shipping cost (other than gas). In other words, SCORE. So get on Google and find your special place.

Okay, here we go.

The first time I made lip balm I tried this recipe from Soulemama and it was amazing. For like 2 weeks.

AND THEN IT WAS NOT AMAZING. A couple weeks after Christmas, after I had given everybody I know a tin of this, I discovered the one I kept for myself was suddenly sticky and disgusting. Turns out the honey separated from the rest and started squeezing out the sides of the tins, causing a honey-covered tin of joy in my purse.

Yeah, sorry about that.

So I’ll never use honey again. I tried to remedy it for like five minutes (people say you have to make sure the honey “dissolves,” but I waited like an hour and my shit never “dissolved,” so I moved on to balms without honey), which brings me to this: basically to make lip balm you need 1 part beeswax to 3 parts carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.). Then you can add pretty much whatever you want to that (cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, Vitamin E, lanolin, whatever!). If you make it and it’s too soft, add some beeswax. If it’s too hard, add more oil.

A recipe that works FOR SURE (I adapted this from Soulemama (linked above) and Mountain Rose Herbs:

Peppermint Lip Balm

1 Tablespoon (or so) beeswax pastilles

3 Tablespoons coconut oil or almond oil or some combination of both (I like 2T coconut and 1T almond)

5-10 drops peppermint essential oil (more or less)

Optional: 1 Tablespoon shea or cocoa butter

3 capsules Vitamin E oil (cut open capsules & squeeze into mixture)

Melt all these things together and pour them into your containers. Then you let them harden. Then you use them.


Some people will tell you to use a double-boiler to melt them, others tell you to use a Pyrex measuring cup, or rest a metal bowl over a pan boiling water (what I like to call “ghetto double-boiler”) and these methods work, but the best method I’ve found is an old jar in a pan of water over medium – because it works beautifully and you don’t have to clean it. I just reuse the same jar every time I make a salve or balm or whatever, and I use a funnel to get it into the small containers. It really is difficult to clean beeswax out of anything (a pan, measuring cup, etc.).



You could also just put all the ingredients in a glass container and microwave them til they’re melted, but I feel way cooler when I’m using the stove and stuff. Whatever. Don’t hate. I get it where I can.






You’ll see some big white containers as well as small lip balm ones, that’s because I like to keep a big one in my purse for lotion as well as balm. They’re used quickly.

Try it. Tell me what’s up.

I will get my act together, I promise. And by “promise,” I mean “vaguely hoping,” of course.


32 Comments | Posted in FTM Friday | March 9, 2013
  • Stanislava Legdeur

    Will be tried ASAP :))) Thanks 🙂

    • renegademama

      Awesome! let me know how it goes.

  • Shelly G

    Wow. I am so gonna do this! I am well on my way to semi-crunchy…I make my own laundry stuff and I’ve been known to use the baking soda hair cleaner stuff and apple cider vinegar rinse. Love. Well, if you don’t mind coming out of the shower smelling like you’ve been dying Easter eggs. Trust me, it doesn’t last long.

    • renegademama

      I am STRUGGLING on the shampoo front. UGH. I think the baking soda was stripping my hair’s highlighting (yes, I get chemical highlights — otherwise I would be completely gray and I can’t hang, I’M ONLY 33!!!!!). Damn genetics.

      And my hair gets this weird film on it when I use castile shampoos…WHAH.

      • Melissa

        Are you doing a vinegar rinse after the Castille soap? I’ve been reading Dr Bronner’s daughter’s blog lately (but can’t be bothered to remember her name. Sorry, lady) and she says soap is alkaline so if you have hard water, you’ll get soap scum in your hair. The vinegar acid balances the pH and breaks up the soap scum. They also sell a hair rinse that perfectly balances the pH of their soap.

        But she also says it will strip hair color, so.

        I haven’t figured out shampoo, either, except what not to do. I was going to try baking soda and vinegar again, but following actual instructions with recipes and shit, instead of just slathering goop on my head and wishing for the best (do not recommend).

      • Elizabeth

        Baking soda is too harsh for everyday use according to my stylist. She says everyone can benefit from a vinegar rinse. I don’t mind smelling like a pickle for a little bit, but you could try citric acid diluted in water. Check out Crunchy Betty. She is amazing. I love her deodorant to the point that I pay her to make and ship it to me- even though she includes the recipe and I can totally do it! I love her!

        Can’t tell you how I adore FTM! I make my own soap because I am allergic to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and TheMan puts that stuff in every commercial cleaning product- including toothpaste and mouthwash. Grrr.

        Love your blog!

  • Mia

    Man, I need a list of ingredients ahead of time so I can be ready to make this stuff RIGHT AWAY when i read it! I’m adding this to my mental list of “stuff to make asap”. Laundry detergent has been on that list for a while now but since I have yet to buy more (and already ahve the ingredients for it) the time will come sooner rather than later! Hopefully the lip balm won’t take me that long–it seems so quick and easy!
    Thanks for sharing, I eagerly await next weekend’s edition (I wouldn’t even care if it was on Monday 🙂 )

    • renegademama

      I will start adding ingredient lists for the following week’s post…I think that will be good. Then people can the stuff in advance. Next week we’re doing hand salve, and the ingredients are coconut oil, beeswax, olive/almond oil (either), eucalyptus, lavender & tea tree essential oils. Optional: Shea or cocoa butter.

      • Meghen

        Ok, so with the shea and cocoa butters? Do I buy the raw stuff? I’m very new to all of this, but I tried the body scrub and I love it! I even made one for the hubs with tea tree oil and named it “Manly Morning” LOL. He digs it! He’s not thrilled about the depth to which I’ve traveled down the hippie rabbit hole, so that’s quite a win.

  • Melissa

    I had a similar sticky experience with glycerine in a moisturizer. It didn’t help that I was totally winging the recipe and put in probably twice as much as necessary.

    I’ve been thinking about lip balm for a long time, but I kept buying it because I really like the tubes vs tins or jars. Can you just re-use old lip balm containers? I mean, I have like, six
    places I keep lip balm just for me, so I could probably do a whole batch on refills.

    • renegademama

      Yes! old lip balm containers would work perfectly, I’m sure. You could probably throw them in the microwave to melt the stuff, then dump it, or just add the melted to the remnants. I should have included that. Duh.

  • Mel

    I think this is something even I could try but I’m not a big fan of peppermint. Does the lip balm need it?

    • renegademama

      Not at all! It would be lovely without it. And it will still have a nice scent. The beeswax has a lovely, subtle scent on its own.

  • Jamey

    I think I wanna try this – could be a fun spring break project. Have you ever seen any of the ingredients at Whole Foods? Coconut oil, obviously. Maybe the beeswax?

    • Lisa

      If you are in the Sac area you can check out Sacramento Beekeeping supply – Beeswax, coconut oil, essential oils, etc. NOT as cheap as online but ok prices on the beeswax and coconut oil.

      • Lindsey

        I have no idea what Sacramento Beekeeping Supply’s prices are like, but the co-op also has beeswax pastilles for I think about $1.25/oz.

  • Marisa

    Thank you for the picture of the spills. I always make a mess when F-ing the Man.

  • Dixiebelles

    You make me want to actually do it. I’ve had vague & often fleeting moments where I think about making lip balm or busy scrubs, especially now we have our own bees, but it always seemed too hard! I make toothsoap, which is ridiculously easy, and your posts make it all seem very do-able. I have beeswax, coconut oil, essential peppermint oil, and even some cocoa butter pastilles at the moment. I am out of excuses, aren’t I!

  • Lisa

    Sweet! Thanks for all the links. Actually have an order in mind to Bulk Apothecary. . . . now I need to add a few things hehe. I was unaware their shipping was relatively high, I was just looking at their base prices and assuming shipping was in line with other companies. May have to re-evaluate some of the things I’ll be getting. One other place I found locally (Sac area) is Sacramento Beekeeping Supply – They have beeswax in many forms, their pastilles are only slightly more $$ than Bulk Apothecary. They also carry Coconut Oil at a decent-ish price for local ($11.00 for a whole quart jar). They have a whole range of soap-making supplies and some oils and colorants too, even carry a little shea butter etc. but their prices overall for most of it are really super high compared to online. Oh and they have some containers, mostly really pricey but they have a good pack of lip balm tubes (I think it was 20?) for under 5 bucks. Nice local place for people who just wanna get a beeswax fix and maybe a few other things too. Oh and local honey – Not for the lip balm but it’s pretty yummy. Looking forward to more FTM posts. . . whenever you are inclined!

  • Breezebot

    This is great! I live in the same town as Mountain Rose Herbs, so I can just skip the shipping costs. Woo hoo! I bet it would be fun to try using other essential oils too, you know, just for kicks and giggles.

  • Shelly G

    So I went out and bought all the stuff to make the lip balm, then I realized I completely forgot about the beeswax. FAIL! I ordered that and some lip balm tubes from Amazon. Yay! I decided to try bergamot and tea tree instead of peppermint. Wish me luck. Heh.

  • Carrie Snyder

    This is cool, but I discovered Buddha Balm (buddhabrand.com) and I am sure that nobody can make something at home that is as good as that stuff. It is the best natural lip balm with amazing flavor that I have ever tried.

  • Kate

    I have a FABULOUS deoderant recipe for you- works better than the nasty chemical stuff even after..uh… “A few days” without a shower (which NEVER happens to us moms, right?). Basically, 1T each cocoa butter, Shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. Melt it down and then remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 T arrowroot and 1T aluminum free baking soda (or 3 1/2 T arrowroot if you have sensitive skin- no baking soda) plus any fragrance you want (smells like chocolate on its own. Let it cool to pudding consistency THEN, and here’s the kicker, add 2 servings of your favorite shelf stable probiotic! The good bacteria eats the stinky bacteria! I swear, this even works if you’ve just sweat up a storm at the gym (or chasing your toddler) and ALREADY smell bad… Just slather it on, and keep on trucking 🙂

  • Lindsey

    Now this one I will have to try.

    I made my daughter some vapor rub using beeswax, coconut oil, and peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils, and I couldn’t keep myself from rubbing some on my lips every time I used it on her. And all the time. But a version with vitamin e and shea butter sounds even yummier.

    Thanks for the Sunburst Bottles recommendation! I can’t wait to and force lip balm on everyone I know.

  • Meghen

    Soooooo… I DID IT! And I have a tip! Use a medicine syringe to get your melty goodness into your tubes. Zero mess. Also, I did an orange peppermint combo that is amazing! 10 drops orange, 5 peppermint. Might use a touch more wax next time though. It’s solid enough, but I think I’d like it to be more so.

  • Natural Handcrafted Soap

    Very interesting I love peppermint scent .. is great and refreshing

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  • Meagan Philpott

    How many tubes/tubs does one batch make? Would you suggest making a double batch, or two single batches? Thanks. You rock btw. 🙂

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from FTM Friday: Hand Salve that Changes Lives - renegade mothering
    Friday, 15 March, 2013

    […] the best part? You can make it with three ingredients, or you can go nuts, and, just like the lip balm and body scrubs, short of dumping the entire olive oil bottle into your mixture, you pretty much […]

  • Trackback from FTM Friday: Hand Salve that Changes Lives - FTM Fridays
    Sunday, 24 March, 2013

    […] the best part? You can make it with three ingredients, or you can go nuts, and, just like the lip balm and body scrubs, short of dumping the entire olive oil bottle into your mixture, you pretty much […]

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