How to Make Lip Balm: The Best Lip Balm Recipe

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How to make lip balm at home with natural ingredients, including beeswax, shea butter and essential oils (with NO coconut oil).

how to make homemade lip balm natural ingredients tube and tin

I’ve been making this lip balm recipe for 14 years, and I even used to sell it. It is well-tested and well-loved, easy to customize and just the perfect texture.

Lip balm is one of my favorite beauty DIYs because it always turns out so wonderful! Yes, you can purchase natural and organic lip balm for inexpensive, but you can make it for even cheaper.

Plus, homemade lip balm can be customized however you like, so you can make the perfect tube (or tin) of amazing lip balm for you!

I love DIY lip balm as an inexpensive gift idea as well – think stocking stuffers, small teacher gifts or gifts for kids. Everyone loves lip balm, AM I RIGHT?

The Complete Guide to Making Lip Balm

Want this recipe (plus 3 others) in a printable, PDF format you can take with you? Or just want to skip the ads and have this recipe handy at any time?? I’ve compiled this post, as well as my other posts on lip balm into a 30-page book that is a complete how-to make lip balm guide. It includes everything you need to know to get started making your own lip balms, with a focus on teaching you how to use ingredients to customize your balms just for you. Learn more….

learn to make lip balm, the complete guide

Make sure to also check out my DIY clear lip gloss recipe if you’re looking for something a little glossier, or maybe a fun project to do with kids!

cute handmade lip balm in tubes

This  recipe is different than lots of others you’ll find on the WWW. I make my homemade lip balm WITHOUT coconut oil (It’s not my favorite for face and beauty products, to be honest).

Instead, I use a combination of beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, almond and jojoba oils. These are some seriously rich and nourishing oils, ya’ll!

I love this combination in DIY lip balm because it makes a luxurious feeling balm that is not too heavy on the beeswax (read: not waxy and stiff). You will find you don’t need to apply all day every day because it works so well. A couple times a day, tops, and your lips will be silky smooth.

freshly poured lip balm tins

This is super similar to the lip balm recipe I used to make and sell, back in my craft show days. My customers were addicted.

Looking for an amazing lip balm recipe without beeswax? Don’t worry my vegan friends, I’ve got you! Find the best vegan lip balm recipe ever right here.

Let’s recap: this is the best lip balm recipe you will find, your lips will be nourished and soft AND it’s so great you could sell (or gift!) it.

So let’s get to it!

fresh tubes of homemade lip balm




diy lip balm ingredients

*I use the term ‘cocoa butter’ many times, and then link to a product called ‘cacao butter’. When referring to the solid butter sourced from the cacao plant, these terms are interchangeable.

Related: White Chocolate Peppermint Lip Balm Recipe


I’ve mentioned this in the lotion bar recipe post previously, but I do prefer to measure by weight for recipes like this. Hint: that means use a kitchen scale, like this one.

When using solid ingredients (like beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter) it is difficult to achieve a consistent result when measuring by volume.

The chunks of cocoa butter I used may be bigger than yours, meaning the measurement by volume might be slightly different. When you measure by weight, that doesn’t matter and you get the exact right amount every time.

measuring cocoa butter for lip balm recipe
Measuring cocoa butter – a great example of why measuring by weight is more accurate. This is the chunk I used based on weight, you can see there is lots of room for variation when measuring your recipe by volume.

I understand many people are not able to measure by weight, so I’ve provided the recipe in both weight and volume measurements. Just know If you are measuring by volume (teaspoons), your results might vary slightly depending on your specific ingredients.

Luckily, this lip balm recipe is very forgiving and a slight variation will probably be unnoticeable.

kitchen scale and lip balm ingredients



There are so many excellent choices for essential oils in lip balms! There are a couple of rules to follow when deciding on an essential oil for your lip balm. 

  1. Steer clear of hot oils! Your lip skin is sensitive, and oils like cinnamon, eucalyptus or clove can cause a burning sensation.
  2. Be cautious when using certain citrus oils on your lips (or face, for that matter). Some citrus oils (grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, lime) are photosensitive, meaning they magnify the effects of the sun. So if you liberally apply your homemade grapefruit lip balm before you head to the beach for the day, you are likely coming home with rosy red lips. This doesn’t mean I think you should skip citrus oils all together! They are my favorite in homemade lip balm recipes. Just be cautious of when you use them and be aware of their sun magnifying effects.

Note: sweet orange and blood orange are NOT photosensitive essential oils, so they are excellent choices for lips (and so yummy!).

Check out my favorite book about essential oils.

essential oils for lip balm


My favorite essential oils for lip balm are:


  • 0.2oz beeswax
  • 0.3oz shea butter
  • 0.2oz cocoa butter
  • 0.1oz almond oil
  • 0.1oz jojoba oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E
  • 12-18 drops essential oil
homemade lip balm recipe

DIY Lip Balm Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A DIY lip balm recipe with natural ingredients, including beeswax, shea butter and essential oils.


  • 1 tsp beeswax (heaping)
  • 2 tsp shea butter
  • 1 tsp cocoa butter
  • 1 tsp almond oil
  • 1 tsp jojoba oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E
  • 12-18 drops essential oil


  1. Measure beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter and put in the top of a double boiler
  2. Melt the butters and waxes over low heat in your double boiler until completely combined
  3. Add the almond oil and jojoba oil and stir
  4. Remove from heat and add Vitamin E and essential oils
  5. Pour into lip balm tubes or tins
  6. Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes)


Recipe makes 5-6 tubes or 3 metal tins of lip balm

Choose your favorite essential oil and customize this recipe! (or leave it out completely if you prefer)

I prefer to measure recipes with solid ingredients by weight instead of volume because it is much more accurate. I've provided estimates by volume since that is easiest for most people. However, if you have a kitchen scale, I suggest using the recipe by weight listed above.

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cute homemade lip balm labels


You can purchase blank lip balm labels and completely customize them yourself. Or you can purchase a variety of super cute, already printed labels that all you have to do is write in the type of lip balm it is.

I absolutely love these adorable lip balm labels! They are affordable and come in a bunch of different designs (like these colorful or these holiday labels). Talk about making your DIY lip balm gifts SO EASY. (I mean, who wouldn’t love to receive these adorable homemade lip balms as gifts??)

easy diy lip balm labels

I also like these ‘handmade with love’ stickers that can be used for all types of DIY and handmade gifts. I bought a big package of the 1” stickers, and they will work for lotion bars, cuticle oil, essential oil roller balls or lip scrub as well!

handmade with love lip balm



Not so sure you’re feeling the total DIY-ness of homemade lip balm? I feel you. Sometimes you just need a shortcut.

Check out these DIY lip balm kits. They have everything you need to make your own lip balm, it’s like a one stop shop for lip balm making.



I may be biased, but this recipe right on this page is my absolute favorite natural lip balm. It has just enough beeswax to keep it solid, but it doesn’t feel waxy. It is soothing, moisturizing, soft….it’s just SO GOOD!

Even without essential oil, this homemade lip balm is still amazing.


I mentioned before this is a forgiving recipe, and I meant it! If you find yourself without one of the primary ingredients, fear not. You can still use this recipe as your guide to make amazing lip balm.

Just keep the proportions of wax, butters and oils the same and you will be golden.

Avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil or hemp oil are all good replacements for the almond or jojoba oil.

You can use any solid butter you like in this recipe with good results. If you don’t have shea butter, use all cocoa butter, or try mango butter or avocado butter. I especially love mango butter in lip balm recipes.


It’s is so easy to make lip balm without beeswax, and it turns out great! Click on over to see my full DIY vegan lip balm recipe.

You can substitute candelilla wax for beeswax and have great results.

Your final product will be slightly harder because candelilla wax is a little harder than beeswax. But combined with the shea butter and cocoa butter in this recipe, it is a luscious and nourishing lip balm recipe made without beeswax.


I prefer natural ingredients to flavor homemade lip balm, and there are several you can try that will work in this recipe.

  • Add a teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup to the recipe above to give it a little sweetness. You’ll need to stir the sweetener well, as it has a tendency to separate from the oils.
  • The raw, natural cocoa butter in this recipe gives the balm a hint of chocolate flavor. If you want more than a hint of chocolate, use double cocoa butter and skip the shea. (your balm will be slightly more firm, but still amazing!)
  • Citrus essential oils are a lip balm favorite for me, and they will give a slight taste to your DIY lip balm. Try orange, grapefruit or key lime.
  • Try adding a few drops of vanilla or almond extract in place of essential oils. You’ll need to stir pretty vigorously, since extracts are made of alcohol and that doesn’t mix well with oil. But if you stir, stir, stir and then pour your lip balm mixture right away, it should mix. (or try this alcohol-free vanilla extract – it will blend easily in your recipe)


You can expect your homemade lip balm to last for at least 6 months if stored properly. Make sure to keep it sealed and at room temperature.

Confession: I found some lip balms I made more than 3 years ago and decided to give them a try. They were still good! Maybe not quite as soft and definitely not as fragrant as when I first made them, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Like any homemade DIY products, your lip balm will be as good as the ingredients you put in it. So make sure your ingredients are fresh, and your homemade concoction will keep for a while.


Peppermint White Chocolate Lip Balm

Homemade Coffee Scrubs for body, face and lips

How to Make Lotion Bars

DIY Cuticle Oil

how to make lip balm at home

45 thoughts on “How to Make Lip Balm: The Best Lip Balm Recipe”

  1. Hi Karla – I made my first batch of this today and it was excellent! I converted to metric (working from 0.1oz being close to 3g but keeping the ratios all the same) and used 10 drops of Bitter Orange as the essential oil. Since citrus tends to be relatively strong, I figured that slightly lowering the essential oil in the first batch was sensible.

    As I mentioned on a comment above, I used a disposible plastic pipette to fill the tubes. We ended up with precisely six tubes all perfectly filled.

    Consensus so far on the first day is that you get the soft, fresh balm sensation for the first half hour then it settles to a gentle waxiness as it absorbs and rubs off. It certainly keeps your lips soft a good long while, as predicted. The Bitter Orange was obvious but not overpowering for the first ten minutes then settled away as it evaporated and we got used to it.

    • Wonderful! So glad the recipe is working well for you! And yes, I agree about the citrus oils. They can cause sensitivity to lip skin, so best to always use caution with them. Best of luck on your future creations 🙂

  2. I appreciate all the info you share. I had wondered about flavorings safe enough to use sparingly, so your info helps allot!
    I too make some lip balm couple years ago that are still good. I love the cocoa butter, Mango butter (in place of shae), beeswax and almond oil (or coconut oil).
    Cocoa butter smells so good with a little sweetness from honey. Most of the honey eventually sinks to bottom, but like you said, mix well before pouring.
    I make my own glycerin vanilla, so I will use that, great idea!!! never thought to use that in the balm.

  3. If you’re measuring the solid ingredients by volume, a really easy way to do it is with small scoops, similar to ice cream scoops. They have a variety of sizes/volumes, and they’re all color coded on the handle. Look for them on Amazon or websites/stores for restaurant and food service supplies that are open to the public. They may be labeled as “dishers” since that’s what they’re called in the restaurant and food service industry.

  4. Just wondering the best way to fill the chapstick tubes? I don’t want a crazy mess everywhere and wasted product 🙂

    • I think the easiest way is to use a glass measuring cup with a pour spout, and go slow. It takes a steady hand and slow pour. You can also purchase a lip balm pour tray if you’ll be making lip balm often.

    • I used a disposable 5ml plastic pipette, the sort that are bulb, graduated tube and fine nozzle in one piece. As the balm cools, you will find it solidifies inside the pipette and it can hold quite a bit. Once it has, dunk it bulb-first in your hot water bath that you melted the waxes in and it will re-liquify. Hold it by the very tip so that water doesn’t get inside of course. Throw it in the recycling once you have done a batch because you can’t clean the waxes out.

  5. Hey when i make these they seem to start to sink! And crack on top. What is this from? Should i be filling them right to top in tubes? How do i stop from cracking

    • As they cool, they will naturally shrink. It’s nothing to worry about, but if you want to fill them right to the top that’s fine. I don’t know what causes the cracking.

  6. Hello. Would it be fine to add zinc oxide to this recipe ? I’m looking to make some chapstick with spf and saw that zinc oxide was safe to use on lips.

  7. You mentioned you can replace shea butter for all cocoa butter but can you do that the other way around and use all shea in place of cocoa?

  8. I’ve just made this recipe and the ingredients solidified very quickly… Too quickly for me to pour the whole mix into the tubes. Am I missing something here? 😅
    Thanks for the recipe x

  9. What is the melting point?
    Also which ingredients can I increase so that this absorbs into my lips vs just sitting on top of my lips?
    Thank you

    • the melting point is highest for the beeswax, which is about 145 F, so that’s what you’ll need to heat it to for everything to come together.
      I find this recipe absorbs well and doesn’t leave a waxy feel, but if it is still too waxy feeling for you, you can decrease the beeswax and replace with extra cocoa butter. If you remove the beeswax completely, I think this would be better as a lip butter in a pot instead of a tube, as I’m not sure it will hold it’s shape enough to be in a tube. That’s the main purpose of the beeswax in a lip balm.

  10. Hi I see that you said that you can substitute the cocoa butter for mango butter or another one but can it be substituted for coconut oil since I don’t have cocoa butter on hand

    • Hi Nina, coconut oil is unfortunately not a good substitute for cocoa butter or any of the body butters since it is not the same consistency. Even though coconut oil is usually solid at room temp, think of it as a liquid oil, not a butter. Your final product may be kind of mushy without any type of butter or at least upping the beeswax.

    • Yes, it could melt on a hot summer day, but probably not just in your purse. I’ve had these melt in my car before (oops!), and only soften while in my purse in the hot summer all day. They WILL for sure soften in the heat, but I think are firm enough to not completely melt unless left out for a really long time.

  11. I’ve read that papaya enzymes are a good moisturizer for lips. Can a liquid or powder extract be added for extra chapped lips?

    • Interesting, I have not heard this before! An oil based extract would mix in well, but not a water based. I’m not sure how a powdered extract would blend in…I think it may leave a grainy texture. Let me know if you try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  12. I added a teaspoon of powdered hibiscus flowers to my balm after removing from the heat. What a beautiful hue. My lips love this!

    • This will create a much firmer (and waxier) lip balm. Coconut oil and beeswax are not substitutes for each other….the beeswax serves a different purpose than a liquid oil or a butter.

  13. Thank you!!! I’ve made this recipe twice and loved it! I did use cocoa butter in place of Shea butter since my Shea butter went rancid. It is my go to recipe every winter❤️❤️❤️

  14. I already made this recipe and I love it!! Any ideas to substitute the cocoa butter? I am highly sensitive and don’t like the chocolaty smell… And i’m afraid to put too many essential oil drops to cover it lest it just smell like the oil + chocolate lol

    • Hi Emily, so glad you love the recipe! You could try mango butter in place of the cocoa butter – I love mango butter in lip balm!
      Let me know how it turns out 🙂

    • Mango butter. It makes a softer lip balm/body butter so make a small batch and test before pouring into tubes or pots. You can always add a little more wax to firm it up if it’s too soft.

  15. This looks amazing and I am looking forward to trying it. What would the shelf life be for this?? And what could I substitute for the almond oil…we have allergies in the house??

  16. I made mine with mango butter instead of the coco butter and added 10-12 drops of peppermint. Would this not have any SPF in it since I added the essential oil now?

    • Mango butter sounds like a wonderful substitute – I love it in lip balm! I’m not sure I understand your question though? This recipe does not have any SPF added to it 🙂

      • I don’t have a recipe that’s more ‘waxy’ but you could simply follow this recipe and add a bit more beeswax until you reach your desired consistency.
        I do think the vegan lip balm recipe ( comes out more waxy and a little harder, but that’s because it uses a harder wax.

    • Candelillia wax or carnuaba wax are both good vegan substitutes. You need a wax to help it keep its shape, especially if putting in a tube! If you’re going to use a tin, you could use mango or cocoa butter instead for a MUCH softer lip balm

  17. Are the almond and jojoba oils the best choices to make this lip balm? Or will coconut oil in replace of the almond oil only, provide the same, or close to the same results?


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