Homemade Balms and Toiletries
by Deborah R. Dolen
Do-It-Yourself Beauty Treatments
5 Cheap Beauty Tricks
Tired of paying $5 for a little pot of lip, healing or Tiger Balm? For under $10, you can make all of these and still have tons left over to give away to friends as gifts. Making your own balm is easy, taking only seconds by melting a few natural ingredients in the microwave. When the base is done melting, you simply mix a few flavors, essential oils and/or scents and then pour into small containers to cool. The balm cools very quickly.
Making your own balm also lends itself to making your own solid perfume and healing balms, such as Tiger Balm. Once you understand the simple chemistry of balm making, you are then learning the bases for lotions and soaps. The making of melt and pour lotions and soaps will be discussed in a future article. This article is aimed at just getting you started on the easiest level there is in saving money making your own quality toiletries.
Basic Balm Recipe
The recipe for basic balm is simple. It's one part soy wax (food grade) to one part edible oil (such as canola or sweet almond), but I prefer Emu oil for its healing qualities. A little beeswax helps keep it all a tad hard. I consider "a little beeswax" about 5% of the entire amount of oil and soy. To make the balm, simply melt the bee and soy wax in the microwave only for a few seconds, until just melted. I used a disposable cup when I first started out, but now I keep a little four-ounce plastic Tupperware jar just for balm making. When using a disposable plastic cup, be careful not to get so hot it melts the cup. After I take the melted waxes out of the microwave, I mix in the oil and then any other ingredients. This is the fun part! At this point, you can add essential oils to make Tiger Balm, fragrance to make solid perfume, a few broken Vitamin E capsules, and/or a little flavor. For lip balm, I usually do not use a sweetener since it causes lip licking and then subsequently dry lips. But there is a sweetener available and a few drops will go a long way. For color, you can swirl in just a tad of old lipstick! Use a toothpick to do this. A little goes a long way.
When I am done mixing my magic, I then simply use little plastic pipettes (like the doctors use) to transfer the warm oil into containers or even lip balm twist chap stick looking tubes. If you are making chap stick, you simply want to increase the soy wax amount to three parts soy to one part oil and keep the beeswax at the 5% of the entire amount.
How Much Does All This Cost?
Let's say I want to make 16 pots, which are about 1/4 of an ounce each. I then need four ounces of base to make those 16 pots. That is actually a very small amount of base. According to our recipe, that would mean two ounces of edible oil and two ounces of soy wax, and then, of course, a little beeswax. You can also buy four ounces of this base already made for $4.95. That means you are paying thirty cents per pot for the pre-made base. Containers run about 30 cents each if you want to get fancy and buy them. You may have some small containers at home, like old cosmetic shells. After considering essential oils, flavors and all, I figure you can make the 16 pots for under $1 for each one. Buying retail and getting less of a quality product would cost over $80. Family and friends love it so much the little pots will disappear!
Making Lip Gloss for a Fraction of the Cost
In making lip balm, you also find how to make lip gloss, even if it is just using all Vitamin E oil in a gloss roller. I like to use 1/2 Vitamin E oil to 1/2 Primrose Oil (great for PMS) and a little flavor oil. Doing that you have the healthiest lip gloss on the planet! I should know, that is all I gloss my lips with!
Take the Next Step:
- Check health and beauty products at Cheapism.com before making a purchasing decision.
Discuss "Homemade Balms" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Also In This Week's Issue
- Finding great gift cards this season
- 5 creative ways to wrap gift cards
- Frugal winter vacation destinations to beat the cold
- 5 celebrity scholarships you can use for college
- 6 secrets to saving more at discount stores
- Best places to sell 8 popular household items
In The Dollar Stretcher Community
Get free household tips in your inbox each week!
Sign up for our free twice weekly newsletter Dollar Stretcher Tips.