Easy Natural Lip Balm

I’m very happy with my first attempt at making my own lip balm!

There are myriad recipes for DIY lip balm on the internet. Some of them were very complicated, and every single one is a bit different than the others, even if they have the same ingredients in them.

In the end, I decided that proportion was the thing to get right, and the more straightforward I could make it, the better!

This was the recipe I used.

Ingredients:

40g pure Shea butter
40 g coconut oil
80gm beeswax pellets
40 drops peppermint essential oil

Equipment:

Microwave safe jug
Wooden spoon for stirring
Small spatula

Method:

  1. Melt the Shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time.
  2. When it is all melted and no wax pellets remain, stir in essential oil. 
  3. Pour into small pots or tins.

Notes:

It will set at room temperature, but that will cool and set faster in the fridge.

When set, the lip balm should be opaque white and smooth in appearance. 

This recipe makes approx. ten small tins. 

The Verdict:

This was so easy to make!

It set really well and has a nice, smooth consistency.

The smell is quite neutral and only faintly minty.

It feels lovely on my lips, with a delicious little tingle from the peppermint.

I love the fact that this has no chemicals in it!

I’m very happy to be reusing tins and containers that I already had. I simply used some decorative tape to cover the lids.

DIY Hand Sanitiser

This week, as one of my “I’m staying at home, so I’m going to make the time useful” projects, I made my own hand sanitiser. 

Sadly, in this time of corona virus and panic buying/hoarding by selfish people, there’s no real need to explain why. 

While there are several recipes in circulation on the internet, the one I used was given to me by my local natural health practitioner. I chose this recipe because it included Vitamin E oil to nourish and moisturise the skin.

Ingredients: 

  • 100 ml aloe vera gel
  • 80 ml water 
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil 
  • 12 drops essential oil of choice
  • 1/3 cup isopropyl alcohol 

The original recipe had 1/4 tsp of vitamin E oil, which I doubled in the hope of preventing the nasty dryness and itching that I experience with so many of the commercial products. 

In the interests of making my lotion as cleanly as possible, I used room-temperature water out of the kettle, which had been boiled that morning. 

I don’t really like overly floral fragrances, so I chose something more aromatic and spicy: a blend of bergamot, sweet orange, cinnamon, cardamom and clove which not only smells really nice, it is strong enough to counter the smell of the alcohol and fragrance the lotion without being overpowering. 

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine aloe vera gel, vitamin e oil and essential oils. 
  2. Add water and alcohol, mixing well to combine. 
  3. Pour into a clean, dry container. 

I used two 100 ml containers that I bought specifically for this purpose, as they are different from any of the other bottles or tubes of stuff in my house, and therefore won’t be confused with anything else. 

I also clearly labelled them, so that everyone in my house knows what is inside. 

I have been using this sanitiser for two days and have no dermatitis or nasty reaction yet. This is a very good sign, as I have sensitive skin and tend to react quickly to anything it doesn’t like. 

Vetiver Oil: A Grass Roots Therapy For Better Sleep

One of my most consistent problems with sleeplessness is that I can be totally exhausted, but still unable to actually drop off to sleep. 

That’s mostly because of my fibromyalgia, but it is complicated by back pain on those nights when my pain relief medication fails to cut the mustard, as it sometimes does. 

Because I know from past experience that prescription sleeping medication causes my whole system to lag, and because of the strong pain killers I need to take for my back as well as my fibro, I feel very strongly about not having those other drugs in my regime. 

So, I recently visited my friendly local alternative health practitioner and asked, “What can you suggest to help me sleep?”

She suggested Vetiver Oil, diluted in fractionated coconut oil. The instructions say to apply it under both big toes and to the wrists, to inhale deeply on going to bed, and to reapply on waking through the night. 

Extracted from the roots of vetiver grass, vetiver oil is useful for calming emotions and relaxing the body.

The first night, I did doze off more easily. I also smelt like I was sleeping in the very damp leaf litter on the floor of a forest that didn’t get enough sunlight. Inhaling it deeply wasn’t anything I needed to do consciously — that was unavoidable! It is not an offensive smell, but it is distinctive and perhaps a little strong. 

On the second night I decidedto just go with it under the big toes, and I added a dab or two on the inside of my ankles instead of my wrists – I figured the circulation is near the skin there, too, and I wouldn’t find the smell so strong there. I found that it still helped me to drift off and the smell of the oil was not so pervasive. 

On the third night, I followed the same routine as the previous night. I also used some lemongrass oil on my fingers and hands for pain management, as I often do through the day. It wasn’t my intention, but I found the lemongrass balanced and lightened the vetiver quite effectively. That was a happy accident! 

I have been following that routine for a couple of weeks now, and while I still don’t fall asleep quickly, I have observed that drifting off is gentler and generally doesn’t take as long as it has done in the past. 

Having experienced difficulty falling asleep for as long as I can remember – even before the onset of fibromyalgia, it’s fir to say that any improvement is welcome.