Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm Recipe

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Easy recipe and instructions for making about five small pots of vanilla and cocoa butter lip balm. It’s a conditioning and deliciously flavored lip balm that you can make in less than thirty minutes. All you need to do is melt the ingredients together and then pour it into containers. Simple!

This is probably one of the best lip balm recipes I’ve created. Incredibly simple to make, it tastes of vanilla and chocolately cocoa butter and leaves your lips feeling soft and shiny. The project only needs about a half-hour of your time and a few gorgeous, natural ingredients, including cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and beeswax. The recipe will make enough lip balm for yourself and a few friends. However, feel free to scale the recipe up to make much larger batches.

Cocoa butter is a great oil for lip balm since it tastes great, adds excellent skin conditioning properties, and helps solidify the lip balm. Without hard oils like cocoa butter or waxes like beeswax, your lip balm won’t firm up, and it will have trouble sticking to your lips. Beeswax is incredible at helping lip balms to stay on, but if you’d like to make a Vegan version of this recipe, you can replace it with candelilla wax.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions. Make it in half an hour to treat yourself and your friends. #diybeauty #greenbeauty #lipbalmrecipe

Lip Balm is Easy to Make

One of the easiest and most practical skincare products you can make is lip balm. You don’t need to handle any hazardous ingredients, you can use pots and utensils from the kitchen, and it’s safe enough to make with children. Lip balms are a combination of liquid and solid oils that, when melted together, will create a product that is softer than the hard oils used and harder than the liquid oils. The ratio of these is what you play with to get the right consistency. When you get those right, you can add aroma, color, and antioxidants (like vitamin E) to make the product taste and look nicer. Here are a few more balm recipes for you to try making:

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
The ingredients you’ll need to make lip balm

Cocoa Butter Lip Balm Recipe

makes approx ten lip balm tubes (4.5ml) or five pots (10ml). The recipe below is measured by weight, and I recommend using a digital kitchen scale. Otherwise, you can probably eyeball this recipe by using one part beeswax, two parts cocoa butter, and three parts sweet almond oil*.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
  • * If you are allergic to almonds, use another light liquid oil like grapeseed or sunflower oil. Also, I infused my sweet almond oil with chamomile, which is entirely optional for this recipe. Chamomile has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it great for damaged skin (think sunburn, chapped lips, or recovering from cold sores). In this recipe, I made a homemade infused oil with 120g of sweet almond oil with two teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers.
  • ** Do not use vanilla flavoring meant for cooking. It’s water-based and will separate in your recipe. Oil and water don’t mix!
Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
Melting the solid oils

Step 1: Melt the Oils

Place the beeswax, cocoa butter, and sweet almond oil into a small pan – if you have one with a sauce-pouring spout, then even better. Melt the oils completely using the double-boiler method: float the pan with oils inside a pan filled with boiling water. This ensures that the oils melt evenly but don’t get too hot.

Step 2: Pouring & Cooling

Add the optional flavor oil and vitamin E and stir well. When I make lip balms, I use a bamboo skewer to stir with since it doesn’t pick up too much oil. Put a cold spoon in the oil, and a lot of the lip balm will ‘stick’ to it when you take the spoon out.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
You can pour the lip balm into wood, metal, or plastic containers.

When mixed thoroughly, pour the oil into the lip balm containers, which should be sterile when they arrive from the supplier. Cocoa butter has a tendency to go a bit grainy if it’s not cooled quickly. I’d advise popping your lip balms in the freezer, without the lids on, for around thirty minutes after pouring them. Take them out after this time to let them come up to room temperature.

If you cool these lip balms at room temperature, they’ll be perfectly fine to use, though. There’s just a chance that the lip balm will feel a little gritty when you first rub it on. Within literally a couple of seconds, it will melt and feel smooth. If cooling at room temperature, leave them on the counter with the lids off. They’ll cool and harden within an hour or two.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
Cocoa butter makes this lip balm firm, but it also tastes delicious

Step 4: Seal the Containers

You can put the lids on when the lip balms are at room temperature. If you put them on before then, you could get condensation under the lids, and you don’t want that. Moisture can affect shelf-life and cause the lip balms to go rancid.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty
A handmade label makes this lip balm look pretty enough to gift

Step 5: Label the Lip Balms

Label the tubes by wrapping paper around them and gluing/taping. A handwritten label makes it even more personal. The lip balms should be used by the nearest expiry date of the ingredients you use. Generally, 1-2 years.

Vanilla & Cocoa Butter Lip Balm recipe + diy instructions #lovelygreens #diybeauty #greenbeauty

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  1. Love all your recipes. Can’t wait to try this one. I have Homemade vanilla from a friend that is made with Vodka. No water. Is that useable in this recipe?

    1. Sorry, Susie, but homemade vanilla can’t be used in lip balm recipes. Vodka is mostly made of water and water does not mix with oils. If you attempt using it, the oil component of the balms will solidify with a layer of liquid vodka underneath.

  2. Craig Imus-Bird says:

    Thank you for the lip balm recipe. I like comercial cocoa butter lip balms such as Palmer’s. I bet you recipe is better. Can’t wait to try it.

    Thank you for the advice for heating it for a certain amount of time at 175 degrees and cool in freezer to improve consistency. Graininess has plagued the Shea butter skin balm I make. The grains melt on contact but they feel funny. That should help.

  3. Hi Tanya,
    i made sweet almond oil infused with vanilla pods, how can i used this in lip balm? like 10 drops of vanilla oil or like 30 g of sweet almond oil with vanilla flavour? Thank you :)

    1. I’d try using the infused oil as a direct replacement for the plain sweet almond oil, and leave the flavor oil out.

  4. This looks so good! What a fun remedy to make with kids and have ready for the summer!

  5. Hi Tanya,
    Instead of the Vanilla flavoring oil, could you use an essential oil like Peppermint or Lavender?

    1. Yes, if the essential oil has class 1 IFRA approval. Not all essential oils are of the same quality or safe for all purposes. The manufacturer should have the IFRA document to list the product’s uses so check that (and the maximum usage rate) before using it for lip products.

      1. Thank you! That’s very helpful! I will do that.
        And, thanks for your response!


  6. Kassidee J Cuffey says:

    In the directions, you mentioncooling it quickly so the shea butter doesn’t get grainy. But this recipe doesn’t contain shea butter.
    Does cocoa butter do the same thing?

      1. Ok I am confused in the directions it says to put in freezer to cool quickly to avoid graininess in the cocoa butter. But in the comment above it says the exact opposite. I am getting ready to make lip balm and would like to know which is accurate. Do Cocoa and Shea butters need slow or quick cooling? Thanks

        1. Cool them as quickly as you can Sarah :) In winter, though, lip balms cool relatively quickly in a cold room though. Putting the balms in the fridge will help ensure a quicker hardening though.

  7. Mine came out perfect using this recipe. It has a wonderful aroma and goes on smooth. One batch is tined with mineral makeup. After all ingredients were melted together, I added a mineral powder. Someone commented about a gritty texture, I noticed it too slightly, but it’s seemed to disappears after the first application. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

    1. The slightly grainy texture comes from the shea butter but as you say, it melts on contact with the skin. I’ll pop advice on how to avoid this happening in the recipe. Thanks for sharing your feedback Vikki :)

  8. Chelsea Nolan says:

    Hey! I love making lip balms!! I like to combine beeswax, cocoa and shea, a small amount of vanilla bean infused coconut oil, and maybe some sweet almond or apricot kernel. Lately I’ve been adding some drops of German chamomile CO2.

    I am curious about the drag marks thing you mentioned. What does it look like?

    Thank you for a great blog !!

    1. It’s when the balm lifts from the inner edge of the container in places. You can see an uneven finish from the outside of clear containers. It’s not a big deal but doesn’t look as nice in my opinion.

  9. Monica Walter says:

    Where do you find those cute labels? Thank you!

  10. Hi,
    I’m thinking of making this lip balm, is there anyway of making it so it has an spf in it and what could I use.

    1. There is no safe way for the home crafter to create any product that protects against UV light. There are ingredients that can be used but no true way to test how effective it is or what spf the end product is.

  11. Can I substitute a few drops of doterra essential oil for the vanilla flavor oil and if so which one do you recommend?

  12. Annalize Breytenbach says:

    Hi there,
    I just discovered your blog in doing research to make my own products. I love it!
    I have been making balms but I have found that the cocoa butter sets “blistery” which gives it a rough looking texture and feel. It dissolves just like the rest of the ingredients when you rub it but it looks and feels funny.
    Do you have any idea what causes this to happen?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Do you mean a gritty texture? That’s common with some butters but you can reduce the chance of it happening by heating your butter (before you add the other oils) to 175F and holding it for 20-30 minutes. Cool your balms quickly too by placing them in the refrigerator.

  13. irene blackwell says:

    Hi tania, i made this lip balm with your exact ingredients, but it’s very soft, any ideas as to why this has happened, and should i put more beeswax or cocoa butter, or more of both ?

    1. Hi Irene! The recipe is tried and tested and is actually more on the hard side than soft. It’s possible that your digital kitchen scale isn’t functioning properly. Try again making extra sure that your ingredients and measurements are correct. I’d maybe try to get a hold of another scale as well.

  14. irene blackwell says:

    Hi Tania, if i leave out the vanilla flavour oils should i put more of the other ingredients in ?

    1. Nope :) You’ll be fine leaving out the vanilla and get more of a taste of the cocoa butter is all.

  15. hi Tanya what can I use instead of vanilla flavour oil. I don’t get this here. Thanks

    1. Any flavour oil you’d like — or you can leave it unflavoured. Don’t use vanilla extract meant for cooking since it has a water content. You know what happens when you mix oil and water together!

      1. Janet Mannella says:

        Can you substitute the coco butter for another butter i.e. mango or Shea?

        1. Cocoa butter is rock hard, whereas the other butters are creamier. They’re a different consistency so if you directly replaced them with anything else, the lip balm would probably be too soft.

  16. Hi Tanya, thank you for this lovely recipe! I really want to try this myself. Just a quick question: how come you need to add a preservative like Geogard Ultra in face lotion but not in lip balm? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Gina and lovely to hear from you! Preservatives are only required in recipes (including food products) that have a water content and need to have a shelf-life. Bacteria and pathogens grow in wet environments so you need to protect your food and beauty items by using a preservative. Lip balms don’t require them because there’s no water in them. Hope this helps :)