DIY Homemade Tinted Lip Balm

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DIY Homemade Tinted Lip Balm

My first ever DIY project was a peppermint lip balm because it’s the easiest one to do. This time I wanted to be more adventurous with my DIY so I decided to do a tinted version of my peppermint lip balm. But before we proceed with the recipe, let me first give you a short introduction about the most commonly used colorants in cosmetic lip products.


Carmine is a colorant often used in lip products to give them a bright red color. This pigment though is derived from the cochineal beetles. Carminic acid is extracted from the body of these insects in order to produce a lovely red dye. If you want to create a vegan lip product, then carmine is definitely out of the ingredient list.

FD&C Dyes

FD&C (Food, Drugs and Cosmetics) dyes are synthetic colorants that are derived from petroleum. Not all FD&C colors are actually toxic. This article from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enumerates FD&C dyes that are approved for use in cosmetics as well as those that are already banned. FD&C dyes are the most commonly used cosmetic colorants because they are less expensive and they produce a wide variety of colors.

Iron Oxide

Iron oxides are mineral-based pigments. Before using in cosmetics, these mineral deposits are processed in laboratory in order to remove impurities that normally occur on naturally-derived iron oxides. Since they are chemically processed, they are considered synthetic. However, not all synthetic ingredients are not good. In fact, the Natural Products Association (NPA) includes iron oxides in their list of accepted raw materials for natural personal care products.


Mica is a naturally occurring group of silicate minerals. Aside from iron oxide, mica is another popular pigment used in mineral makeups. It is also included in Natural Products Association (NPA)’s list of approved ingredients for natural products.

For the following tinted lip balm recipe, I chose to use red iron oxide as pigment. Iron oxide will give a matte finish to the lip balm. If you want a lip balm with a hint of shimmer, then you can substitute iron oxide with mica. Take note though that not all mica colors are safe for use on lips. Micas that are tinted with ultramarine, chromium oxide green and hydrated chromium oxide cannot be used on lips. It is best to verify with your supplier if the mica color you are planning to use on your DIY lip balms are safe for lips.

Now, let’s get into the recipe, shall we?

(Makes one lip balm on 15g tin can)

3 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp. beeswax pellets
5 drops of peppermint essential oil
1 capsule of Vitamin E
1/8 tsp. red iron oxide

  1. Combine the coconut oil and beeswax pellets in a double boiler. Over low heat, stir until the mixture is completely melted. If you don’t have a double boiler, then you can just improvise by placing a heat-resistant container over a small pot of simmering water.
  2. Remove from heat then add the Vitamin E (puncture the capsule and squeeze out the oil) and peppermint essential oil. Mix well to evenly distribute the oils.
  3. Add the red iron oxide and mix well until the pigment is fully incorporated into the mixture. If the mixture started to harden before the pigment is fully mixed, just place the container back into the double boiler or pot of simmering water.
  4. Quickly transfer the mixture to lip balm containers and wait for it to solidify at room temperature before covering the containers.
Tip #1: Since iron oxide is in powder form, it is only normal that it will not really completely melt in our oil mixture. So as you pour the lip balm mixture into containers, make sure that you don’t pour the last few drops that have undissolved iron oxide. This method will prevent your lip balm from feeling gritty.

Tip #2: The only thing I don’t like when working with pigment is it’s so hard to remove the color residue from the container. For easier clean up, use kitchen paper towel to wipe off the pigmented wax from the container while the wax is still soft, then pour hot water into the container to remove remaining wax residue.

Where to buy the materials
  • The beeswax pellets, peppermint essential oil and 15g aluminum tin cans can be bought from ISLAS Aromatics.
  • The extra virgin coconut oil can be bought in any supermarket. I bought mine from Landmark Makati.
  • Vitamin E capsule can be bought from any drugstore. I bought mine from Watsons pharmacy.
  • The red iron oxide can be bought from Craftology Essentials.
The above recipe will produce a lip balm with a subtle color of red. If you want a more intense color, then just increase the amount of red iron oxide a little at a time. You can also mix red iron oxide with an oil-soluble titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to create different shades of pink.

I encourage you to try making your own tinted lip balm. It’s so much fun and addicting especially when it comes to customizing your own lip balm colors J

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  1. Thanks for sharing such a great beauty product I love the natural products, Medically these product have no side effect i will suggest every person go for natural product..

  2. Wher i can buy a carmine powder.

    1. Which country do you live? If you live in the Philippines (like I do), I don't know any local supplier of carmine powder. If you live in the USA, carmine powder is available at TKB Trading (


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