Balm, butters, and rain, oh my!

When it’s a rainy weekend, with only enough sunshine to work outside sporadically at most, it’s the perfect time to do some different things indoors.  Slightly different from the typical soaping adventures.

Now that summer is rapidly approaching, it seemed logical to begin adding in the lip balms and cuticle balms into the list of things to make now.  That treacherous labeling bridge can come later, though it’s still the object of dread it always has been.  Ever tried to label a lip balm tube with all the things required and still be legible?  It’s not as simple as soap bars and they alone can take the better part of a day.

I’ve made lip balms before, really didn’t like the texture, since the shea butter can be a problem child when heat’s applied, creating a grainy texture, so I tried something different this time that I read elsewhere.  Heat to melt, cool, reheat, cool, reheat.  That works!  Not a single grain of grit to be found.  From this batch I got 13 lip balm tubes poured & flavoured with raspberry flavour oil, & sweetened with liquid sucralose, kept 1 for myself as a tester, of course, and 3 tins, 0.15 oz. of watermelon flavoured balm, also sweetened with sucralose liquid.  It tastes lightly berry and subtly sweet.  I used a liquid form of sucralose since the granular tends to not dissolve completely and with the shea butter not getting gritty on me, I was reluctant to risk getting grit again due to the sweetener.  I’ll look for a liquid form of stevia or something similar next time I’m out restocking for supplies.  I’d prefer to keep it as natural as possible.

The texture is divine!  Smooth, soft, easy to glide over the lips in an even coating of moisture, wonderfully light, sweet flavour, no tint this time (but I plan to make some with tints soon – the tints are on order – so this is a very successful formula, one to be repeated for sure.  It stays firm in the tube, doesn’t get too soft in the warmth of the of spring/summer days, which can result in great gross globs of balm on the lips.   I haven’t pocket tested it yet.  We’ll soon see how that goes.  I really wouldn’t recommend leaving anyone’s balm in a hot, parked car with the windows up though and definitely not a good idea to leave it in your pocket while you’re washing your clothes.  I don’t even want to know how many tubes of balm I’ve lost to the dryer!   Nothing will withstand that.

tubes - raspberry; tins - watermelon.  both are sweetened with liquid Splenda.
tubes – raspberry; tins – watermelon. both are sweetened with liquid Splenda.

The next batch made, just this morning, in fact, was  abatch of cuticle balm, which is wonderful for use during the summer gardening months.  This was something I wanted to add to the Gardener’s Gift basket for the Adult Summer Reading program at our library.  This batch was made with horsetail butter from WSP, which is the reason for the green colour.  I also added cocoa butter, and beeswax, to give it thickness, a firmness in the tin while also lending the nutritive elements of the wax to the balm itself.  The horsetail butter contains silica, due to the horsetail essence that’s added to the oils in the creation of the butter.  Horsetail, with its high silica content is great for hair, skin & nails.  It would be very nice added in a melted form of course, to a shampoo bar or liquid shampoo, though in small amounts since it is a butter.

I use my hands a lot during the course of a day at work and at home, and the nails, cuticles and fingers can get really sore, ragged, and inflamed from all the rough abuse.  A soothing balm would go a long way toward alleviating these sore spots, help in healing, and get them back to their happy place once again.  I might try other formulations in future, but this one is a strong start. I made 2 small tins and set the rest aside in a small tub for storage until I can find some more tins to pour it into.  It’s an unscented balm, by the way.  Why scent a cuticle balm?

Cuticle Balm (1024x768)

So for now it’s the fun part – labeling.  yay  :[

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2 Replies to “Balm, butters, and rain, oh my!”

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