Even if you don’t have bees you can still make your own chap stick. It is one of the simplest things ever, I promise. You can find all the supplies you need at Bulk Apothecary or your local health food store and it doesn’t take much money to get started. Unfilled tubes go from $.0 7-$.12 each. Get a hundred, go nuts. You will thank me later.
I like using extra virgin olive oil, most other people use almond oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil and so on. There are recipes all over the internet. I have gotten great results with the EVOO. I think that the first pressing of any type of oil is always the cleanest. I feel like the extraction of other nonfood oils involves much more processing of the material to get the oil out. In my reckoning EVOO is the cleanest most hypoallergenic option.
In addition extra virgin olive oil has many other chemical properties that I think make it a much better alternative to nut, fruit or artificial oils. The bitter taste of virgin pressed olive oil comes from natural antioxidants specifically hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol; two of the antioxidant compounds found in first pressed olive oil. These polyphenols occur in many other ‘super foods’ they help protect the plant from bacteria, fungi and ultraviolet light. They can also repel insects. There are as many as 5 mg of polyphenols in every 10 grams of olive oil. Many other nut and seed oils have no polyphenols.
I use a simple recipe as a base for mine:
2 to 1 ratio of oil to wax
Mix these together in a jar and heat in a water bath until they melt. Then remove from the heat and add:
2 TBS of honey
Any flavor or essential oils you want to add to your ‘taste’ (*smell, though they are completely edible I would not recommend eating wax, even when it smells like roses.)
I like to split the base into smaller batches and do a few different combinations of scents and oils. I would recommend keeping track of the amounts and ratios you use so that when you find one you really like you don’t forget it.
You can see the illicit looking needle in this shot. I find them the best way to get exact measurements for the essential oils also available from Bulk Apothecary. I have found the ‘shake and count the drops’ method is wildly inaccurate and inconsistent but if your just messing around it is more than adequate. The honey and oils should be added after the wax and oil have melted together. If you heat them too much you will burn off some of your aromas.
I highly recommend the purchase of a ‘easy-pour candy making funnel‘ every other method I have tried ends in spills, frustration and lots of waste. Your sanity is worth the 5 bucks.
Well, there you have it. I could go into more detail but frankly you don’t need it. Play and have fun this is a wonderful thing to do this time of year when the weather is icky and spring is not quite here yet. Plus come summer, you will have all the chap stick you, your friends and family need.
I admit I have found myself giving it away just so I have an excuse to make more. It’s like being a mad scientist in your kitchen 🙂