Cooking Up Something Edible (though it’s not food exactly…)

We all know that olive oil is a kitchen staple. It has been prized for centuries, earning the nickname “elixir of the gods.” I use it almost daily in cooking, garnishing, seasoning, and even baking. But until recently, I didn’t realize that I was missing out on one of its other properties: moisturizing and healing.

With help from Root Simple, and attracted to this review of their book, Making ItI made my own olive oil lip balm–pure, edible, and nourishing. Because they make a good point: lip balm doesn’t just disappear–it’s absorbed into our skin or, more likely, we eat it, in very small amounts. So might as well use something that you know all the ingredients in it are good for your skin but are also safe to eat, right? 

Not that we’re all walking around munching on our tubes of chapstick like chewing gum. (Though if you went through a Bonne Bell Lipsmackers phase like me, you may have not ruled it out as a possibility. Blame it on adolescent hormones and immature brain development?) But still. I’d rather limit my consumption of petroleum-based products.

Plus I just delight in making things myself.

All you need is two ingredients: olive oil and beeswax. 

What’s that? You don’t have access to a neighborhood bee hive? Neither do I. So I used leftover pieces of pure beeswax candles.  To be totally safe, you might consider ordering organic beeswax pellets from a craft supplier (or maybe a block of organic beeswax from your local beekeeper).

And though olive oil has its own subtle “flavor,” if you want a different scent, add a couple drops of essential oil. Or rosewater. I used peppermint to keep it refreshing.

Olive Oil Lip Balm (from Making It by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen)

– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 3 teaspoons beeswax
– 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil 

1. Put the oil and beeswax in a glass measuring cup and place in gently simmering water. The beeswax will melt into the oil and everything will be liquid.

2. Remove from the heat, add your drops of essential oil if desired, then pour into a container. I used a 4-oz. jam jar and got about 2 oz. worth of balm.

3. Let cool and harden. 

This formula melts easily under my finger once I start rubbing. If you like a mooshier balm, increase the ratio of oil to wax. If you like a stiffer balm, do about two parts oil to one part wax. Experiment with what works best for you.

As they explain in the book, it is oil. And there aren’t any preservatives. So it will go bad at some point in the distant future. Just so ya know.

I’ve been using mine for almost two months now and I love it. It’s long-lasting, moisturizing, and gives my lips a subtle shine and brings out their healthy color. Admittedly, it did take me a couple days to get used to it–initially the olive oil was drying my lips out faster than I could have imagined. But I just kept applying it and after about 3 days I was in the moisture zone.

In addition, it makes a great all-purpose balm. Rub gently on scrapes, blisters, etc.

Example: In July I competed in a partner Crossfit competition. Here I am doing squats with a big concrete “Atlas stone.” Said stone bruised and ripped up my shoulders, even through my tee shirt! Immediately afterwards I rubbed my homemade balm on my shoulders. Though Crossfitters are generally not afraid of displaying their battle scars, I did notice that at the next day of competition, my shoulder scrapes were significantly less irritated than those of other competitors. It’s magic balm, I tell ya!

Can you believe how easy this lip balm is to make? Wouldn’t it make great gifts for the holidays? (You can buy little lip balm pots in bulk online – I’ve seen ’em! And need to order some because it’s getting a little cumbersome to carry around a jam jar full of it. Not exactly cute-purse-friendly). Have you cooked up any other cosmetics or body products in your kitchen? Do tell.


One thought on “Cooking Up Something Edible (though it’s not food exactly…)

  1. Jen Lux says:

    Love love. I doubt I will make the effort, but it’s so awesome that you did!

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