Homemade Lipstick

 

 

 

Homemade Lipstick?  Are you crazy!  That’s what I would have told someone a year ago.  In the world where there is Dior’s Addict Lipstick there is no place for homemade stuff.  Have you tried it?  Moisturizing, volumizing, mmm…. it feels, smells, and tastes perfect.  It’s actually quite addictive.   But if you keep your ears open, you start hearing some worrisome things indeed. 

 
 
 
 “Are lipsticks dangerous?” (CNN, 2014)

The Food and Drug Administration detected lead (a neurotoxin that is especially dangerous to brain and nervous system) in all 400 lipsticks tested.  According to study published in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives some other metals detected in lipsticks are cadmium, chromium, aluminum, titanium, and manganese.  All of these metals are ubiquitous and present in food, drinking water, soil, dust, air, and paint.  What raises concern is that the levels of these metals accumulate over time and could possibly have an effect in the long run.  It’s surprisingly hard to get rid of these metals once they are inside the body.  For example, according to Pediatric Toxicology when it comes to lead, the bone serves as a storage organ and releases lead back into the blood and soft tissue, from there it goes back into bone.  Cadmium, another metal found in lipsticks, is a human carcinogen and is known to accumulate in kidneys.  And so does chromium, another carcinogen, which does wonders for stability of lipstick, it is also what makes the steel “stainless.”  Aluminum is stored mainly in the lungs and is added to lipsticks as stabilizer.  In short, overexposure to these metals can cause potential damage to brain, nerves, kidneys, lungs, and can lead to cancer.  The risk is potential, but who wants to take a chance.

 

FDA does not regulate metals in cosmetic products.  After all, lipstick is a topical product, you are not eating it.  As if!  It’s not a matter of debate anymore that a portion of lipstick ends up in a digestive system.  Some lipstick is licked off, and some of it absorbed into the bloodstream through the delicate skin.  According to this Scholastic book a women eat 6 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, but estimates often range from 3 to 9 pounds.

 
Of course, nowadays there is a proliferation of all natural, organic lipsticks.  I once bought Burt’s Bees, a truly natural product or so you would think.  Then last fall I read an article that high levels of these same metals were detected in Burt’s Bees lipsticks as well.  
 
 Why use lipstick at all?  Is beauty more important than health?  I happened to believe that lipstick is important for health reasons.  Our skin has protective cover called the stratum corneum.  This stratum corneum is much thinner on our lips than everywhere else on our body.  Our lips also lack sebaceous glands, the glands that keep our body moisturized.  In fact, the only source of moisture for lips is saliva and we all know it’s a bad idea to lick your lips.  If this wasn’t enough, lips lack melanin, the substance that protects us from harmful UV rays, so in addition to moisture we need  lipstick for protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays.  Lipstick hydrates and protects delicate lips from sun, harsh temperatures, wind, dust, and everything in between.  In my mind, there is more harm in not applying lipstick than using one that is potentially bad. 

My turnaround moment happened quite by accident.  I was looking for a cookie recipe on Martha Stewart’s website and stumbled upon her recipe for homemade lip balm.  It called for three ingredients.  That’s it?  I had to try it, of course.  And I did.  I have since modified her recipe in a couple of ways.  The original recipe produced balm that disappeared from my lips in 30 minutes, so, I increased the proportion of beeswax to oils to improve the staying power.  Also Martha Steward’s recipe called for Sweet Almond Oil, which we like to use as body lotion and always run out, so I tend to use Coconut Oil instead (which I always have in abundance as I have it on a monthly amazon subscribe-and-safe schedule).   Another thing that that recipe didn’t include was color and so after some research I found that I can get good rosy glow with hibiscus powder (it’s an all natural product) and decent brown tint with cocoa powder and/or a bit of cinnamon.  Notethe color will look much lighter on your lips than it looks in a jar.

The basic formula is simple and most effective in a Winter:

If you want to avoid putting unwanted preservatives, petroleum products, and who knows what else near your lips, try making your own lipstick and see, if you like it.  I would suggest starting with recipe 2 as it makes smaller portion, but it feels more like a balm than a lipstick.  Both recipes are guaranteed to keep you lips soft and smooth.  It might not feel as rich on your lips as expensive Dior lipstick, but just remind yourself how they achieve that richness.  Aluminum is one popular lipstick stabilizer, chromium (the element that makes steel “stainless”) is another one.  Is it really worth it?

 

Recipe 1- Summer Version
I have just showed you the basic formula with a neat 1:1:1 and here I go cutting down the oil portion.  Because I don’t want your lipstick to melt inside your purse!  1:1:1 recipe is great all year long except for hot summer.  The lipstick made with this recipe was left inside my purse on a super hot day on multiple occasions and it didn’t melt.

 
Ingredients
1 Tbsp organic beeswax (shredded)
5 drops of Rose essential oil (optional)
1/2 tsp or more cacao powder and/or a dash of cinnamon (for color, use more for more intense color)
 
 
 
1.  Fill a pot with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.  Put shredded beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil in a small mason jar and place mason jar inside the pot.  Warm the ingredients stirring occasionally. 
 
 
2.  When all ingredients melted to the same consistency (about 7 minutes) take the jar out and add cacao powder/cinnamon and a few drops of essential oil (if you are using it).  Stir with a wooden stick or a spoon until everything is evenly incorporated.  Mix in more powder for more saturated results. 
 
3. Use eyedropper to fill lipstick tubes or re-use old eye cream pots.  Do it right away or the mixture will start to solidify.  If it does happen just place your mason jar right back into the pot and heat it for a few minutes.  Wash everything you used right away or you will have to boil them for a bit before they can be cleaned.  It is especially hard to clean the eyedropper once the drops of mixture solidify inside of it.  If it happens that just put the eyedropper in a pot of water and heat it until the mixture inside turns to liquid and can be washed easily.  
 
 
 
Recipe 2 – Most popular version (Best for Winter)
I call this most popular version because if you research homemade lipstick, some variation of this recipe is sure to pop up.  This recipe fills two lipstick tubes or one eye cream jar. 
 
Ingredients
1 tsp shredded beeswax
1 tsp raw shea butter
1 tsp coconut oil
7 drops rose essential oil
1/2 tsp or more hibiscus powder
 
 
1. Fill a pot with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.  Put shredded beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil in a small mason jar and place mason jar inside the pot.  Warm the ingredients stirring occasionally. 
 
2.  Once ingredients melted to the same consistency (about 7 minutes) take it out and add hibiscus powder and a few drops of essential oil (my favorite amount is 7 drops).  Stir with a wooden stick or a spoon until everything is evenly incorporated.  Note that the color gets much lighter as it cools.  On the pic below – left pic: just filled, right pic: one hour later. 
 
3. Use eyedropper to fill lipstick tubes or re-use old eye cream pots.  Do it right away or the mixture will start to solidify.  If it does happen just place your mason jar right back into the pot and heat it for a few minutes.  Wash everything you used right away or you will have to boil it before it can be cleaned.
 
 
Note: you can vary the amount of color powder to achieve different shades.  For example on the pic above I used the same recipe #2, but added 1/8 teaspoons of powder for the mixture that went into jar and 1/2 teaspoons of hibiscus powder to the mixture that went into the lipstick tube.  But remember that it will look much lighter on the lips than it looks in the containers. 
 
Note 2: you can buy beeswax pastilles and then you won’t have to shred your beeswax, but I’m really attached to the brand I use (mainly because I like the results I get with it) and so I don’t mind shredding it just before I use it.    
 
 
 
I would love to know what you think!  Please, take a moment to comment, 
                                                                                                            Eva
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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