I love making my own cosmetics. I’ve made foundation, natural bronzer, homemade lipstick and even mascara (recipe coming soon!).
In the comments of my homemade lipstick post, I had multiple people ask if there was an alternative to the beet root powder since theirs didn’t seem to be incorporating correctly.
A natural option that shines…
After much experimentation and research, I finally found another option that I absolutely love.
It is called Mica and it also provides a wonderful, subtle shimmer. Mica is a brittle silicate mineral and it comes in many colors. It is considered safe and non-toxic, with a green rating of 2 by the Environmental Working Group.
I’ve been experimenting with Mica in homemade cosmetics a lot lately and have a lot of new recipes to share in the next couple of months, but this shimmer lip balm was by far my favorite. It provides a slight shimmer and subtle color that accentuates the natural color of the lips and brightens your smile without looking fake or unnatural.
Why not just use regular lipstick? Glad you asked (but you might not be…)
Though they seem harmless, many lipsticks contain toxic ingredients, which is especially problematic due to the close proximity to the mouth. Some things found in conventional lipsticks:
- Cochineal Beetles– These beetles eat the prickly pear plant in South America. They are collected, boiled, dried and crushed into a powder to make a red dye used in many cosmetics (and some foods!)
- Ambergris– Street name: whale vomit. This waste from the digestive system of sperm wales (eww) is sometimes used in perfumes and lipsticks.
- Chemicals- Lipsticks are also notorious for containing artificial chemicals
Finding Natural Ingredients:
In this recipe, I used the following ingredients:
- Organic virgin coconut oil
- Raw, organic Shea Butter (can also use Cocoa Butter)
- Rose Red Mica Powder and Natural Gold Mica Powder
I also found the following supplies really helpful for this recipe:
It is hard to see in the photo, but this natural lip balm provides subtle color and shine. Here’s how to make it:
Shimmer Lip Balm Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon shea butter or cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon beeswax pastilles
- 1/2 tsp mica powder color of choice (I used a mix of red and gold)
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
What to Do:
- Melt coconut oil, shea butter/cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler over medium heat.
- When melted, stir well and turn off heat.
- Add mica powder and (optional) essential oil.
- Using a glass dropper or [url:7]plastic pipette like this one, carefully transfer the mixture into [url:8]empty lip balm containers. This must be done quickly before the mixture hardens. I filled 8 empty containers when I made this.
- Let cool for an hour until mixture has completely hardened.
- Use as regular lipstick/lip balm.
Ever made your own lip balm or lipstick before?
Discussion (102 Comments)
A more natural option would be beet root powder more for intense color and less for a natural lip. I grew a ton of beets this year and am planning on dehydrating my own and using for blush also.
what can i use as a replacement for bees wax?
Katie - Wellness Mama
Emulsifying wax should work…
Can you use the mica alone as eye pigment as well or does it need to be mixed with something else to make it stay on your skin. I love the idea of creating my own cosmetics.
You probably will want something to hold it on for you.
Hi! I tried making this lip balm tonight, and I wanted to know what is the best way to clean the dropper out after? I found it was hard to get the residue out of the pan as well! Thanks for any help!
I use a Pyrex measuring glass to milt the butters. It cleans right up with soap and water. I would suggest doing the same thing with the dropper. Sucking in hot soapy water until the wax melt out and then rinse well.
Is the mica only for color? If I don’t necessarily need color, can I omit that?
I have been wanting to make lip balm in the tube containers but I am nervous about going to the trouble of making a natural/ organic balm and then putting it in a plastic tube container.
I have only found one tube that is plastic #5 but it is from China and I am not sure what their standards are and if they are honest.
What do you think about this? Whether or not we use essential oils, I am thinking of the leaching that could occur. Of course, who is to say that my Burts Bees lip balm isn’t doing the same thing? 🙁
I know I could use a small glass container…then I have the other dilemma of using your finger (not cool if in public).
Perhaps I am making too much out of this?
I just needed to say that while this does sound lovely, mica is not naturally colorful, it’s got all sorts of things added to it to create different colors, some natural and some not. Do you know what’s coloring the red and gold mica?
“Color additives commonly used in Pearlescent Micas include D&C and FD&C Dyes, Oxides, Ultramarines, and Carmine. Carmine is something that you should look out for if you are formulating for vegans as it is not considered to be a vegan ingredient. “
I sent an email to Slice of the moon and immediately got this response:
Thanks for you inquiry. Our mica powders are natural mineral mica.
Here is a list of the ingredients for the mica powders. They can be used for lipstick and balm.
Chemical name CAS No. Formula Composition EC No.
Silicon dioxide 14808-60-7 SiO2 45.2% 238-878-4
Aluminum oxide 1344-28-1 Al2O3 37.5% 215-691-6
Potassium monoxide 12136-45-7 K2O 11.6% 235-227-6
Iron oxide 1309-37-1 Fe2O3 2.35% 215-168-2
Sodium oxide 1313-59-3 Na2O 0.64% 215-171-9
Magnesium oxide 1309-48-4 MgO 0.44% 215-171-9
Water 7732-18-5 H2O 2.27% 231-791-2
Titanium Dioxide 13463-67-7 Ti02 39.3% 236-675-5
Tin Dioxide 18282-10-5 Sn02 0.6% 242-159-0
If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate.
Also, one should be very careful when handling mica, as inhaling the particles is really hazardous to the respiratory system. If you are going to use it, be sure to wear a breathing mask, gloves and preferably even protective eyewear. But respectfully, I would just avoid the product all together to be honest, cause that stuff is not good for you.
I was just reading the Q&A section of Amazon’s listing for Slice of the Moon Rose Red Mica Powder 1oz. and the seller indicates that it does indeed contain Carmine.
What a wonderful recipe! Is there any other brand of mica powder you can recommend for other shades? I have a really dark skin tone and would love some deeper shades! I am so excited to try this out 🙂
Is this the same ratio as the lotions sticks? I made some lotions sticks, never thought to rub them on my lips 🙂
This looks fantastic, I cant wait to try it!!
Question: my lip balm is one of the FEW products I still buy ready-made becasue I like my lip balm to have some SPF in it. Any suggestions on adding SPF? Thanks!
Rosemary and Lavender are two herbs that help protect against UV rays. The coconut oil used in the recipe also helps, like many of the other oils.
I have also used raspberry oil. If I remember core try it is a natural spf 20 or so.
Thank you Sara and Pam!! I might try Lavender oil. 🙂
You can also add 1/4 teaspoon raw organic honey to sweeten up your lip balm!
I’d love to find a non-waste producing lip compartment. Is there anyone that knows of a biodegradable lip tube?
Yes, there are cardboard lip tubes;) Google cosmetic cardboard, kraft brown tubes. They are expensive though..about $2 a tube!
i’m having problems with my lip balm, started a little here and there and now it is 1 gallon. the problem is it is stuck in the tubes. i can’t twist it up, second, it is too matted and becomes chalky/peels off. yuk. how do i make it so it is not chalky (goes on smooth) and can be twisted out of the tube instead of being stuck? help!
Try letting it process for an extra 20 minutes after it completely melts. Meaning, leave it on the heat longer, so that it doesn’t get that chalky or gritty texture. You should allow the mixture to cool enough before putting it in the tubes. If the mixture is too hot and you’re using plastic tubes, it can ruin the integrity of the container. Let it cool down, but not begin to solidify.
I’ve been trying to figure out if you can use flavoring for the lip balm, if so how much and which brands have you used?