If you’ve ever had dry lips, you’ll know having lip balm on hand is essential. I find whenever the weather gets dry or I fly, out come the sore, dry lips. And then out comes the lip balm.

I used to buy lip balm until two things happened:

  1. I realized how many chemicals were in the lip balm I was buying
  2. It was hit and miss whether they worked anyway

I started to investigate how to make homemade lip balm with shea butter when an acquaintance gave me one she had made. It was just so amazing on my lips that I wanted to make my own.

DIY Lip Balm Recipe With Shea Butter

I was surprised how quick and easy it is to make my own lip balm and I was hooked. I never bought one from a store again. In fact, lip balm was my first beauty DIY project and what got me started on a route of trying to make all products that I put on my body and hair.

But this lip balm with shea butter recipe is still my favorite.

Keep reading for exact instructions for how to make lip balm with shea butter, my best lip balm with shea butter recipe, why I like to make lip balm with shea butter and the top essential oils that work great in lip balm.

Let’s start!

Why Make DIY Lip Balm With Shea Butter?

There are so many reasons to make your own lip balm.

The main reasons that motivated me were because I wanted something that worked and where I wouldn’t be putting unknown chemicals on my body. I think this is of added concern when talking about lip balm since you are likely to ingest small amounts – I want to know that it’s safe.

lavendar lip balm with shea butter

Once I started making it, though, I added more reasons to my list. I love that I can adjust the ingredients to make the lip balm just perfect. I also find making lip balm lots of fun! Add in that it saves money – the recipe below will make you plenty of lip balm – and it’s all wins.

My daughter and I make it together now so it’s something cool we can do together and she loves having her own homemade lip balm to give her friends. It’s great for gifts.

Shea Butter

Jar with shea butter on a table

So, what is shea butter?

Shea butter is a fat extract from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s solid at room temperature and is an ivory/off white/pale yellow color. Shea trees are mostly found in West Africa and this is where most shea butter comes from.

It is full of vitamins, fatty acids and anti-oxidants. It is also easy to spread which makes it a popular ingredient in cosmetics. It works well to soften, soothe and condition skin.

For these reasons, shea butter is a great addition to any lip balm recipe especially as it has anti-inflammatory properties which can extra help heal and prevent chapped lips. It helps to form a barrier on your lips while keeping the areas moisturized underneath.

So while shea butter is great for your lips anytime, you should extra consider a homemade lip balm recipe shea butter included when your lips have any cracking, soreness or damage.

Click here to buy shea butter.

lip balm tubes
I prefer using lip balm tubes

Storing Your Homemade Shea Butter Lip Balm

Before you get started making your lip balm, make sure you have somewhere to store it.

If you have any empty lip balm/gloss containers, this is ideal. You can clean it out and reuse it.

Otherwise, I recommend you buy some dedicated containers (which you can clean out and reuse when they are empty). This will also give you plenty to use as gifts.

Lip Balm Tubes

Perfect if you want your lip balm to look like a professional chapstick.

Click here to buy some now.

Lip Gloss Tins

Perfect if prefer your lip balm to be applied by finger. These tubs can also be used to store other DIY beauty items like eye moisturizer and more.

Click here to buy some now.

Cleaning Out Old Containers

Before you use an old lip gloss or balm container, make sure you clean it out fully. This means you need to get rid of all the old balm. Using a toothpick/head of a knife and a cloth can help.

A useful way to get rid of any remaining oils in the containers is to put it in very hot water for a few minutes so they can melt out.

Finally, before using, wash out with soap and water and let fully dry.


While labels are completely not essential when making lip balm with shea butter, they are a nice addition. My daughter and I love using our own labels with our own brand name on them!

It is easy to find people on etsy making labels however you want. You can also keep it simple and order some general ones from Amazon or ones that you can write on yourself and simply stick on.

Some good choices are:

  • Plain lip balm tube labels that you can write on
  • Printed lip balm tube labels
  • Plain and printed round lip gloss labels

How To Make Shea Butter Lip Balm Recipe

All you have to do to make your own lip balm is simply follow the recipe below, add the lip balm to your containers and let it cool. The combination of shea butter, candelilla wax, coconut oil, vitamin E and essential oils is nourishing and effective. You’ll love it.

Just make sure you have everything you need before getting started.

adding candelilla wax
Adding candelilla wax to the double boiler to melt it

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Make sure the lip balm is completely solid before using it if you have it in a tube. Winding the tube up or down before it is all solid can cause it to break apart inside and not operate correctly.

The lip balm is then ready to use!

melting candelilla wax
Melting candelilla wax

About The Ingredients

Shea Butter

As stated above, shea butter has many qualities that make it awesome in lip balm including what a great moisturizer it is. It’s also solid at room temperatures so it helps keep the lip balm solid (compared to coconut oil which can melt in summer).

Click here to buy shea butter.

If you want an alternative lip balm recipe without shea butter, click here.

Candelilla Wax

candelilla wax
Candelilla wax

Candelilla wax is an alternative to using beeswax to make this recipe vegan. It is a pure vegetable wax which comes from the leaves of the candelilla shrub.

You can use either candelilla wax or beeswax in this recipe. It’s an important ingredient because it is solid at room temperature which helps make this lip balm turn into solid sticks. It also coats your lips and helps the lip balm last on your lips while providing gloss.

It does sink into the lips more easily than beeswax which means it doesn’t provide the same level of protection. however. It’s also a little harder than beeswax, but I find it still makes a lovely softer lip balm in this recipe.

If you are using beeswax, I recommend you use the white option so it doesn’t interfere with any coloring. In fact, this is the best choice if you want to color your lip balm as the yellow color of candelilla makes it harder to color.

Click here to buy candelilla wax.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great for moisturizing and healing your lips while also protecting them from the elements so it works perfectly in a lip balm. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute it with jojoba or olive oil.

Click here to buy coconut oil.

You can also read more about carrier oils here.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are optional but they do give lip balms a great smell and a subtle taste. Some also add extra benefits. They can be powerful though and are concentrated so use with care and don’t go overboard.

I discuss more below exactly what essential oils to add.

Click here to buy essential oils.


brazilian purple clay
Brazilian purple clay

If you want, you can color to your lip balm. There are many options to do this and it can be a little complicated wading through them all if you are wanting an all natural lip balm as many options which bloggers often list in their lip balm recipes are not that great.

For example, mica powder is a popular choice. Mica is ground from stone and is natural to start with. However, it can be problematic as it can contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury. It also often has dyes added to form the bright colors you see in most mica powders. These dyes are usually exactly what you are trying to avoid when you make your own lip balm.

I have mixed feelings about using mica and I try to avoid it when I can. However, natural coloring just don’t work as well, if at all in many cases. So I occasionally use it, mainly for the pink lemonade lip balm my daughter loves (recipe for this here) as I could not get any natural coloring to work for this.

In my pictures in this guide, I got the purple/brown color by adding a small pinch of Brazilian purple clay. It didn’t go completely purple because of the yellow candelilla wax. It’s effective with white beeswax if you want a more purple color, however.

To make this color mix in effectively, it is best to use the lip balm recipe here with almond oil. Infusing it in the almond oil first will help mix the color.

This is a natural option with no nasties. I discuss more natural coloring choices in my bath bomb article here.

If you want to exfoliate your lips rather than moisturize them, try this lip scrub recipe here.

Melting all ingredients for dit lip balm
Melting all ingredients

Best Essential Oils For DIY Shea Butter Lip Balm

Not all essential oils are created equal and different oils will have different advantages (or disadvantages) when it comes to picking ones for your lips. In this section, I recommend some to avoid and some that are good.

You can, of course, combine essential oils in your lip balm as well so you don’t need to pick just one.

Some good options:

  • Lavender – my personal favorite. Lavender is great for skin and smells beautiful. It’s known for being relaxing and helping you be alert
  • Lemon – is uplifting, refreshing and is good for attention and focus. It’s also good for cleansing
  • Orange – is also uplifting and good for depression
  • Peppermint – is good for inflammation and the cooling effect it has feels great on sore lips. It can also help focus the mind
  • Spearmint – also has a cooling effect with a sweeter smell than peppermint. It’s also good for stress
  • Vanilla – is a mood lifter and good for depression
  • Rose – doesn’t just smell great but is also good for skin imperfections and stimulates the mind
  • Chamomile – is soothing and relaxing which makes it good for anxiety

Note that some citrus oils like lemon, lime and grapefruit are photosensitive. This means that they can magnify the sun meaning it’s more likely your lips can be burned if you are putting on a lot of it and going out in the sun.

There is no need to be paranoid though. I use a little of lemon essential oil frequently and haven’t had a problem. It’s just something to be aware of.

applying diy lip balm

It’s best to avoid so-called “hot oils”. These are oils that give you a burning sensation when applied to your skin. Lip skin is particularly sensitive so they are not recommended. These are oils like:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon

If you want a recipe for how to make pink lemonade lip balm, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does DIY Lip Balm Shea Butter Last?

This lip balm should last at least six months if stored properly. There is no need for preservatives thanks to no water being in the recipe.

This assumes you use fresh ingredients – it will last as long as the ingredients you put in it.

Is This All Natural Shea Butter Lip Balm? Vegan?

Yes. As long as you buy natural products (especially pay attention to the coloring options), your lip balm will be natural. This recipe is also vegan as long as you use candelilla wax and not beeswax.

Is This Pure Shea Butter Lip Balm?

If you want pure shea butter lip balm, this means only using the shea butter directly on the lips which is safe to do and should help your lips.

However, you will get a much better result if you mix shea butter with other ingredients as described here. Then your lips will also get the positive effects of all the other ingredients in here.

Using a medicine syringe to get the lip balm mixture into the tubes
Using a medicine syringe to get the lip balm mixture into the tubes

I’m Missing An Ingredient. Can I Still Make This Lip Balm Shea Butter Recipe?

It depends on the ingredient and if you have something appropriate you can substitute it for. The main thing is that you keep the ratio of butter/oil/wax the same. Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of shea butter, you could use avocado, cocoa or mango butter
  • Instead of coconut oil, you can use olive or jojoba oil
  • Instead of candelilla wax, you can use beeswax (recommended if you wish to color the lip balm)

What are Some More DIY Products I Can Make?

If you liked this, I highly recommend you try some of our other great DIY recipes:


lavender lip balm
Finished product – Lavender lip balm

Homemade lip balm with shea butter is easy to make, effective, feels good on your lips and is an affordable way to have lots of luscious lip balm on hand.

I hope you found this shea butter lip balm recipe as useful as I have.

Click here to read how to make your own bath bombs and here for all our DIY beauty and kid recipes. You can also learn how to use shea butter to make an exfoliating body scrub here and for face cream here.


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