Making Lip Balm with Eliza at Woolley Grange Hotel
If you're looking for something to do with the kids this half term, how about cooking up some home-made lip balm? It would make a perfect Mother's Day gift, especially with our lips taking quite a battering from all this wet and windy weather!
Our Woolley Grange Hotel in Wiltshire has just started running lip balm workshops for kids, and it's proving a great success. Woolley’s Head Gardener Eliza runs the workshops, using all natural ingredients for a high-quality, chemical-free and even edible product - and one that can save you money too!
Eliza, who makes all her own soaps, shampoos, cleansers, toners and moisturisers, is a strong believer in using natural, organic ingredients in anything that goes on the skin.
“I take the same approach to skincare products as I do to food and only use fresh, unprocessed ingredients,” she explains. “Anything you apply to your skin is absorbed straight into the body so I like to know what I'm putting on my skin, and what better way to do that then making your skincare products from scratch?
“I have a big cupboard in the kitchen with all my skincare ingredients in, and lots of lovely recipe books. As with cooking food, once you have an understanding of the properties and benefits of each of the ingredients, it's great fun to concoct new recipes. And you can then create a product that's tailor-made to suit you.”
If you want to have a go yourself, here's one of Eliza's favourite recipes. It makes a fairly firm balm, but if you want something firmer just double the amount of beeswax. Used every day, the balm will really moisturise the lips and prevent chapping. Spearmint has antiseptic properties so it's a healing balm too (add honey for an super-healing boost). Beeswax also contains healing anti-inflammatory and antibiotic compounds, and coconut oil and shea butter are packed with lots of beneficial fatty acids and vitamins too.
You can try experimenting with different oils such as hemp oil or cocoa butter. You can also try adding coloured mica powder to your balm, or even flower petals such as rose or marigold.
Eliza plans to use beeswax from Woolley’s own bees later this year, but it's very easy to buy beeswax online. Eliza usually buys her ingredients from The Soap Kitchen, but you can get everything from Amazon these days, glass jars included.
Spearmint and Beeswax Lip Balm Recipe
1 tsp beeswax
2 tsp shea butter
2 tsp coconut oil
5 drops spearmint essential oil
Put the beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil in a small glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, stirring until it's all melted. The block of beeswax needs to be grated first, or you can buy pellets. (When we run these workshops at Woolley, we have one grown-up helping every child as great care needs to be taken at this point).
Take the pan off the heat and add the essential oil. Spearmint is a favourite here, but you can experiment with different oils such as peppermint, rose, clove, tea tree or lavender.
Once you've stirred in the oil, pour the liquid balm straight into your pot (don't wait too long as the balm will start to solidify). We use 15ml glass pots, but you can use an old lip balm jar or any little container – an old mint tin works well. The balm will set in a few minutes and will be completely set and ready to use in a couple of hours.
Read more about family activities at Luxury Family Hotels.