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  • Writer's pictureDominique

Make a Bramble Berry Lip Balm

It's bramble berry season in Ontario and I'm very happy about having included these skincare powerhouses in today’s lip balm formulation. You can get bramble berries in the form of extracts, seed oils, dried fruit, seeds, dried leaves and butters. Today we’re using seed oils. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in bramble berries (blackberries, dewberries and raspberries) help protect against UV related skin damage. UV exposure creates oxidative stress and structural damages, so we want to do what we can to fight against it.

To increase the antioxidant properties of this lip balm, I paired the bramble berries with a summer safe citrus essential oil sweet orange.

Citrus smells like sunshine, so you would think it makes a perfect addition to your summer skincare routine. But before you reach for these sweet, fresh and juicy scents, there’s something you should know:

Some citrus essential oils can cause photosensitivity.

In Essential Oil Safety, the authors explain that when certain citrus essential oils are topically applied and exposed to the sun, they react with UV light. In rare cases this can cause an inflammatory response, resulting in burns and blisters.

Here are the citrus oils that you may want to consider leaving out of your summer skincare routine:

  • Bergamot oil (unless specified FCF)

  • Grapefruit oil

  • Lemon oil (expressed)

  • Lime oil (expressed)

  • Mandarin leaf oil

  • Bitter orange oil (expressed)

Here are some sun safe options:

  • Mandarin oil

  • Sweet orange oil

  • Tangerine oil

  • Steam distilled lemon, lime and bitter orange.

Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young’s textbook on essential oil safety is a great resource if you’re interested in learning more about essential oils and how to safely use them in skincare formulations. While It’s not a light read, I feel it is a must have in every formulator’s library.

Let’s get started!

The ingredients

Raspberry seed oil

This is one of my favorite seed oils. It’s light and fresh and does some really good things to the skin.

Blackberry seed oil

Some may be surprised to find that blackberry seed oil is actually green! Much like raspberry seed oil, this bramble berry is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial properties.

Sweet orange essential oil

Extracted from the rind of the sweet orange, this essential oil smells exactly like cutting into a juicy orange. I chose sweet orange because it's a sun safe essential oil.

Also in this formulation:

  • Beeswax

  • Shea butter

  • Vitamin E

The measurements

For a 1 oz tin of lip balm you will need:

  • Grapeseed oil: 8.75 g

  • Shea butter: 8.75 g

  • Beeswax: 6.25 g

  • Raspberry seed oil: 3 g

  • Blackberry seed oil: 3g

  • Vitamin E: 0.15 g

  • Sweet orange essential oil: 0.1 g

The steps

  1. Place the wax and butter in a glass beaker and add it to a water bath. Stir until fully melted.

  2. In a separate beaker, blend the oils and vitamin E and heat it in a water bath to 40 oC.

  3. When the wax mixture is fully melted, and the oil mixture has reached the desired temperature, remove the beakers from the water bath.

  4. Slowly add the warm oil to the wax mixture and stir. You can add it to a cold-water bath to speed up the cooling process.

  5. When the mixture starts to trace, add the essential oil and pour the balm in a tin jar.

  6. Place the balm in the fridge overnight with the lid ajar.

  7. It’s always a good idea to perform a patch test to your wrist before applying a product to your face.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think on Instagram.

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