Learning how to make organic lip balm to sell online was the best financial decision I have ever made. The recipe below resulted in my first ten thousand dollars on Etsy – and that was back in 2014…before the real craze for organic skin care even began.
As the world becomes more aware of the dangers of synthetic ingredients in their personal care products, there has been a notable increase in sales for organic, chemical-free, and small batch skin care companies.
Why make homemade lip balm?
Many leading brands use petroleum jelly in their formulations, and that is one ingredient you should absolutely be steering clear of in any personal care product.
If you have allergies to any ingredients, you can easily find a substitute and make a similarly feeling lip balm without having a reaction.
There are only three main ingredients in this natural lip balm recipe, so if you are already making your own skin care products, chances are you already have what you need.
Can I sell homemade lip balm?
Handmade lip balm is fun to experiment with, fast to make, and has a generous profit margin; almost everyone uses lip balm, so it’s sure to fit in your target market regardless of niche.
There are exponential ways to combine them into gift sets (either together or with other products that you make). Here are a few of my top selling listings to get your ideas rolling:
Individual Lip Balms
Holiday Scent Trio
Lip Balm + Roller Ball Set
Why sell natural lip balm specifically?
We can thank technology, the increased use of mobile devices, and ecommerce for this rise – because of such wide consumption of social media, consumers are being made more aware of green beauty in general, accompanied with the risks of synthetic ingredients.
In addition to the health and safety reasons to sell organic lip balm, customers that are devoted to natural living are typically very loyal patrons that LOVE to shop small. Over half of my customers are repeat buyers; you can expect the same glowing reviews for your shop with this recipe:
How much does it cost to make lip balm?
Organic lip balm itself (as in, the actual combined ingredients) doesn’t cost that much at all – in fact, I have gotten my own recipe down to being only fifteen cents a tube.
Before I was able to buy ingredients in bulk, it was costing me around thirty cents a tube to produce.
Obviously you can’t just buy ingredients to make one tube of lip balm – you can expect to spend about forty dollars on your organic ingredients that will end up being enough for several hundred tubes of lip balm.
But more on all that fun branding talk later!
First, let’s get you making some business-changing, CHEMICAL-FREE lip balm!
- If short on funds, this particular double boiler isn’t entirely nessary. I used a simple stainless steel bowl for years while on a tight budget. That being said, the handle and pour spout on this version was VERY worth the money and I wish I would have ‘splurged’ on my business much sooner (you’ll laugh when you see what I considered a ‘splurge’).
- If you decide against these stainless steel measuring spoons, make sure that you’re using a set that has the measurements engraved in the handle. The waxes and essential oils will quickly remove any measurements that are printed or painted on the handle.
- The plastic pipettes are only if you choose to scent your lip balm with essential oils. You will need enough to have a separate pipette for each essential oil you use. Do NOT use the plastic pipettes to transfer hot lip balm into containers. You’ll burn yourself and have a contaminated product.
- The glass droppers in these amber bottles are the size that I personally use and I can’t find the droppers sold individually anywhere. I use the amber bottles for other business purposes, so they’re not a waste for me. But you do you. If you are using a filling tray or pouring lip balm into tins, these droppers aren’t needed.
Organic Lip Balm Recipe:
Can you use essential oils in lip balm?
A few items to take note of before just dropping in your favorite scents:
How to make lip balm in bulk
The short answer is, technically…yes.
But I don’t recommend it.
Since heat can lower the effectiveness and potency of the vitamins in your natural ingredients, the shorter time they are in your double boiler, the better. If it will take you twice as long to put your liquid balm into tubes, your formulations is also sitting on heat for twice as long. Not ideal.
Heat also breaks down the strength of essential oils. The longer they are on heat, the less scent they produce.
Use your judgment.
In my experience, it only takes 30-45 minutes to melt ingredients; if needing multiple batches, I make one at a time and label the first batch while the next one melts. Not a single minute wasted, and all ingredients stay happy!
How to market your homemade lip balm business
Potential lip balm niches
Women are the leading consumers of natural skin care products, yet the type of woman you sell to can be radically different than the type of woman I sell to. The niches below are very popular and trending up in organic sales:
Lip Balm Containers
The containers that you decide to use for your organic lip balm entirely depends on the niche you are trying to sell to. You are not going to successfully sell a $10 sustainably packaged lip balm to a college student, just like you wouldn’t successfully sell a plastic tube to the eco-conscious retiree.
Think about your specific target market and their lifestyle, beliefs, and financial situation fully before deciding on your lip balm packaging.
Plastic Lip Balm Tubes
Plastic tubes are the most widely used packaging for lip balms, as they can be thrown in a purse or pocket, easily applied, and are affordable.
If your target market has a budget, this would be a great choice. Plastic tubes come in a variety of colors, and you can even get oval-shaped containers to make your tubes stand out from other sellers.
Paperboard Lip Balm Tubes
Paperboard (kraft paper) is a recycled material that will sell well with an eco-conscious target market that has a larger budget.
It still has the functionality of a plastic tube, but with a push-up bottom rather than a turn dial.
Paperboard lip balm tubes are larger than the standard lip balm size, so your customers can expect to pay more for the extra product as well as premium packaging.
Aluminum Lip Balm Tins
Lip balm tins are the most eco-friendly choice of container. They can be reused for numerous purposes, and the material holds up very well over time.
Aluminum tins come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types of closures…and surprisingly more affordable than the paperboard above.
Labeling your lip balm
Your lip balm labels need to be as carefully considered as the actual container. Every. Single. Detail. is either attracting or repelling your customer.
Younger audiences gravitate more towards casual, sans-serif fonts.
The mature audience tends to lean towards a more traditional serif font.
Make your lip balm stand out from other sellers
But guess what? I have given this recipe away to MANY other sellers. And I’m still able to make a living selling the actual lip balm that customers buy from me.
Your customers aren’t just buying a lip balm…they’re buying an experience with YOU. The absolute BEST thing that you can do to sell your lip balm (or any other handmade skin care product in your line) is make sure your business branding is speaking directly to your chosen target market.
Speak the language of your audience. Write them genuine thank you notes. Connect with them in a way that only a small business can. That’s the beauty of shopping small, after all!
If you need even more high-quality recipes for your skin care shop, check out my natural skin care and wellness recipe book that includes all of the products I made to get my own business to a full-time status:
FREE NATURAL SKIN CARE RECIPE BOOK
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS TO USE IN NATURAL LIP BALM?
SPREAD SOME LOVE BY PINNING THIS TO YOUR NATURAL LIVING, ECOMMERCE, AND DIY SKIN CARE PINTEREST BOARDS!
Author, Christine Glaser
DIY Skin Care Mompreneur, Treesnail Natural Essentials
Christine has spent the last decade making and selling natural skin care products on Etsy, Shopify, Woocommerce, Pattern, Squarespace, +++. She is passionate about teaching other makers in the handmade industry how to build and grow successful businesses to help spread the importance of chemical-free living.
Follow on Instagram: @diyskincaremompreneur