DIY // Lanolin No-Stick Lip Gloss

I’m a huge fan of lanolin. While it’s commonly used as nipple balm (for nursing mothers), it’s become my holy grail lip moisturizer. Yes, it’s not vegan (I prefer vegan products in general, although I’m not vegan myself), but nothing else I’ve tried works on my lips. This is the only ingredient that actually helps heal my cracked, flaking lips and leave them feeling soft. Now, I first sampled lanolin as a lip product from Dr. Lipp (via Birchbox)- but they wanted $16.50 for a 15ml tube, and I couldn’t fathom spending that much money on what is just lanolin. Next, I tried Bite’s Agave Lip Mask, which has a surprising amount of lanolin in it. The price tag for that was even higher- and it was still quite sticky.

So, I decided: why not make it myself?? I’d have total control over the ingredients and the color.


Because I know most of us don’t need to make huge batches (especially me- I wanted to make several different colors), this recipe is for one tube.

Ingredients:

  • Lanolin, 8.5 grams. Note: I used Lanicare Hypo-Lan, which you can find on Amazon. A pack of two 2-oz tubes runs at $15 with free Prime shipping. Each tube can make 6 glosses (with some left over, which can be saved for later or just used for anything else you need lanolin for)
  • Sweet almond oil, 2.75 grams. Note: I used Now Food’s almond oil, as I already had it in my collection. You can use any other liquid oil, but use one that is lighter/thinner in consistency.
  • Mica, 0.75 grams. Note: I used lip-safe micas from TKB Trading for this. A sample bag of mica is 6g (enough for 8 glosses) and costs $1.50.
  • Flavor oil, 0.25 ml. Note: This measurement is in ml and not grams! You add this after the other ingredients, and it’s much easier to just use a dropper. I used flavor oils from Bulk Apothecary. They start at $2.95 for a 0.5oz bottle (enough for over 50 glosses). I prefer one that is unsweetened.
  • If you want: Vitamin e oil, a few drops. Not necessary, but nice to stabilize the oils from oxidation. Note that preservatives aren’t necessary for this as it’s all oil-based.

Equipment:

  • Small double boiler OR a small pot + small glass bowl. The glass bowl should fit over the pot similar to a double boiler.
  • Transfer pipettes. I use two per batch: one to stir and transfer the gloss to the tubes, and one to measure out the flavor oil.
  • Small digital scale. Use a small kitchen or jewelry scale- you need it to read out the nearest 0.01g for a single batch.
  • Squeezie Tubes. Note: I used the flat-top squeeze tubes from TKB trading. $5.25 for the 10-pack. TKB says they hold about 11ml, but they can hold ~12 in my experience.

How to (it’s super simple!)

  1. Measure out the lanolin, oil, and mica into your glass bowl. It’s okay if it’s not perfect- it’s very hard to get an exact amount to 0.01g.
  2. Fill your pot about halfway up with water. I prefer to have the bottom of my glass bowl touch the water (more like an immersion bath), but it’s your choice.
  3. Place the glass bowl with the lanolin, oil, and mica on top of the pot and turn on the stove.
  4. Using a pipette, stir while the water heats up and heats up the glass bowl. Lanolin melts at around body temperature, so it doesn’t take long to have your oils melted together
  5. When the mix is quite liquidy and all mixed together, move the whole set-up off of the burner.
  6. Make sure the stuff is below about 140F (it shouldn’t reach this temp if you’re pulling it off as soon as it’s nice and thin), add in the flavor oil (using a clean dropper or pipette!) and stir.
  7. Immediately transfer to the squeeze tube using the pipette you used for stirring
  8. Add the tops and you’re done!

That’s it! Here are a few pictures of the colors I made today using TKB’s “MyMix Almond,” “Angel Wings,” “Brilliant Glitter Red,” and “Be My Valentine.”

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