Winter lips

I got a call from Lucie the other day. She’d be filming a show up on top of some skyscrapers that were being built in New York City (ah, the glamorous life of a TV producer) and between the wind and the cold, her already Jolie-esque lips looked like she’d had one collagen injection too many. Which, although not such an abnormal thing in Los Angeles, was painful and dry, and on the verge of bleeding. She wasn’t happy.

Luckily I had some comfrey oil on the stove (actually on the yogurt machine, but stove sounds better), so by the time she got to my house, her new lip balm was solidifying in the fridge.

Winter lips hurt. Luckily, relief is available, if not in your garden then from ingredients found at any health food store. It’s so unbelievably easy to make herbal oils and salves, and they are great to have on hand in case you are shooting a TV show up on top of a skyscraper. Or in my case, going skiing in a week ;).

Winter lip stick

To make herbal oils:

Take equal parts plant matter (in my case comfrey leaf and calendula flower) and add to equal parts carrier oil. I use coconut oil most of the time, but lard, and tallow are amazing, and plenty of people use olive oil. So take equal parts (volume) plant matter and oil, and set over a very very low heat for at least 4 hours. If you have a crock pot or a yogurt maker, you can put the whole lot in a mason jar and leave it in that for a while. I leave mine for up to 5 days. When it’s ready, strain out the plant matter, and put in an airtight container. You now have an oil that is infused with the medicinal properties of whatever it was you were using.

A few examples of some commonly found plants that make great herbal oils to have around:

Goldenrod: eases muscle pains and cramps, helps to heal injuries, soothes sore tired feet

Comfrey: Good for anything broken. Really lovely and soothing. Key component of my broken bone salve, great for any kind of cut or wound, as long as it’s not infected– it’ll heal it over so fast that infections can get stuck under the skin.

Calendula: Great for cuts where there’s raised, red skin like a cat-scratch. Soothing, nourishing, great for almost all skin complaints.

Yarrow: Stops bleeding.

Plantain: For bug bites, almost instant relief. For spider bites, sites where it’s never quite healed. For skin irritations, rashes, itches, wounds, you name it.

Creosote: Bug bites, infections, fungus.

Horsetail: Joint issues, cartilage issues, goes in my busted knee salve every time.

To make the lip balm:

makes 1 jar, or 3 sticks

1 tsp comfrey oil

1 tsp calendula oil

1 tsp plantain oil

1 tsp beeswax

3 drops geranium essential oil

3 drops camphor essential oil

You can use any container– I used to save little jars from things like eye cream or old lip balm sticks (you can soak them in hot water to melt out the lip balm, then wash them, and replace with your own!). Or you can buy packaging (and herbs) from places like Mountain Rose Herbs. And you can use any combination of herbal oils. No comfrey? Use plantain and calendula. Experiment!

Over low heat, melt all the ingredients together. Don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat, and add the essential oils. Pour immediately into the container, and allow to solidify.

This post is shared at the Hearth and Soul Blog hop! and at Pennywise platter thursday

  • Butterpoweredbike

    How handy! I just happen to have some calendula salve warming on my “stove” (coffee mug warmer), and I think I’ve got some dried comfrey somewhere because I used it as a garden fertilizer last summer.

    I usually use nipple cream for my chapped lips, but it gets so stiff in the winter. And it would be so handy to have one of those portable lip tube thingies. I never buy tubes of lip balm because even the so-called natural ones contain sunscreen, and I’m mega allergic to that stuff.

    So, to fill one of those tubes, do you just pour in the warm oil, and it’ll set and function just fine?

    • fairybekk

      Yep. So simple! I put it in the fridge because I’m impatient, but it’ll set fine at room temp too.

  • lucie

    Let me tell you all – Winter Lips are AMAZING!!!!!!!!! It was a life saver, a lip saver if you will. Thanx Bex!

    • fairybekk


  • girlichef

    Yay! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Making lip balm is a project I’ve been meaning to take on for years…but just been lazy about. …which is horrible because I’m a lip balm ADDICT!! I freak out a bit if I don’t have some at arms length! I’m saving this and making myself finally do it. SOON! I’m glad you shared this with the hearth and soul this week, Bekk!!!

    • fairybekk

      You are most welcome Girli. It’s the easiest thing ever. Let me know how it goes!

  • Miz Helen

    Thank you for the instructions for the Lip Balm. This sounds like such a fun project. Thank You!

    • fairybekk

      Thanks for stopping by, Miz Helen!

  • Lisa

    That is so cool! My kids all walk around with chapped lips and I bet they would have a lot of fun helping me make this. Thanks!

    • fairybekk

      Yep! Kids LOVE it!! Thanks for stopping by Lisa.

  • Alex

    Heather, we are soooo alike! I too am a lip balm freak. I have made my own out of coconut oil mixed with shea nut butter before, but I like the idea of infusing it with medicinal oils. I do have a question though, I react to the peppermint in toothpaste and get what looks like a red lip liner line around my lips especially if I do not rinse my mouth after brushing. Can i eliminate the camphor in the lip balm or would that be fine even though I react to the mint? Very cool post as always I learn a TON when I come visit you! Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop with us! HUGS! Alex

    • fairybekk

      I’d just leave the camphor out, Alex. I added it because I love the soothing feel of it on chapped lips, especially those chapped by wind and snow. Try rose instead :).
      Hugs back!

  • Miriam Barton

    That is so cool! I never thought about making homemade lip balm :). I’m following you from the Soul Hop, please follow me back at Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

    • fairybekk

      Thanks for stopping by, Miriam :)

  • April@The 21st Century Housewife

    Your lip balms sounds lovely – I really enjoyed your post!

    • fairybekk

      Oh thank you April!!

  • Bonnie

    I am fascinated by this post. I came over from Hearth ‘n Soul. My family has used an herbal recipe from 1870 for years for infections that a cousing makes, but I have never made anything like this. Is Plantain oil something that is easy to find. I am guessing that I should check at a herbalist shop. Do you have suggestions for Mail order sources? Thanks.

    • fairybekk

      Hi Bonnie, plantain oil is super easy to make, as plantain grows in almost every lawn, everywhere. Try Mountain Rose herbs– they’ll probably have everything you need, though I highly recommend finding fresh plantain in your, or a neighbour’s lawn :).

  • Anisa

    Wonderful memories at Kara’s house and our little tutorial. Where are you these days? Love your website….visit it frequently just get a little reminder of the sweet little lady whom I spent wonderful days in Meridians with. :)

    • fairybekk

      Holy crapballs Anisa, Hi!

      I’m still in LA… taking time away from school to get a project up and running. We should def catch up sometime soon.

  • Aja

    I’m going to share this with my Mum. She will love it. She’s really getting into making her own bath salts and such. I hope she’ll expand her horizons because I like receiving her finished products. I actually took a bath with her bath salts tonight! It was delightful.