How to make lip balm

'Cosmetic chemistry' is one of the most popular L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre (LYSC) workshops. This activity is a great introduction to the chemical processes behind everyday products.

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In the 'Cosmetic chemistry' workshops in the LYSC, students learn about the chemistry of everyday cosmetics, and experiment with the properties of oils and waxes.

One of the activities in the workshop is making lip balms, something you could try at home or in the classroom:

  • Combine 1g of beeswax pellets with 6ml vegetable oil. We use avocado oil as it is particularly moisturising, but you can also use peach kernels or sweet almond oil; most vegetable oils would work.
  • Heat the mixture. We use metal beakers on a hotplate as they conduct heat well, but a glass beaker in an oven would work too.
  • Once the beeswax has melted, add some colour and flavour. Any oil based flavouring and colours will help make the lip balm a little more appealing. We use mica colouring, or you could try adding standard make-up glitter.
  • Heat again and stir to make sure all is mixed well, then pour into a container and leave to cool. Be careful handling the hot beaker, and don't try to use the lip balm until it's fully hardened and cooled to avoid burning yourself.

Try the pinhole camera activity