At long last we've finally tracked down an *all-natural* sweetener specially designed to be used in lip balms. This thick, pale-golden liquid is derived from licorice and is sweet as can be -- in fact, it's recommended that you add only 1-3% of it by weight to your lip balm creations. To all those who've contacted us in the past to ask why your own homemade lip creations don't have as much flavor and oomph as commercial ones, here's your answer. NOTE: Anticipating your questions, I asked the flavor chemist if any harm could come from ingesting, say, 3 or 4 or 5 times more sweetener than is recommended, and he said that you can use as much sweetener as you darn well please (although we don't recommend doing so -- it may change the texture and consistency of your lip balm adversely). Flashpoint: >200º F
For those of you who sell your lip balms, the INCI name for this product is "Natural Additive (as sweetener)."
Sweeteners -- even "grocery store"-type sweeteners like honey and stevia -- can be notoriously hard to mix into lip balm. Through our own experimentation and feedback from our customers (particularly RuthAnn of Mermaid's Bath -- thanks, RuthAnn!) we've come up with the following tips for incorporating our sweetener into lip balm:
Make your basic lip balm mixture (whether it's "from scratch," using various liquid oils plus beeswax, or using our preblended base plus beeswax). Add to this our All-Natural Sweetener (we recommend using 3% by weight). Stir continuously as the base cools (the sweetener will want to pool at the bottom initially, but will become more willing to blend and integrate as the mixture cools down). When the base has cooled and is opaque and thick, put the container in a hot-water bath to remelt, stirring constantly. Voila! The sweetener will stay nicely combined with the base.
A couple more caveats/comments, courtesy of our customers:
"You must allow the mixture to cool COMPLETELY after the initial melt before you put the mix in a hot-water bath or over a double-boiler to emulsify the sweetener with the lip balm."
"Stir constantly both while you cool the mixture until you can't stir anymore AND while you re-melt the mix -- if you don't stir at all times, some of the sweetener will not mix in and will be left sitting in the bottom of the cup or pot when you pour."
"I followed your website instructions to a 'T,' and my lip balm came out great!"
Is it worth the trouble to sweeten your lip balms? We think it is; virtually all commercial lip balms are sweetened, and we find that when lip balms are left unsweetened they taste "flat" to the user.