Tag Archives: essential oils

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm (All-Natural and Toxin Free!) + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Store-Bought Lip Balm

Learn how to make soothing and nourishing homemade beeswax lip balm (Burt’s Bees copycat) that’s made with natural and toxin free ingredients!

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm

A good lip balm is one of those must-have items for me. I have dry skin and have always had trouble with chapped lips along with it. I think I might have a lip balm in every room of my house, as well as in my car. Trust me, it’s necessary.

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm Recipe

I’ve been making my own homemade beeswax lip balm for about 3 years now and I love it so much. Not only does it smell amazing (peppermint, always), but it’s actually so nourishing and effective. I used to use Burt’s Bees lip balm all the time, but I actually prefer my version better and it also makes a great gift as well!

With a soothing combination of shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oils (or whatever scent you like), this homemade beeswax lip balm is so easy, costs pennies, and takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm

5 Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Lip Balm

I actually started making my own homemade beeswax lip balm after learning about some shady ingredients in drug store versions that are known to cause a host of health issues. It’s especially important to be aware of these ingredients because we are putting these products on our lips and we can easily consume them!

These are some common ones to watch out for and avoid:

  1. Parabens (also known as other ingredients that end in -paraben like methylparaben and butylparaben): Used as a preservative, parabens are widely recognized as endocrine disruptors. They are known to increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive issues.
  2. Petroleum jelly: Yes, the main ingredient in Vaseline! Petroleum jelly is a highly refined oil made from fossil fuel. Not only does it block our pores, it also contains carcinogens and chemicals known to cause estrogen dominance.
  3. Synthetic colors and dyes: These are especially common in tinted lip balms. Synthetic colors are composed of heavy metals that cause allergies and irritation, and if accumulated for a long time, are even known to cause cancer!
  4. Chemical sunscreens (also labeled as avobenzone, homosalate, oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and octocrylene): All of these chemicals help the sunscreen be absorbed in our skin fast, especially when our skin is exposed to sunlight. They are estrogen mimickers and are associated with endometriosis in women and lower sperm count in men. If you want a lip balm with SPF in it, look for ones with non-nano zinc oxide instead.
  5. Fragrance or flavor: Companies are not legally required to disclose what chemicals make up “fragrance” or “flavor” on ingredients labels. Those words can mean absolutely any chemical, whether or not it has been tested for safety. Usually, it is a synthetic concoction that includes phthalates and synthetic musks, which are known hormone disruptors.

Don’t Want to Make Your Own?

There have been times that I’ve been busy or lazy and ran out of my homemade beeswax lip balm. In those cases, I ended up buying safer option that are free of the above toxins. Here are my favorite brands that smell amazing without chemical fragrances and work really well:

  • Beautycounter’s Lip Conditioners: Beautycounter is probably my favorite skin care company that has banned over 1500 ingredients that are known or suspected to be harmful in their products, when the US has only banned 30. Their lip conditioners come in peppermint or calendula and these products are so soothing and hydrating with clean ingredients! If you are looking for something that’s tinted or has a light color, I highly recommend their sheer lipsticks which are also made with coconut oil and are extremely moisturizing.
  • Primally Pure Lip Balm: Primally Pure has amazing, natural lip balm made of all the soothing oils like coconut, beef tallow, and beeswax. They come in 5 different flavors, scented with organic essential oils, and the peppermint is my favorite. You can get 10% off your first purchase with them with code: JEAN10.
  • Perfect Supplements Lip Nutrients: These come in 2 flavors, lemongrass and tangerine, and I prefer tangerine. These contain all organic ingredients that nourish you lips you coconut oil and beeswax, along with jojoba oil, essential oils, and vitamin E. You can get 10% off with my code: GREATGRANDMA10

Perfect as Gifts!

If you are wondering what to get for someone special in your life, or if you are looking for stocking stuffers for the holidays, I highly recommend these homemade beeswax lip balm, because there’s nothing better than homemade gifts. I’ve gifted them myself before and all the recipients have told me that they love them. My mom actually insists I make her 20-30 of them every year so she can use them throughout the year. Good thing they are so easy to make!

Because these do not contain any water or moisture and only healthy oils, they actually last indefinitely so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling or going bad!

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm Recipe (All-Natural and Toxin Free!)

Makes 18 lip balm tubes



  1. In a double boiler, or a heat-safe bowl nestled on top of a pot of simmering water over medium low heat, combine beeswax pastilles, shea butter, and coconut oil.
  2. Heat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint essential oils.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass cup or a measuring cup with a spout.
  5. Carefully pour into the empty lip balm tubes and fill them up to the top.
  6. Let them cool for 30 minutes before putting on the cap.


If you don’t like the peppermint flavor, you can use other essential oils like grapefruit or lavender. Avoid them altogether if you prefer unscented!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Learn how to make safe and toxin-free homemade natural deodorant, and which harmful ingredients to avoid in conventional store-bought deodorants!

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Ever since learning about all the toxins present in conventional deodorants, I stopped using deodorant for years. Luckily, I’m not much of a sweater so this was working out for me fine. If I felt a bit stinky, especially after a workout, I would just wash my underarms and was good to go.

However, after moving to Southern California, summers here can get pretty darn hot and sweating all day is just inevitable. I couldn’t just get away with not using deodorant anymore in the recent months, so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure if I would like my hippy-dippy version and if it would actually work, but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I absolutely love it. It gets rid of the stink and sweat, and it doesn’t stain any of my clothes like other deodorants I have a tried.

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

But before I share the recipe, I want to share just WHY I stopped using conventional deodorants and the ingredients in them that I don’t want to apply on my skin ever. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it, so being extra diligent about reading the ingredient labels is so important. After all, the toxins and certain chemicals in these products alter our hormones, burden our liver, and are linked to various types of cancers. Who wants that?

Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in conventional deodorants:

1. Parabens

Parabens are extremely common in the US, and it can be found in both skin care products and food. They are used as a preservative, but also are known to mimic estrogen and cause hormonal imbalances by accumulating in our tissues. A study showed a presence of parabens in 99% of the breast tumor tissue samples.

You can usually spot parabens on the ingredients list easily (They are found in 75-90% of all products on the market!), because they are followed by some kind of prefix like methylparaben, and propylparaben.

2. Triclosan

Triclosan is a type of pesticide that you’ll find in most deodorants on the market because of its ability to kill bacteria. It is also an endocrine disruptor and can also be carcinogenic when it comes in contact with chlorine in tap water. As we know, it’s not too difficult for our deodorant to come in contact with water, especially when we apply right after showering.

3. Aluminum-based Compounds

Aluminum-based compounds are used because of their ability to block the body from sweating by blocking the pores, which sounds ideal for antiperspirants. However, this ingredient is easily absorbed by the body and accumulates overtime.

This study has linked long term use of deodorants with earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to interfering with estrogen levels, which increases the risk of cancers, and causing brain health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Fragrances/Pthalates

Chemical fragrances in deodorant products are very common and they usually come with pthalates, which help lotions penetrate the skin and fragrances last longer. Pthalates are a bit trickier than other ingredients to spot on the label, because they are usually listed as one of the following acronyms: DBP, DHP, DBP5, and DEHP.

Pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and known to cause kidney and liver cancers. While most studies I found on pthalates and their harmful effects were done on animals, I’d rather be safe than sorry and steer clear, especially when they are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA.

5. Propylene Glycol 

Propylene glycol is used to retain moisture in products, and it’s also used the auto industry in brake and hydraulic fluid. It is a form of mineral oil, which can block the pores and cause skin allergies and/or rashes. It has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.

You may be able to spot propylene glycol (also can be listed as PEG) easily on the deodorant label, because it is usually one for the first 2 ingredients on the list.

Are you surprised by the toxic chemicals that are present in our store-bought deodorants? Keep in mind that many of these ingredients are actually banned in Europe because of their harmful effects. Until our country steps up their game, I’ll gladly make my own homemade natural deodorant to avoid these cancer-causing chemicals.

If you don’t want to make your own deodorant, these are some my top favorite safer choices that actually work:

Primally Pure – Their Charcoal Deodorant is my absolute favorite!

Native Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste

Honestly pHresh Magnesium Roll-On

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in DeodorantsHomemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Homemade Natural Deodorant Recipe


  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Optional: 20 drops of essential oils (I like thieves, tea tree, lavender, and/or frankincense)


  1. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt together shea butter and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir together.
  3. Add essential oils, if using, then pour into a glass jar and let cool. You can cool in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  4. To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a small amount and rub on your armpits until invisible. A little goes a long way!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Coconut Coffee Body Scrub

coffee body scrubSeveral months ago, we decided to buy a new brand of coffee at the grocery because it was on sale. We’ve never tried it before and were excited to open the bag to breathe in the wonderful roasted smell of coffee beans. However, that familiar smell was barely there. Slightly confused, we decided maybe it’ll taste fine and brewed it, hoping for the best. Sadly, the coffee had zero flavor and I didn’t want to drink more than a sip of it. You know it’s real bad when I don’t even try to finish a cup of coffee.

Since I never throw out food if I can help it, I was determined to use the bad tasting coffee for something, and after much thought, I decided to make a coffee body scrub that I ended up loving so much, I’ve now made and have gone through several batches of the stuff with the same coffee grinds.

coffee body scrub

coffee body scrub

coffee body scrubWhat I love about this coconut coffee body scrub is that it really leaves your body so soft and smooth. The combination of the coffee and the sugar exfoliates the body while waking up the skin, and the coconut oil is so soothing and moisturizing. Also, coffee is known to be rejuvenating and nourishing for the skin. Here are some of the known benefits:

Benefits of Coffee For the Skin

    1. Coffee, along with coconut oil, contains antioxidants that are known to reduce the signs of aging (bye bye, wrinkles!). Antioxidants are also great for reducing inflammation, which may help with improving acne or other skin conditions.
    2. Caffeine in the coffee gets absorbed by the skin and increases blood flow into our skin. This is why you don’t want to use decaf coffee for this recipe. It’s the caffeine that increases circulation and brings radiance to the skin.
    3. Coffee scrubs are known to reduce the appearance of cellulite, contributing further to leaving your skin feel ultra-smooth and firm.
    4. The scrub is so effective in exfoliating the skin. The combination of coffee and sugar physically work so well in removing dead skin cells, and the massaging action while using the scrub also stimulates lymphatic drainage. It really does help the skin look brighter and more beautiful!

coffee body scrub

coffee body scrub

coffee body scrub

Coconut Coffee Body Scrub Recipe


  • 1/2 cup ground coffee (must be dry and caffeinated)
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 5-7 drop lavender essential oil


  1. Melt the coconut oil.
  2. Combine all ingredients together and place in a jar. You can leave this at room temperature, as long as no water or moisture enters.
  3. Massage onto face and body in gentle, circular motion. Wash off after 5-10 minutes.


If you want to use coffee grinds that has already been used, dehydrate them in the oven for at its lowest setting. Any moisture may cause mold in the container.

DIY Homemade Coconut Coffee Body Scrub