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Learn to Make: Lip-Gloss
By Wholesale Supplies Plus Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Lip-gloss is fun and easy to make. It varies from lip balm in that it is usually colored and softer than lip balm as it doesn’t usually contain wax. Castor oil gives it shine and mica/pigments give it color.

Lip-Gloss Base Ingredients


Butters - Butters add protective barriers to the skin and help to add emolliency to lip-gloss. Butters can include shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter or any other natural cosmetic based butter or butter blend. 
  • Cocoa Butter - Cocoa butter is thought to reduce skin dryness and improve elasticity.
  • Shea Butter - Shea butter is high in vitamin and mineral content, which is thought to benefit dry skin.
  • Mango Butter - Mango butter is thought to exhibit excellent moisturizing properties.
  • Tucuma Butter - Tucuma butter is considered to have high levels of Lauric, Myristic and Oleoic fatty acids, which are all thought to moisturize the skin.
Oils - You will want to choose oils that have a long shelf life. Different oils offer different results in lip-gloss based on their properties. Some examples:

Lighter base oils for a more absorbing lip-gloss - Medium oils - Heavier oils for a heavy lip-gloss - Glossy oils for a smooth glossy finish - 
  • Castor Oil - Castor oil is a wonderful ingredient in lip-gloss as it gives lip-gloss a smooth and glossy finish. Your lips will shine with castor oil in your base. 

Additives for Lip Gloss

Additives that are oil-soluble and lip-safe can be added to lip-gloss. Never add anything water-based, as it will separate out from the lip-gloss. Some additives include:

Flavor Oils  - Flavor oils are used in flavoring lip-gloss, and lipstick. Some are sweetened and some are not. The typical usage rate is about 1-2% of the total lip-gloss recipe, but double check IFRA guidelines to make sure you comply. Sweetened flavor oils should be tested at 1% and then adjusted up from there, as they can taste bitter if too much is used. 

Fragrance Oils - Lip-safe fragrance oil can be used in lip-gloss. IFRA Maximum Skin Exposure Levels for your fragrance oil for use on lips should be 1% or more. The typical usage rate is about 1% of the total lip-gloss recipe.

Essential Oils - Lip-safe essential oil can be used in lip-gloss as well. The usage rate is 1%. Make sure that the essential oil that you use is lip safe, non-phototoxic and IFRA approved up to 1% or more in lip products.  

Sweetener for Lip Gloss - If you are using a fragrance oil or essential oil and want to add a sweetener, you can use Saccharin, a liquid sweetener. This liquid sweetener is cosmetic grade and safe for lip-based products. If you use too much of this product, it will make your lip-gloss bitter. The typical usage rate is about 1% of the total lip balm recipe.

Smooth & Creamy Lotion Bar Additive - Smooth & Creamy Lotion Bar Additive helps to create a smooth and creamy lip gloss when shea butter is used. Shea butter can sometimes be grainy. This helps prevent that. The usage rate is 5%. 

Vitamin E - Vitamin E T-50 is an excellent antioxidant for products containing oils. The usage rate for vitamin E is 1%. 

Colorants - You can add color to your lip-gloss by using an oil-based colorant such as Oil Locking Mica 

*Make sure that any additives you use in your lip-gloss are lip safe.

How to Formulate a Lip-Gloss Recipe

Creating a recipe for lip-gloss is super simple! You can change the consistency of your lip-gloss by playing with the ratios of hard butters to liquid oils. For a completely liquid lip-gloss, use liquid oils and package in roller bottles.

You can formulate your own lip-gloss recipe by using the percentages below as a guide.

Lip-Gloss for Pots and Jars:
Begin by creating the base. We recommend the below percentages for creating a base for pots and jars.
25% Butter(s)
25% Smooth and Creamy Lotion Bar Additive
25% Liquid Oil(s)
25% Coconut Oil - 76º Melt (or softer butter)

Once you have the base made, incorporate additives at the percentages listed.
1-2% Flavor Oil 
1% Vitamin E
1/4 tsp. Mica per 120 g base

Lip-Gloss for Roller Bottles:
Begin by creating the base. We recommend the below percentages for creating a base for roller bottles.
100% Liquid Oil(s)

Once you have the base made, incorporate additives at the percentages listed.
1-2% Flavor Oil 
1% Vitamin E
1/4 tsp. Mica per 120 g base


Below are some sample lip-gloss formulas.

Lip-Gloss for Containers
Refined Shea Butter - 30 g
Coconut Oil - 76º Melt - 30 g 
Castor Oil - 30 g
Smooth and Creamy Lotion Bar Additive - 30 g
Oil Locking Mica - 1/4 tsp.
Flavor Oil - 2 mL
Vitamin E - 1 mL 

Lip-Gloss for Roller Bottles
Castor Oil - 60 g
Sweet Almond Oil - 30 g
Avocado Oil - 30 g
Oil Locking Mica - 1/4 tsp.
Flavor Oil - 2 mL
Vitamin E - 1 mL

Some Considerations When Making Lip-Gloss


Equipment Required
  • A heat-safe container
  • Scale to weigh ingredients
  • Spatula or spoon
  • Plastic Droppers
  • Hair net and gloves

Packaging Lip-Gloss
  • Mini Pots and Jars - There are also a variety of mini pots and jars that you can choose from. 
  • Malibu Tottles - These containers are perfect for thicker lip-gloss. The user can gently squeeze out product onto their finger and rub onto lips. 
  • Roller Bottles - Roller bottles work great for packaging more liquid lip-gloss.

Examples of the Process


Basic Process: No Melt
Use this process for lip-gloss for roller bottles.

Step 1 - Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. 

Step 2 - Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Step 3 - Pour into roller bottle containers. Press in roller ball inserts and cap.

Step 4 - Label your product and include the following information:
  • Product name
  • Net weight size
  • Directions for use
  • Ingredients in descending order of predominance  
  • Company name
  • Contact information

Basic Process: Melt
Use this process for lip-gloss for pots and jars.

Step 1 - Melt butters in the microwave or in a double boiler. 

Step 2 - Once melted, add the liquid oil. If it solidifies any, re-melt a bit. 

Step 3 - Cool to 135°F and add flavor or essential oils, vitamin e and color.

Step 4 - Cool to 130°F and pour into containers. 

Step 5 - If pots were used, allow to cool completely then cap. Never put caps onto warm products as condensation can occur. 

Step 6 - Label your product and include the following information:
  • Product name
  • Net weight size
  • Directions for use
  • Ingredients in descending order of predominance  
  • Company name
  • Contact information

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