Manuka Moisture Balm

Manuka Moisture Balm

Banish dry cuticles, dry lips and more with this miracle moisture balm. Made with natural moisturizers like mānuka honey and plant butters, this do-it-yourself homemade balm is multi-purpose and customizable.

Have you already jumped on the non-toxic train?

By DIY-ing this salve, you can ensure there are no dangerous compounds on your skin. It’s even safe to eat!

You may also find making your own personal care products can be cost-effective and a lot of fun. Products can be made without unwanted ingredients, and it allows an unmatched degree of customization.

Can “preservative-free” products still be safe?

Making personal care products at home does require knowledge to do so well and safely.

If you are looking to avoid unsafe preservatives like parabens—or even safer ones, like phenoxyethanol—you must ask yourself how you will ensure product safety and stability.

Did you know? Products that contain water—aka ‘aqueous’ products such as mists, toners, and lotions—should be made by educated experts. These are susceptible to microbiological proliferation.

Products that don’t contain water do not provide conditions under which bacteria, yeast, and fungus will easily breed and therefore, in many circumstances, they do not need a preservative.

Ensuring Stability

This recipe belongs to the category of products, such as massage oils and bars, body or hair oils and lip balms, that are called ‘anhydrous’ products – they are strictly oil-based and consist of butters, waxes, and essential oils only.

They do not contain water, so they do not require a preservative.

Ensure Freshness

If you are making a lip balm, you may wish to take optional extra steps to keep it fresh:

  • Keep the size small and use it up
  • Add a natural, oil-based antimicrobial like neem or tea tree
  • Consider a twist-up tube, or only put clean fingers in the pot
  • Add an oil-based antioxidant like vitamin E to keep the oils fresh for longer
  • Use naturally stable ingredients like mānuka honey

How to Make Your Balm

To make your moisture balm, I recommend using equal parts of three ingredients. Choose from:

  • shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax
  • coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax
  • shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax

Optional: 1-2 drops essential oil such as peppermint

Choose your formula based on the ingredients you have available and what consistency you would like, using my tips below.

Adjusting to get the right consistency

I suggested the formulas above as they provide a nice texture, not too hard or too soft.

  • Want it firmer? Cocoa butter. Firmer still? Beeswax.
  • Want it softer? Shea butter. Softer still? Coconut oil.

Coconut oil will require frequent application, shea butter a little less, and cocoa butter fewest of all.

If you need it to be extra firm for use in a tube or for a warm environment, use equal parts cocoa butter, beeswax, and shea butter, and omit the almond oil. Remember, though, if you keep the tube in your warm pocket, the lip balm will soften, so avoid doing this with coconut oil-based products.

The recipe below reflects my needs: I wanted to use this balm from a little glass jar in the cold of a Canadian winter, so I added almond oil (which provides natural vitamin E) and honey to keep it fresh and soft, and this way I have the delicious and emollient properties of the mānuka honey as well!


10 g / 1/3 oz. shea butter
10 g / 1/3 oz. cocoa butter
10 g / 1/3 oz. beeswax
2 teaspoons Flora Mānuka Honey MGO 250+
½ teaspoon almond oil

    This recipe makes 3 balms (5 if you use tubes) so you can share with a friend.


    • Melt the first three ingredients in a Bain Marie, a bowl set over a pot of warm water, or a double boiler over medium heat. Note: If you have many different sizes including some pellets and some chunks, start melting the largest pieces first and move to the smaller ones.
    • Stir until everything has melted, then mix in honey and any other ingredients.
    • Pour into containers and allow to cool.

    Enjoy your balm!

    Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.