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Halloween Treats: Red Licorice Lip Scrub

Red licorice is a staple Halloween candy. That sweet cherry-berry flavor is so good! I once lived near a Twizzler’s plant, and I have enjoyed tours through the manufacturing kitchen. The best part about having a Twizzler’s plant nearby was that the licorice sold at the local movie theater was ultra-fresh, soft, and truly delicious.

I think trick-or-treaters would enjoy being given a small container of this lovely lip scrub – and not just the knee-high kiddos! I’d gladly accept a lip scrub just as winter cold and low humidity cause chapped lips. Our Baby Lip Balm Jars are the perfect treat size.

Lip scrubs are so simple to make, you could whip up a batch a half hour before the doorbell starts ringing!

In this recipe, I wanted to focus on two wonderful oils: grapeseed and oat. Grapeseed is super oily, and once you rinse the scrub away, you’ll love the way your lips feel. Oat Oil is a luxury oil that really helps with moisture retention. And there’s a bit of Vitamin E Acetate to help slow down the oxidation of the oils. I did not add color because of possible sensitivities to the dye. Since I don’t know who will be using these treats, I don’t want to accidentally cause the treat to become a nasty trick. I’ll use a nice red label to provide the red licorice color instead! (Hint: if you want to make this project and would like some labels, just hit up our graphics department at labels@thesage.com)

When I wrote this recipe, I was not thinking enough about which oils and butters I had chosen to use. I wanted Shea Oil because it’s a wonderful addition that is easy to use, and it is not one of the more expensive oils. I also intended this recipe to be easy for anyone to make without any specialty tools, and it would be nice to have a mixture that wouldn’t require heating and using a food processor; you’d be able to stir by hand. Well, I definitely achieved the can-be-stirred-by-hand goal. Too bad the consistency of the finished scrub was way too liquid. Using Semi-Solid Shea Oil was probably not the best choice. Now I’m thinking shea butter, which is solid at room temperature, would be better.

So how do I fix this? I’m not ready to throw out my finished batch. Talking to the more experienced makers around the office gave me some ideas. In its current consistency, this scrub would make a good hand scrub. Not only does it taste like red licorice, but it also smells like red licorice. So that’s one option, but it’s not the option I chose. This was intended to be a lip scrub, darn it, and I’m going to make it thicker. What do I need to do?

The consensus was that a little beeswax would make it firm without turning it into a brick. I added about a teaspoon of beeswax and heated the mixture in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each heating, until the beeswax melted. (It took 2 minutes.) I took a lunch break while waiting for the oils to return to room temperature to see if the beeswax firmed up the mixture enough to keep the oils from leaking out of the lip balm jars.

After lunch, I went back, and the scrub had cooled and settled to a thicker consistency. But it was still too runny. UGH!

At this point, I felt like the best thing to do was add more sugar. That firmed up the lip scrub nicely, and it was ready to package.

I had our graphics department print my labels, and I proceeded to scoop the lip scrub into the tiny jars. I put 0.15 ounces in each jar, screwed on the lid, and stuck a label on it. I sent 50 jars to our shipping department, so if you’d like to try a sample, ask us to send one when you place an order. Just write a note in the “comments” section of the order asking for a sample. If you request a sample, I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s our recipe scaled to fill about 50 of our Baby Lip Balm Jars.

Semi-Solid Shea Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Oat Oil
Vitamin E Acetate
Red Licorice Flavor Oil
Large bowl
Mixing spoon


Recipe in Grams
150 grams Sugar
30 grams Semi-Solid Shea Oil
9 grams Grapeseed Oil
9 grams Oat Oil
3 grams Red Licorice Flavor Oil
2.25 grams Beeswax
1.5 grams Vitamin E Acetate
Recipe in Ounces
5.29 ounces Sugar
1.05 ounces Semi-Solid Shea Oil
0.31 ounces Grapeseed Oil
0.31 ounces Oat Oil
0.10 ounces Red Licorice Flavor Oil
0.08 ounces Beeswax
0.05 ounces Vitamin E Acetate
Recipe in Percentages
73% Sugar
15% Semi-Solid Shea Oil
4.4% Grapeseed Oil
4.4% Oat Oil
1.6% Red Licorice Flavor Oil
1% Beeswax
.6% Vitamin E Acetate


Place a bowl on the scale and tare the scale. Weigh the sugar into the bowl and follow with the rest of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly to make sure all the oils are fully mixed with the sugar.

Gently heat the mixture in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between heatings, until all the beeswax melts. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

Now scoop the scrub into the jars, cap, and label. To use, scrape a small amount onto your finger and gently rub over your lips. I find it helps to do this over the sink because I inevitably drop some. After a bit of rubbing, you can use a wet washcloth to blot off the excess scrub or just lick it off. Apply a good lip balm and you’re good to go!

Tell us what you think, and definitely tell us if you make it! Bonus if you give these as treats for Halloween!

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