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Shea Butter-Sal Butter Comparison Lip Balm

Shea Butter-Sal Butter Comparison Lip Balm

My favorite lip balms always contain Shea Butter, so I was eager to compare Shea and Sal Butter in a lip balm. I used the Make Your Own Lip Balm as a starting guide for my comparison formulation. I’ve kept the basic bones of the guide and adjusted for ingredients that I have on hand.

Sal Butter at the top; Shea Butter at the bottom.

  • 20% Beeswax
    • I’m using the Light Beeswax, but the Yellow Beeswax will work well if you would like a little more color.
  • 25% solid at room temperature oil
    • Since I’m making a comparison batch, all of this amount is going to be used for either the Shea Butter or the Sal Butter.
  • 15% brittle at room temperature oil
    • I decided to use White Odorless Cocoa Butter to have the brittle texture without a chocolaty odor and flavor.
  • 40% liquid oil at room temperature
    • Since I wanted to make things easy, I’m going to use the Unscented Beard & Hair Oil Base as my combination of liquid oils. I thought that it would give me three oils and the ease of weighing only one item!

A flavor oil is not required, but I wanted to try Honey Flavor Oil, so I opted to use it. I also added Vitamin E Natural as an antioxidant for the oils in the lip balm and for the extra lip moisturizing capabilities!

Let’s gather our supplies and make up a couple of batches!

Shea Butter or Sal Butter
Cocoa Butter (white)
Beard & Hair Oil Base
Honey Flavor Oil
Vitamin E Natural
Microwave Safe Container
Containers (lip balm tubes or jars)


Recipe in Grams
(makes 26 grams, to fill 6 lip balm tubes)
5.2 grams beeswax
6.5 grams Shea/Sal
3.9 grams cocoa butter white
10.09 grams Beard & Hair Oil Base
0.26 grams Honey Flavor Oil
0.05 grams Vitamin E Natural
Recipe in Ounces
(makes 10.08 ounces, to fill 50 lip balm tubes)
2.02 oz beeswax
2.52 oz Shea Butter or Sal Butter
1.51 oz Cocoa Butter (white)
3.91 oz Beard & Hair Oil Base
0.1 oz Honey Flavor Oil
0.02 oz Vitamin E Natural
Recipe in Percentages
20% Beeswax
25% Shea/Sal
15% Cocoa Butter (white)
38.8% Beard & Hair Oil Base
1% Flavor Oil
0.2% Vitamin E Natural

These lip balms took on the hue of the beeswax. There were some noticeable differences between the two according to sample testers.


Before starting to make the lip balm, prepare the tubes or jars that you will be filling. Lip balm can solidify quickly so there will not be time to ready containers later. Lip balm filling trays are great if you are making a lot of lip balms! If you are not doing at least 50 tubes, though (that’s how many fit in the tray), just use pipettes.

Measure the first four ingredients into microwave-safe container or top of a double boiler. Heat gently, frequently stirring, until the mixture is completely liquid and glistening clear.

Add flavor oil and Vitamin E Natural. Stir thoroughly, and fill tubes.


I passed tubes of this lip balm to several people to get their opinions. Most felt the Shea Butter was better at helping chapped lips, and one mentioned it seemed to go on more smoothly than the Sal Butter version. Everyone had a comment about the flavor oil – too much! I agree, so I think Honey Flavor Oil might be better at a lower usage rate – like 0.5% or even 0.25%. It definitely smells and tastes like honey! Next time I use it, I’ll either pair it with something else or use it at a lower usage rate. I wonder how a honey mint lip balm would taste?

Another comment was that the lip balm itself was not a favorite; people felt it was too light. Perhaps all my testers prefer a lip balm with more beeswax and solid oils. Again, there was minimal difference noted between the Shea Butter and Sal Butter in the lip balm. I might make another test batch using Avocado Oil or Sweet Almond Oil to give the lip balm a more substantial texture on the lips since the Beard and Hair Oil is much lighter than I thought.

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