Yes, I know, I know, I could buy petroleum jelly, but… Both Fahim and I have sensitivity issues with petroleum byproducts like that. Plus, let’s be honest, playing Mad Scientist can be fun.
Here’s what I did.
- 30 grams beeswax (melting point 62-64C, discolouration begins at 85C, flash point is 204.4C)
- 65 grams virgin coconut oil
- 10 grams castor oil
Put it all in a small pot and heat slowly until it’s all melted. Mix it and let it cool.
Whatever you do, keep the beeswax flash point of 204.4C in mind. That’s a temperature easily achieved in a microwave, which would result in actual flames, probably not something you want to do to your microwave. Unless you want a real Mad Scientist moment.
Just for geek’s sake, virgin coconut oil (the unrefined stuff that still smells of coconut) has a melting point of 24-25C, which means that it’s never solid in our house. It has a smoke point of 177C and a flash point of around 287C.
That smoke point also means that, when heating the beeswax and coconut oil together, as long as it doesn’t smoke, you’re well below the flash point for the beeswax. Safety feature! Yeah, I know – easily entertained.
I used virgin coconut oil for two reasons. One, it’s something we always have around. VCO is our main cooking oil. Two, VCO is excellent for moisturizing the skin with no adverse effects. And three, because it smells pretty. Yeah, I can’t count.
Castor oil also is good for the skin, and since I can get it here without a huge amount of effort (read: hassle-free), it seemed like a good addition.
This gives me a non-petroleum jelly with a pretty similar hardness/consistency to petroleum jelly. If I wanted to use it in tubes as lip balms, I’d probably want to add more beeswax. Maybe. Or, maybe not.
After a week of having the stuff at room temperature – room temperatures in our house being anywhere from 28-35ish Celsius – it hasn’t melted even a tiny bit. So I don’t actually have to make it with more beeswax if I don’t want to. Yay!