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Additives Or Other Ingredients That Can Be Added Into Balms

Today we will be talking about what are the ingredients that you can add into your balm. Previously we spoke about what are balms here and how to change the oils in balm recipe here. We also showed you the video on how to make a basic nappy balm here.

Today ill be talking all about additives and what are the commonly added ingredients into making a balm.

So what are additives? Additives are ingredient that are added besides the main ingredient of the balm. It doesn't make the balm but its usually added for marketing purposes or for 'beautifying' your products. Just having the basics in the balm; though its functional; it doesn't make the balm look nice/ palatable. To sell, you must add additives.

So what are the common additives added into these balms? They are usually scents, colours, herbs, and sweetener (for lip balm)


Scents comes from either fragrance oil or essential oil. You can select any fragrance or essential oils you like and add it into your balm when its still in melted stage. Most of the time its added at 1-2%. You can use any scents as long as they are meant for skin. A lot of fragrances in Malaysia are not suitable for skin therefore it can give reactions towards one's skin especially if you have problematic skin like eczema and psoriasis. Always check with your supplier if the fragrance is suitable for skin and sensitive skin. The same goes to essential oils. Some are made through alcohol extraction and can cause reaction towards skin too.

If you are making balms for babies; i suggest you read more about the particular essential oils before adding into your balm. Why? Because there are studies that shows babies below 1 year old don't have a fully developed skin and organ. This will cause the essential oils to get absorbed into the blood stream and will be 'stuck' in the body since the undeveloped organ would not be able to excrete it out. You can read more about this and the studies here

If you are making balm for lips; don't use essential oil or fragrance oil but use Flavouring oil instead. EO and FO are too string for lips. When you are purchasing flavouring oils; always remember to buy the oil based Flavoring oils and not the water based ones. Since balms are made with 100% oil soluble ingredients, adding water based ingredients will just separate out. Most bakery supplies store sells the water based flavouring oils.


Color are usually added into the balms to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. You can use any cosmetic colours as long as its oil based or powder form. Don't add the ones thats diluted with glycerin (like soaplab's rainbow colours) in because it will only separate out. Always make sure its oil soluble colours.

Many have asked if they could add food colouring in. I wouldn't advice you to do so because food colouring stains. If you realise most of the time if you do bake; the color stains your fingers and imagine, that on your skin! Always use cosmetic grade colouring! If you want an option for colours that are natural; check out our post on Mica and Oxides here.


Adding herbs is the easiest way to make the balm look all natural. You can get your herbs from anywhere or you can also dry your own herbs to add in in. Always make sure your herbs are really dried before you add them in because it can invite mold if its not dry enough.
Sometimes; people also add herb infused oils into the balm because it gives a nice aroma. Especially if you are making balms for babies that you cant add scents. Example like this video where we added chamomile dried buds into the balm. Smelled really fresh and nice!


This is another ingredient that you would love to add. Especially if you are making lip balm or lipstick. Most of the time you can either add powder sugar or you can also add liquid sugar. Again make sure the added liquid sugar is not water based. If you wanted to make something that is more 'marketing appealing' you can also add honey. Just a little to make it sweet and make it sound more 'organic and natural'

So these are the basic ingredients one adds into a balm. Of course there are many more additives one can add but for now; these are the basic ingredients. If you wanted to try to add anything else; make sure that the ingredients are oil soluble and not water base ingredients. How to check if its oil soluble or not? Put whatever ingredient it is that you want to add and mix it with little oil. If it stays mixed, its oil soluble. If it separates after you mix it; its not.

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