Lip balms are universally and perennially popular, whether to keep lips smooth in winter, or to protect against sun damage in summer. Solving for feature or texture challenges with natural or synthetic ingredients can be challenging, but Koster Keunen has the formula expertise to support all of your lip protection aspirations.

Getting the Desired Style Right from the Start

With lip balm, the first decision is the one that drives all those that come after. What form should your balm take: stick, pot, or squeezable? Which feature means the most to you and your customers? Are you aiming for sustainable, natural, vegan, or is cost-effectiveness the principal concern?

With answers to those questions in hand, it is much easier to consider formulation options that meet your requirements, while leaving the door open for the addition of color and sun protection in many systems.

Formulating the On-Trend Texture People Will Crave

At its most basic, a lip balm is composed of a carrier oil and a structuring wax. However, this simple combination can suffer from issues with texture and performance if the two can’t respond to a variety of environmental conditions. Koster Keunen offers structurant options to give your lip balm just the gel strength you are looking for, even while working within a variety of ingredient sourcing constraints.

Koster Keunen waxes, both natural and synthetic, extend your formulation palette by making vegan systems possible in both higher-end and cost-effective combinations. For example, in our Natural Vegan Lip Balm with SPF-15*, Sunflower Wax acts as the natural vegan structurant, giving excellent performance, while meeting the wide range of demands that are brought to bear on a sun-screening lip balm.

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
Sunflower Wax Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax 13.0
Kester Wax K-BWR Behenyl Behenate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax 6.0
Orange Peel Wax Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax 2.0
Castor Oil Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil 46.0
Almond Oil Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil 9.0
Jojoba Oil Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil 7.5
Vitamin E Acetate Tocopherol Acetate 1.3
UV Cut ZnO-68-CG Zinc Oxide (and) Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Polyhydroxystearic Acid 15.2

Another example is our Classic Lip Balm with SynKos 2050, a simple cost-effective lip balm that glides on effortlessly. SynKos 2050 is a low-cost synthetic wax suitable as a polyethylene and/or petrochemical wax replacement. This formula also features Synthetic Candelilla, a lower cost replacement for Candelilla wax.

Formula #: 12/17-148/858-2A

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
SynKos 2050 Synthetic Wax* 8.0
Rice Bran Wax Ozyza Sativa (Rice Bran) Wax 8.0
Synthetic Candelilla Synthetic Beeswax, Synthetic Wax, Stearic Acid 12.0
Kester Wax K-82P C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate 3.0
Sunflower Oil (High Oleic) Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil 29.0
Jeechem CTG Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride 32.0
Dermol IPP Isopropyl Palmitate 7.0
Vitamin E Acetate Tocopherol Acetate 1.0

Plasticizers Setting Performance Standards

When your formulation has performance issues, Koster Keunen’s got you covered. Stick balm too brittle? Gel too grainy? Maybe your formula becomes a little unstable or weepy at different temperatures. Koster Keunen’s slate of plasticizers can solve many performance issues, but not at the cost of your formula’s curated labeling.

Our Sustain-a-Balm Lip & Body Balm shows off the excellent performance capabilities of both Sustainable Beeswax and natural Kester Wax K-60P. The socially and environmentally responsible ingredients are featured in a stick balm that leaves skin smooth and comfortable, with all-day wear.

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
Sustainable Beeswax Beeswax 16.0
Kester Wax K-60P Polyhydroxystearic Acid 5.0
Kester Wax K-24 Lauryl Laurate 5.0
Castor Oil Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil 30.0
High Oleic Sunflower Oil Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil 22.0
Almond Oil Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil 19.0
Sipernat 11 PC Hydrated Silica 2.0
Vitamin E Acetate Tocopheryl Acetate 1.0

Get on the Stick

Koster Keunen’s commitment to sustainability drives our research and development, and our formulations reflect this. Whatever your lip balm questions and goals, Koster Keunen has the formulation guidance, protype formulas, and waxes to get your formula started, and the additional system ingredients, like plasticizers, to make your formula uniquely effective. Please contact us to discuss your formulation needs today.

*SPF estimate

About Koster Keunen

Koster Keunen has been working with wax since 1852 and has used our extensive experience and knowledge base to continuously develop new chemistries. Whether you are developing a new product, or need help with a reformulation or replacement, contact us to learn more about how we source, refine or develop waxes so you can create the perfect formula.