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Wunder Budder Lemony!

All of our lip balms are made with essential oils and natural extracts. We don’t use any mysterious “flavor oils” even if they’re labeled as natural or organic. We want you to know exactly what’s in your balm, and also, we love working closely with plants! 

Because of this, we don’t do fruity scented balms, like cherry or strawberry, or any other scents that can’t be extracted like an essential oil. 

Over a decade ago (I forget the exact year), I had a bunch of requests for a lemon lip balm.

Lemon essential oil does exist! It’s extracted from the peels of the fruit, and it smells amazing, just like a freshly sliced lemon. But, the oil expressed from lemon peels is photosensitizing (it will cause skin to burn if put on and then exposed to the sun), which would be possibly the worst choice for a lip balm! The oil steam distilled from lemon peels isn’t photosensitizing, but it can be once it’s oxidized. I didn’t want to take the risk of someone grabbing an old balm and being out in the sun all day and burning their lips.

Around the same time, I had a long-term Wunder Budder fan request that I made a lemongrass essential oil spray. Back then, I wasn’t big on the smell of lemongrass (looking back on that is wild, because I can’t get enough of it now)! But because she was a Wunder Budder superfan, I wanted to make her special spray.

Working with the lemongrass essential oil gave me an idea! I couldn’t make a lemon lip balm, but I could make a lemon-like, lip balm. Something that didn’t smell like lemon exactly, but smelled lemony.

The next challenge came when I looked into the dermal (topical/skin) limits* for lemongrass.

The safe dermal recommendation for lemongrass essential oil was less than I wanted to use for the lip balm scent, so I pulled from my time studying natural perfumery and picked two other oils: cardamom and frankincense. 

Those may seem like surprising choices! But cardamom has just enough of a lemon-like note in it, that it warms up and smooths out the sharp edges of lemongrass. Frankincense is a deep base note that helps ground the lemongrass with a bit of a lemon-like note.

Together, the three don’t smell like lemon, but they smell Lemony!




*All essential oils should be diluted before putting them on your skin. Even if a company claims their oils are “pure” enough to use undiluted, they aren’t. It’s a marketing ploy. Essential oils are highly concentrated and to use them safely on the skin, they need to be diluted first.

Some oils are safer for dermal use than others. Eucalyptus, for example, can be used up to 20% topically (though this is high, and almost always unnecessary). Some are safe only in the tiniest amounts, like cinnamon bark with a dermal limit of 0.07%.