Soybean Lip Balm

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There’s snow on the ground and temperatures are dropping – it’s winter in Minnesota!  This dry, cold winter air leads to dry skin and chapped lips.  Cure those chapped lips by making your own agriculture based lip balm!  This activity allows you to create enough lip balm, using soybean oil and beeswax, for about 30 people.  The end product can be used as a springboard to discover the thousands of products we use every day that have connections to plants and animals raised on Minnesota farms.

Soybean Lip Balm

Materials

  • ¼ cup soybean oil
  • 35 grams beeswax
  • 5 grams beeswax
  • 3 Drops of scented oil (vanilla, mint, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Small paper cups
  • Stove top (or another type of heat sources)
  • Small saucepan

Procedure

  1. Wrap the beeswax in a towel.
  2. Use a hammer to mash the beeswax inside the towel into pieces the size of a nickel.  Do not allow pieces of beeswax to get too small because then they will stick to the towel.
  3. Place the beeswax pieces in a small saucepan and heat on low-medium heat.  Stir until all beeswax is melted.
  4. Add soybean oil to the melted beeswax.
  5. Remove from heat and add the scented oil.
  6. Pour a small amount (1-3 Tablespoons) into the bottom of approximately 30 small cups.
  7. Let solution sit until it hardens to a soft solid.
  8. Use tip of finger to transfer the lip balm from cup to lips!

Discussion Questions

  • What crop is soybean oil produced from?
  • What are other products you use or eat that contain soybeans?  Look at labels of food products and ingredients in shampoos, lotions, etc.
  • How is beeswax made? 
  • What role do bees play in agriculture?

Additional Activities

  • Investigate and research how many items in your local grocery store contain soy products.
  • Invite a local soybean producer to visit your classroom and share information about growing and raising crops for food and additional uses.
  • Invite a local beekeeper to visit your classroom and share information about the importance of bees to pollination and food production.
  • Plant soybean seeds in soil and make observations as they grow.

Resources

  • The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council has information, stories by soybean growers, and examples of soybean products and their value in our lives at www.therealstorymn.com and www.mnsoybean.org

For further information about the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program visit www.mda.state.mn.us/maitc or contact Al Withers, Program Director at alan.withers@state.mn.us or Sue Knott, Education Specialist at sue.knott@state.mn.us.

This entry was posted in Fun Activities, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, MN Ag in the Classroom. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Soybean Lip Balm

  1. Cindy W says:

    Rather than break up the beeswax with the towel and hammer method, I have found that shredding the beeswax on an old-fashioned box grater works well & quickly. To avoid having to pick small particles of wax out of the nooks & crannies, I picked one up for about 75 cents at my local thrift shop.

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