Lemon-Free Flutter (DIY cuticle balm)

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How to cite: Wong M. Lemon-Free Flutter (DIY cuticle balm). Lab Muffin Beauty Science. October 11, 2014. Accessed July 22, 2024. https://labmuffin.com/lemon-free-flutter-diy-cuticle-balm/

Want to get that Lemony Flutter goodness on your fingers without having to worry about burning when you hang out in the sun, or do your gels under a UV lamp? Or perhaps you’re allergic to lanolin? Don’t worry, I got you covered – here’s a really simple recipe for Lemon-Free Flutter that has the main good bits of Lush’s Lemony Flutter without the problematic ingredients.

First, let’s have a look at the top 10 ingredients in Lemony Flutter:

– Fresh Organic Lemon Infusion
– Shea Butter
– Beeswax
– Lanolin
– Soya Oil
– Organic Cold Pressed Avocado Oil
– Organic Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil
– Mango Butter
– Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
– Castor Oil

The first ingredient (the one we have the most of) is lemon infusion, which is made by boiling lemons with water, then straining. There are some scary side effects of using lemon juice on your skin, but since cuticle cream is usually used at night and on thick, resilient skin, it’s not a huge issue. It can increase sun sensitivity though, which might be a problem for sensitive skin, people who are in the sun a lot, or are using UV lamps for gels and acrylics. So it’s something we’ll take out of our formula.

The other potentially problematic ingredient is lanolin. The Lushopaedia describes lanolin as “a soft, yellow, waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep” – but let’s not mince words. It’s sheep grease. Which is kind of gross. But, because it’s so similar to human sebum, it’s pretty awesome as a moisturiser. Unfortunately, it’s also a reasonably common allergen – my sister, for example, is allergic to lanolin. We’ll go with a sheep-free formula.

That leaves us with a bunch of plant butters (shea butter, mango butter, coconut oil) and oils (soya, avocado, flaxseed, castor). Shea butter is a biggie, since it’s the 2nd highest ingredient, and from how Lemony Flutter crystallises out, you can tell that it’s a big percentage of the formula.

Beeswax is there to make the formula harder and more balm-like. Since we’ve taken out watery lemon and squishy lanolin, we’ll want to dial back the beeswax to keep the formula soft.

To simplify the formula, I only used 2 other oils – olive oil and coconut oil, which I picked because they’re so easy to get a hold of. You can probably get away with adding just one more liquid oil. I went with olive oil because it has a somewhat similar profile to avocado oil, but it won’t matter too much because shea butter will be doing most of the heavy lifting in this recipe. The liquid oils are mainly there to make the recipe softer.

After tinkering around with the proportions, I ended up with this formula:

7 parts shea butter + 1 part coconut oil + 1 part olive oil + 1 part beeswax

I used a 1/4 teaspoon as my “part”, giving me 10 x 1/4 teaspoons = 12.5 mL total volume. I used a tub with 3.5 cm diameter and 2.5 cm tall (left over from 2012’s body butter!) – it filled it about 2/3 of the way, which left enough room for stirring.

The procedure is a super simple melt-and-mix – I used the same procedure as for re-melting Lemony Flutter, which is pretty much “zap in the microwave until liquid, stir until thick, let cool”.

Step 1: Plop all your ingredients into a microwave-safe tub. I’m using the tub I’ll be storing the balm in, so I don’t have to clean up as much afterwards.

Step 2: Microwave the tub in short bursts (about 15-30 seconds) until everything has melted. Stir regularly to make sure everything melts. The last thing that will melt is the beeswax. It’s done when everything is clear and liquidy. (You can use other heat sources for this – such as a hairdrier or a double boiler.) 

Step 3: The secret to making sure it’s not grainy is to stir it while it sets. It’s also better if it cools quickly, so don’t be afraid to cool it down faster with some ice. Stir it til it thickens…

Step 4: Then let it set. It should look gorgeously smooth!

It’s a slightly harder consistency than Lemony Flutter, but still a bit squishy. Unfortunately, it also shares other characteristics with Lemony Flutter, as I found out when I opened the jar after a hot afternoon:


I rejigged the recipe a bit to avoid this issue – increasing the amount of beeswax and decreasing the amount of shea butter makes the formula melt less easily, since beeswax has a higher melting point (62-64 ºC vs 31-45 ºC for shea butter). It does end up a bit harder and less squishy than Lemony Flutter, but it still melts easily enough for quick application:

4 parts shea butter + 2 parts coconut oil + 2 parts olive oil + 2 parts beeswax
Let me know if you try these recipes out!

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13 thoughts on “Lemon-Free Flutter (DIY cuticle balm)”

    • I’ve suffered with lemony flutter for years. Why? It is like no other thing for soothing my cuticles. But i hate putting it on bc it soon smells like rancid furniture polish. Which oil makes it smell that way?

  1. I love this recipe!! I might use it for senior chemistry as I work at an all girls school… I wonder what topic this could go under..? I found heaps of beeswax after cleaning some cupboards so it’ll be in good use!
    Where can you get shea butter from?
    xxx Kat @ Katness

  2. This recipe worked out great for me! I whipped the formula with my electric mixer until it cooled instead of mixing by hand, which made it almost an identical consistency to lemony flutter. I also added a few drops of peppermint and bergamot essential oils.

  3. Hey! The ingredients on the Lush package say linalool. But you have spoken about Lanonil .. Lush is a vegan brand i suppose.. Linalool(used is lush) is derived from essential oils and Lanonin(what you told is sheep grease) is not vegan! Its pretty easy to confuse those two but they are different things! Other than that, great post!


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