lip balm sweetener

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since lip balm is oil/wax based, water-based sweeteners won't work. despite the multitude of recipes that call for honey as a sweetener, honey does not work! -- (not without an emulsifier). it does seem to blend with the melted balm, but as it hardens, the mixture separates and the honey sinks to the bottom. that which doesn't sink tends to denigrate the texture of the balm.
the use of lecithin as a [natural] emulsifier might work to incorporated the honey. at this point, this is just conjecture and the theory will have to be tested. once tests are done, the results will be posted.

using stevia --
stevia liquid is water-based and won't work either. however, the stevia powder is so finely ground that when blended with an oil, (say olive), the particles stay suspended ...long enough so that when the balm hardens, the sweetness is (albeit not in solution) suspended throughout the balm. the problems with stevia are:
the sweetness is so concentrated little is so sweet's hard to control the amount used, even when measuring on a gram scale, and the small amount needed for the "sweet" doesn't necessary disperse evenly throughout the balm (there are sweet and not-so-sweet patches).
if you should use too much ...and it's so easy to do so get that bitter aftertaste that stevia is known for. the only way around that is to use less and that may not give you the degree of sweetness you want. using stevia, you won't be able to produce a candy-sweet balm.
the best way i've found to use stevia, is to measure a small amount on a very accurate scale and blend it with a carrier -- (i measure 1/2 gm. stevia and mix it with 3 ml. olive oil). shake well to evenly disperse the stevia and add by drops the desired amount to the hot balm -- (i add 10 drops/per tube which give the flavor just a hint of sweetness). depending on the accuracy of your measuring device, this can produce an acceptably consistent result. the good things about using stevia are:
you can add it to the hot balm, which makes mixing easier.
preparing the stevia for use is way easier than the labor-intensive process (described below) for preparing the aspartame.
if you don't want to be bothered with mixing your own, here's a "source" for pre-mixed stevia dispersed in coconut oil.

using aspartame --
the suspension characteristics of stevia led to the premise that aspartame, if ground finely enough, could also be suspended in oil. you could use as much as you needed without the bitter aftertaste.
problem: using both mortar and pestle and coffee grinder ...and grinding for a very long time ...i was unable to get all the aspartame ground finely enough, and what resulted was, (albeit sweet), a very unpleasant, "gritty" balm.
however, some of the aspartame was ground finely enough. this led to the premise that filtering could separate out the larger granules.
problem: too fine a filter (i.e. paper towel) leaves you with a cloudy oil that has no appreciable sweetness ...too little to be of any practical use.
all of this is simply to recount how i arrived at the following procedure, which does work, provides an evenly distributed sweetness to your balm, and allows you to regulate the degree of sweetness can produce a candy-sweet balm.
the process for preparing the aspartame goes as follows:
1 - start with 12 packets (.42 gm) of aspartame (it doesn't have to be the expensive "equal" brand; generic is fine), three jars/bottles (one 1/2 oz. dropper top, one 3-4 ounce [for mixing], one 4 oz. wide mouth), a piece of jersey material (for straining), and oil of choice.
2 - grind the aspartame as finely as possible. i use a coffee grinder.
3 - mix with 2 ounces oil in one of the bottles [for shaking]. i use "extra light" olive oil. it has no flavor and a good shelf life. shake well to blend thoroughly.
4 - strain this though the piece of jersey material* into the wide mouth jar. you will have to form a pouch and squeeze the oil through won't drain on it's own. most of the aspartame will remain in the pouch, but that's okay.
*an old tee shirt will do. this works well because the weave is porous enough to allow the fine particles through, but fine enough to filter out the larger grit. be sure to wash the material with dish soap and rinse thoroughly to get rid of any laundry additives that may be present (i.e. fabric softener, bleach/detergent residue).
5 - swish the drained oil around and let it coat the inside of the glass jar. it should form a sheet of cloudy liquid with no visible granules. if you see granules, the filtering cloth is too porous. taste it. it should be slightly sweet.
6 - let this sit undisturbed for 24 hours. you'll notice that most of the fine "silt" will have settled to the bottom.
7 - use a pipette to siphon off as much of the top oil as you can without disturbing the sediment. pour this sediment into the final container (i use a 1/2-ounce dropper top bottle).
8 - use the siphoned oil to repeat this process two to three (or however many) more times. the mixture in the final container will continue to settle. siphon the excess oil from the top between batches. this will make room before adding the next batch.
9 - when you have as much as you want, let the mixture finish settling for two to three days.
10 - finally, siphon off all but a thin layer of oil (approximately 1/4 inch). this will keep the sediment fluid and usable. shake well before using by drops with a pipette. shake well periodically (read weekly) if mixture is left unused for any period of time.
this process is both labor intensive and time consuming, and you may have to use as much as 50 drops per tube (for a really sweet balm), but until somebody comes up with a truly oil-based sweetener, i've found this to be the method that yields the most consistent and satisfactory results and the only way to produce a candy-sweet balm.
for a larger quantity or to avoid having to work in multiple batches, you can always use larger vessels and increase [proportionately] the amount of oil and aspartame per batch. I prefer to work in small batches, because they're more manageable, but this is just a personal preference.
caution! do not add this sweetener to your hot balm since prolonged exposure to heat is what makes aspartame lose its sweetness. add this sweetener last, after the balm has cooled a bit ...just before or after adding the flavor.
the problem here is if you add a lot to an already cooling balm, this further cools the mixture and it can start to set up and thicken, making it difficult to pour. you won't have this concern if you're using stevia, which is impervious to heat.