How Stuff Is Made
How Burt's Bees Makes 500 Lip Balms Per Minute

This week on How Stuff Is Made, we discover how every tube of Burt's Bees Lip Balm is made, from honeycomb to production line.

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Burt's Bees has been built on the platform of a single humble ingredient: honey. Today, countless other beauty brands have gotten sticky with it, adding the sweet stuff to masks, moisturizers, and lip treatments for a hit of naturally-derived (and, yes, decidedly non-vegan) moisture. But we never forget the OG beekeeper, good ol' Burt. That time-honored brand loyalty is why we grab a tube of Burt's Bees lip balm every time we find ourselves standing in a checkout line, desperately in need of something to recharge our chapped lips.
Founded on the principle that honey bees are simply magical, Burt's Bees takes special care in their global beekeeping and honey-harvesting operations. Starting the process internationally, the brand sources their honey in Tanzania. There, the Tanzanian bees swarm traditional hives, which are suspended in trees, then pulled down by beekeepers to harvest the honeycomb. The fresh honey is extracted, while the comb is boiled down to extract the raw wax.
Then, the wax is then shipped all the way across the globe to the Burt's Bees factory in North Carolina, where the special globally-harvested wax is filtered through a purifier so it can reach the ideal melting consistency. The raw ingredients — beeswax (the hero), coconut oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E, rosemary leaf extract, and peppermint oil — are measured precisely and mixed together in a massive holding tank.
After several hours of mixing, the lip-balm formula melts down to its final liquid state and gets siphoned into empty tubes at a rapid rate of 500 balms per minute. The filled lip balms then pass through heating and cooling chambers, which is crucial to the smooth texture we all know and love, ensuring that the balm never gets dried out or cracks. Caps are then added one-by-one, before the sorting hopper arranges the tubed balms in a row, where they are labeled and hot-stamped with a unique lock code before making their way to your local Whole Foods.
Above, watch the sweet, soothing, and super informative video on how Burt's Bee's Lip Balm is made. So you can offer up your knowledge to anyone who's curious the next time you're standing in checkout line, holding your trusty tube with confidence.
How Burt's Bees Lip Balm Gets Made And ManufacturedReleased on June 27, 2018

R29 Original Series