Trying out the refillable Beauty Balm from Re-fil

For those who have been following along for some time, you may have picked up on the fact that I have been trying to eliminate a lot of waste from my life and to be more eco-conscious in my decisions.  Despite loving them and finding them convenient I have mostly eliminated makeup wipes from my routine and I am switching into using reusable rounds instead of disposable cotton.  I use Makeup Erasers whenever possible as well as the Magnitone Cotton rounds when I need something smaller. 

Incidentally, Makeup Eraser now has a seven pack of smaller Makeup Erasers in Black for $25 (or one large for $20). While the rainbow colors are nice I have to say I do find the black ones appealing.  I also like the ability to use one each day and send it to the wash so I have a fresh Makeup Eraser daily, but that is a discussion for another time.

Recently, for April, Birchbox sent out their box as an eco-friendly version.  Instead of the regular box they sent the products in a reusable Stasher.  I am completely loving by the way.  I have tried everything but boiling it (which is in the list of ways to use it) and it has performed really well.  Once I get through that final test I will post a review.  But at the moment it is amazing. One of the products that everyone received in the box was the Re-fil Beauty balm.

I’ll admit, I was a little bit annoyed that it was that month’s choice item and that the only choice you made was on the color of the case.  However, I do use lip balm regularly.  I love the Bite Beauty Agave Mask for night time use but it is too much during the day.  But all lip balms are not created equal and a reusable case is only of use if you do end up reusing it.

According to the Birchbox website re-fil is…

Good for your skin, good for the planet. We created Re.fil to make incorporating sustainable practices into your routine as simple as possible. Re.fil reimagines your daily staples, with clean, vegan, and refillable solutions. Available exclusively on

Not just a lip balm, this is your salve for anything (plus, it’s refillable!). With so many uses, from lips, to cuticles, to dry patches, and even taming your brows, this is your ultimate all-over balm. Made with a blend of natural oils, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane, it hydrates and conditions dry skin, helps promote skin barrier function, and leaves a protective layer that’s light and soft (never sticky!). It has just a hint of chamomile for a light and calming scent. 


The original product retails for $12 and the refills are $8 for two.  Which I will say isn’t a bad price.  In fact it is more than fair given the amount of product. 

Here is the initial problem that I had.  I am pleased that this is a balm that can be used in multiple ways.  I think that is a great idea.  However it is in a stick format and not a squeeze tube.  And I don’t want to run the balm over my elbows or knees and then put it on my lips.  I just don’t.  If it were a product that I could squeeze out of a tube I could see using it multiple ways, but I am just not going to run the product across my lips and then on my arm and then back to my lips. 

Given the size of the tube I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it for body or lips though.  It is wider than a normal lip balm. So I tried the product in a few different places.

I did test it out on my elbow by using my finger.  I washed my hands and then rubbed my finger across the top and then applied it to my elbow.  That way I could use the product without contaminating it.  I know this may sound a bit precious but in the past year especially I have become very cross contamination conscious.

The balm was not sticky, but on my elbow it was a bit greasy and took a really long time to absorb into the skin.  I am pretty sure that I ended up rubbing it off on the arm of my desk chair more than it absorbed.   But what did absorb softened and hydrated the skin.

I moved on to trying the product on my lips.  It is a little too wide to be comfortable applying as a lip balm.  At least for me.  It covered my lips and then some.  And it is a bit on the greasy side.  It is not sticky though.  On my lips, without drinking or eating anything it took about ten to twelve minutes to actually absorb into my lips.  Once it did my lips were soft and hydrated.  It just needs a little bit of time to settle in.  During the past month as I used this Re fil balm, I found it best to apply it just before I went on a walk or to the gym.  Mostly because that gave it time to sit and absorb before I ate or drank anything.  (it is a fifteen minute drive to get to my gym so I applied it before I left the house and by the time I arrived it was settled in and not likely to get all over my water bottle).

The formula is good, but it does need that time.  Once applied, give it ten to fifteen minutes to sit and everything will be fine.  I liked it better on my lips than on other parts of my body because I can decide not to eat or drink for fifteen minutes but have issues remembering not to rest my arms or elbows on anything.  I also tried it on a spot on my leg but once I put on clothing the balm rubbed off on the clothing.

Because of the absorption time, this is a lip balm for me.  Because it is a lip balm the width of the tube kind of bothers me. When I apply it, there is always excess product I have to wipe off from around my lips. Because of this I don’t know how much I will actually reach for it.  I will certainly use up the product I have, but it will have to keep it on my desk in clear sight to remind myself to use it.  It won’t be something I naturally reach for and so I don’t know if I would actually order a refill for it once it is empty or not. By the time the product is empty I might have gotten into the habit of using it and not mind the size or the waiting so much.  At the moment though, ordering refills for the reusable Re fil balm case isn’t looking likely.

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