Thelma Lip Treatment

Penetrating lip balm for long term healing

The Story

Our lip treatment took 41 trial runs and a year to develop and test. This may sound like overthinking, but the truth is that Ava had very specific goals for this lip healer. She wanted it to be something creamy, nutty, and yummy that you long to reach for and apply, but foremost, she wanted to give you a lip balm that truly heals the lips. 

It is a known fact among skincare formulators that effectively reparative lip care products are very hard to create. We tested formulas that looked pleasingly and elegantly white, ivory, or yellow, but those didn't penetrate deeply, no matter what ingredients we tried. We tested a range of harder balm formulations with vegan waxes or beeswax, but those either dried out the lips instead of hydrating them, or sat on the lips forever instead of penetrating. We also tested several melt-on-contact ideas, but those felt oily, would make lipsticks applied over them run, and only protected the lips for about a minute.

Maybe we made just one mistake: we named this lip treatment Thelma early in the process. As you may know, the historic Thelma was stubborn and opinionated, so it's no surprise that our Thelma also had to show us who was boss. Eventually, though, all our hard work yielded truly special results: a deeply penetrating, ultra-healing balm, with a soft, opaque brown hue that disappears completely to appear invisible on the lips. 


The outcome of our trials is a vegan lip treatment in a soft, fluffy balm format that radically heals the lip tissue. Your lips will look smooth, even-textured, and naturally firm, and after the first several uses, you won't need to reapply Thelma often, even if it is the middle of winter: your lips will be healthier and more resilient.

Our lip treatment is the fully penetrating kind, which means that if you are used to a thick coating from a lip balm that stays on and on (which is useful when you are skiing or snowboarding), consider applying your protective type of balm over Thelma. Thelma heals and repairs the lip tissue, absorbing fully and leaving your lips healthy and natural looking—not shiny or coated. We have found that this natural feel is a win for women who want to follow a lip treatment with a lipstick, but also for men and children, who usually don't want something that smells or feels like a cosmetic. Thelma is made up of butters and oils that were barely hand-pressed from the seeds and lightly filtered, and on the lips it feels unprocessed and delicate; it feels one with nature and, somehow, one with the body.

The mega-penetrating qualities of Thelma come from the South African mafura butter and from the Brazilian bacuri butter, both ingredients used by the indigenous cultures of each region as heal-alls for wounds, eczema, and dry, cracked skin. We added Brazil nut oil for its bounty of minerals and vitamins, and mango kernel butter to enhance smoothness and elasticity of the lip tissue.

The Scent and Flavor

We wanted a lip product with a subtle flavor that comes from the edible ingredients, not from flavorings. To achieve this, we chose plant butters with notes of caramel and cocoa, and we infused a Brazil nut oil with a rare find of vanilla beans from a new, barely-yet-known vanilla terroir. Both the flavor and scent of Thelma are subtle, so that they don't get boring or tiresome with continued use.   


For healing and nourishing of the lips, especially those with a tendency toward dryness, peeling, and cracking, for day and nighttime, for women, men, and children.


T his lip balm is more unique than any other lip balm I’ve tried . . . [it] feels very lightweight on the lips—almost like I have nothing on at all. It moisturizes my lips well and makes them feel very smooth. It is incredibly reparative as it penetrates deep into the lip tissue to heal it. I’ve been using this for months now and I feel like I’ve barely put a dent in it—this little jar will last you forever!

- Yenny at



Cold-press unrefined Allanblackia floribunda seed butter†, Cold-press unrefined Ximenia americana seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut) seed oil* or †, cold-press unrefined Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Mangifera indica (mango) seed butter* or †, cold-press unrefined Trichilia emetica (mafura) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Platonia insignis (bacuri) seed butter†, Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) extract*.

*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.

Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch. Gluten free.


Apply in a thin layer and follow with a lip color if desired. May be reapplied as often as needed. Ideally store Thelma at a temperature below 74°F (23°C) to prevent the balm from turning liquid.

We suggest not carrying Thelma in your handbag or beach bag, and not keeping it in your car, because the vegan butters turn liquid easily on warm or hot days, and the precious butters and oils will stay fresh much longer in the stable, cooler room temperature of your home. 

Your balm may melt in transit, so open the jar carefully upon arrival. If it melts partially or completely, place it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes (just until it solidifies; don't leave it there for too long because then it tends to crack), then store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Texture changes in 100% natural vegan products are natural under fluctuating temperatures, and do not in any way affect the product's performance or shelf life.  

Freshness guaranteed for 6 months. Full size 0.2 fl. oz. (6 ml). 

Due to the very high cost of our ingredients and the labor-intensive (highly time consuming) small-batch production process, we are unable to accept returns of opened or unopened products at this time. But most products have a sample size option for purchase, so we encourage you to buy a sample first to ensure that the product suits your skin's needs and that you enjoy the texture, fragrance, and healing properties.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Soft lips

I like this balm but it doesn't last as long as I would like. My lips are soft and smooth as long as I keep putting it on. Not sure about long term effects.
It was cold when this arrived so it was a little hard to get out of the pot.

Love this product

I'm so glad I tried this lip treatment. I've been using it every night since I got it & most of the chapped skin is gone . I love the way it feels as you put it on . It's so soothing & seems to sink into the lips to make them nice & soft . I feel it's better than anything else I've tried before. Thank you Ava!

Not quite sure

First off it is a good healing balm but I needed a miracle. I think if it were made just a tad thicker more staying power and a little hint of mint it would be perfect!

Mixed feelings...

To be fair and honest, I waited until I finished the pot before posting a review.

To start, I take comfort in knowing any ingredients Ava uses are stellar, but this is not the chapped lip remedy I was hoping it would be, and any balm I have to dig out of a pot isn't great fun, because you're always left with that slick bit of reside on the fingertips that always ends up getting wiped on my arm afterwards. This comes out as a light oil across the lips if you swipe your finger across and apply, unless you dig out a little divot of balm and layer on the lips which I found myself doing because mama needs the additonal hydration. As far as flavor I didn't mind the light bitter coffee taste, but my kids and husband did NOT look forward to helping me finish this pot. All these factors have made me realize I likely won't be buying this balm for my lips again. However, applied under my eyes sparingly, this balm was far more appreciated.

Thelma lip treatment

I like this very much. It's just the right amount of moisture. With other natural lip treatments I always seemed to get little bumps or whiteheads around my mouth because they were just too rich for my skin. I have been steadily using the Thelma lip treatment for 2 weeks with no problems. Thanks for making such a great product.