Buying Guide: 10+ Best Organic Lip Balms 2021

July 6, 2021

There’s pretty much nothing I’m obsessed more with than lip balms…well let me clarify, ORGANIC lip balms. Why slather your lips with synthetics, parabens and health-compromising toxins when you can nourish your lips with organic butters and oils? I’m rounding them all up here—coupon codes too!

profile of me applying lip balm

IN THIS POST:

Lip balms = LIFE! Who’s with me!? I rarely leave my house without one not to mention I have them stashed in my car, bag, bathroom, kids backpacks…So I’m pretty much always within an arms reach of conditioned lips. Needless to say, there’s nothing I’m obsessed with more than organic lip balms.

And all the people said YESSSS! Why? Well the skin on our lips is actually composed differently than the skin on the rest of our body in two ways.

First, the stratum corneum (the most outer layer of skin), is thinner on our lips. And second, our lips have a lack of melanin (which gives lips a red hue).

The lack of melanin and thinner skin makes lips more susceptible to sunspots and skin cancer.  Also, our lips have no sweat glands, no hair follicles, and no sebaceous glands. And this is why we get chapped lips!

RELATED: The best natural face moisturizers.


Ingredients to celebrate in organic lip balm

So in my book, there are two types of lip balms. Balms made with nourishing organic oils and butters OR balms made from synthetics like petroleum, preservatives like parabens and health-compromising ingredients like chemical fragrances. The choice is ours!

Obvi, we’re over the moon if we can find organic ingredients. It’s not always the case, but we’re looking there to start. We’re also looking for emollient ingredients that attract water from the air, and help hold it in, hydrating your kisser from top to bottom (lip).

  • Butters, like cocoa seed butter, shea butter and more.
  • Oils, like coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, red raspberry seed oil can provide some additional antioxidants and other nutrients to support the thin skin of lips.
  • Waxes, like candelilla, jojoba and beeswax, can help that balm stay put! We’re looking for ingredients that help prevent evaporation of moisture from the skin and also protect skin from irritation. This type of skincare ingredient is categorized as an “occlusive” because of the way it functions. Some vegan ingredients that act like occlusives are vegetable waxes (candelilla and jojoba).

You’ll usually see a combo of these in a lip balm, with different varieties and formulations producing different consistencies and feels (from a drier balm in a twist-up tube to a more liquid version in a squeeze tube). A butter+wax+oil=a lip balm you can love!

Ingredients to consider in organic lip balm

  • Mineral oil, typically listed as petrolatum or paraffin. Fatty acids from petroleum are absorbed through the skin, stored in our adipose tissue, not metabolized, and not excreted. Mineral oil snuck into food and cosmetics has led to mineral oil being the largest contaminant in human tissue (1).
  • Synthetic fragrances or flavors listed as fragrance or perfume or flavor or aroma. Sooo common in lip balms.
  • Questionable preservatives like chlorphenesin (2), parabens (3), and unregulated Phenoxyethanol (4).
  • Carmine. If you’re out for vegan, you’ll want to avoid colorants that are derived from insects, like carmine, a common sub for synthetic colors. The insects used to make carmine are called cochineal. They’re native to Latin America but mainly farmed in Peru, where millions of tiny insects are harvested every year to produce the coloring (5).
  • Synthetic dyes: Specifically FD&C or D&C synthetic colorants. These colors, originally derived from coal tar and now petroleum (6), have been linked to cancer (6), neurotoxicity, genotoxicity (7), and concerns with long-term safety (8). Most dyes, including Yellow 5, have been banned in Europe (9). 
  • Chemical UV Absorbers like… Avobenzone, which is genotoxic (10) (Sevinc et al. 2017), phototoxic, photoallergenic (11), increases damaging free-radical production in the skin (12) and is highly photo-unstable (11). Oxybenzone, which is also genotoxic (13) and induces chromosomal aberrations (13), passes easily through human skin and accumulates in the bloodstream 339-419 times higher than the FDA limit (14) after a single use, and contains residual carcinogen benzophenone (15). Oxybenzone is also a phototoxicant (16) and America’s and Europe’s most common cause of phototoxicity and photoallergic contact dermatitis (PACD). Homosalate, which is genotoxic (17), induces oxidative stress in cells and damages mitochondrial membranes (18). Pregnant women are advised to practice caution while using homosalate because this UV absorber has been found to affect the survival of the placental cells that nourish the embryo. Octocrylene (OCR), which is a photoallergen (19) and it causes considerable DNA-damaging free-radical singlet oxygen production (20), enhancing UVA-induced cell damage (21).

RELATED: Looking for vegan lip balms? We’ve got you covered with our top vegan lip balm picks.


Maya Chia's Waterless Wonderbalm

My favorite organic lip balm

So while we are on the subject….let me just come out and say it, I’m kinda obsessed with Maya Chia’s Waterless Wonder Balm. It can be used to treat a myriad of body parts and issues. Hands, cuticles, feet, elbows…you can even use it as a heavy-hitting face balm. The texture is creamy, silky, smooth and rich. And it’s healing, soothing and protective. And the ingredients? To die for.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Supercritical Chia Oil, organic Apricot Kernel Oil, organic Sunflower Oil, Beeswax, Non-GMO Vitamin E, 2% essential oils or botanical extracts. 

Maya Chia holds the US patent on supercritical chia seed extraction which is the cleanest extraction method on the block. This ensures we are getting all the benefits chia has to offer in its most natural state and you will only find it here with Maya Chia. Read my full Maya Chia review here.

Chia seed oil is a superfood for your skin. It’s stacked with saturated fatty acids which keeps skin cell membranes healthy and fights against free radical damage. Check out this 2010 study on the efficacy of topical n-3 fatty acid products containing just 4% chia oil on patients suffering from severe cases of dry, problematic, itchy skin. It “improved skin hydration, skin barrier function and reduced trans-epidermal water loss” in just two weeks – which sounds like the perfect recipe for a lip balm to me! (Scroll through the study to see the results).

I love the Waterless Wonder Balm for days but it’s especially great as a night lip treatment too. I wake up with lips feeling so smooth and soft. Like, I just can’t get enough. And of course it’s formulated without the use of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs and SLSs.

The Waterless Wonder Balm makes for a spendy lip balm but I’ve had mine for over a year and I still have some left— it’s super concentrated and a little goes a long way.

RELATED: HENNÉ Organics Review


Buying guide: Best organic lip balms 2021

Keep scrolling for more AND while you’re at it, check out this video that details my favorite organic lip balms here!

RELATED: Top 10 Clean Beauty Products At Target

RELATED: Our roundup of all the best vegan lip balms.

Which one of these organic lip balms is your favorite?

Xo, lisa

TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

REFERENCES:

1. Concin, Nicole; Hofstetter, Gerda; Plattner, Barbara; Tomovski, Caroline; Fiselier, Katell; Gerritzen, Kerstin; Fessler, Siegfried; Windbichler, Gudrun; Zeimet, Alain; Ulmer, Hanno; Siegl, Harald; Rieger, Karl; Concin, Hans; Grob, Koni; Mineral oil paraffins in human body fat and milk, August 2007; https://www.dr-jetskeultee.nl/jetskeultee/download/common/6112014.pdf

2. Wang, Jingyi; Liu, Yang; Kam, Wendy; Li, Ying; Sullivan, David A.; Toxicity of the cosmetic preservatives parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on human meibomian gland epithelial cells; 25 September 2019; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001448352030316X

3. Pan, Shawn; Yuan, Chaoshen; Tagmount, Abderrahmane; Rudel, Ruthann A.; Ackerman, Janet M.; Yaswen, Paul; Vulpe, Chris D.; Leitman, Dale C.L; Parabens and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Ligand Cross-Talk
in Breast Cancer Cells; May 2016; https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/ehp.1409200

4. D’Souza, Ryan S.; Warner, Nafisseh; Phenol Nerve Block; Mayo Clinic, updated in September 2020; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525978/

5. Cameo Chemicals; MeSH; National Library of Medicine, updated on February 20th, 2021; https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Carmine

6. Kobylewski, Sarah; Jacobson, Michael F; Toxicology of food dyes; International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health July 2012; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23026007/#:~:text=Three%20dyes%20(Red%2040%2C%20Yellow,5%20were%20positive%20for%20genotoxicity

7. Taylor, S.L.; Baumert, J.L.; Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2014; https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/tartrazine

8. Nomination background D &C red no. 27 [CASRN 13473-26-2], D&C Red No. 28 [CASRN 18472-87-2]; National Institutes of Health, October 2000; https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/chem_background/exsumpdf/reddyes_508.pdf

9. Nomination background D &C red no. 27 [CASRN 13473-26-2], D&C Red No. 28 [CASRN 18472-87-2]; National Institutes of Health, October 2000; https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/chem_background/exsumpdf/reddyes_508.pdf

10. Yazar, Selma; GÖKÇEK, Yaman; Yeni Yüzyil Üniversitesi; Marmara Pharmaceutical Journal, February 2018; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322887211_Assessment_of_in_vitro_genotoxic_effect_of_homosalate_in_cosmetics

11. Paris, Cecilia; Lhiaubet-Vallet, Virginie; Jimenez, Oscar; Trullas, Carles; Miranda, Angel, Miguel; Instituto de Tecnologıa Quımica UPV-CSIC; Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain; ISDIN S.A., Dermopharmaceutical Discovery Unit, Barcelona, Spain; April 25th, 2008; A Blocked Diketo Form of Avobenzone: Photostability, Photosensitizing
Properties and Triplet Quenching by a Triazine-derived UVB-filter; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00414.x

12. Sayre, Robert M.; Dowdy, John C.; Gerwig, Andre J.; Shlelds, William J.; Lioyd, Roger V.; Unexpected Photolysis of the Sunscreen Octinoxate in the Presence of the Sunscreen Avobenzone, 30th April 2007; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2005.tb00207.x

13. Santovito, Alfredo; Ruberto, Stefano; Galli, Gabriella; Menghi, Constanza; Girotti, Marilena; Cervella, Piero; Drug and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 4, 2019; Induction of chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei by 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (oxybenzone) in human lymphocytes; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01480545.2018.1455206

14. Matta, Murali K. Matta, PhD; Florian, Jeffry, PhD; Zusterzeel, Robbert MD, PhD, MPH; JAMA Network, January 21st, 2020; Effect of Sunscreen Application on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2759002

15. National Toxicology Program Tech Rep Services, February 2006; Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of benzophenone (CAS No. 119-61-9) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (feed studies); https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16741556/

16. Photobiology Unit, Department of Dermatology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee; The European Multicentre Photopatch Test Study (EMCPPTS) Taskforce; A European multicentre photopatch test study; http://rihuc.huc.min-saude.pt/bitstream/10400.4/1453/1/2012-Brit%20J%20Dermatol-EMCPPTS.pdf

17. Yazar, Selma PhD; Ertekin, Simge, Kara; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology; Assessment of the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of homosalate in MCF‐7, April 25th, 2019; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.12973

18. Yang, Changwon; Lim, Whasun; Bazer, Fuller W.; Song, Gwonhwa; Environmental Pollution, Volume 243, Part B; December, 2018; Homosalate aggravates the invasion of human trophoblast cells as well as regulates intracellular signaling pathways including PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0269749118309990

19. Avenel-Audran, MD; Dutartre, Hervé, MD; Gossens, An, PhD; Arch Dermatol., July,  2010;146(7):753-757. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.132; Octocrylene, an Emerging Photoallergen; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/421621

20. Allen, John M.; Gossett, Cynthia J.; Allen, Sandra; Chemical Research in Toxicology; Photochemical Formation of Singlet Molecular Oxygen in Illuminated Aqueous Solutions of Several Commercially Available Sunscreen Active Ingredients, April, 1996; https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx950197m

21. Hansona, Kerry M.; Gratton, Enrico; Bardeena, Christopher J.; Free Radical Biology, Volume 4, Issue8; 15th, October 2006; Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0891584906004138

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

111 Comments

  1. Reply

    Jess

    Oooh, love me a good lip balm. Thanks for all these reco’s!

  2. Reply

    Megan

    Awesome read! I’ve heard incredible things about Maya Chia products!

  3. Reply

    Alicia

    I always enjoy reading your posts, Lisa. Thank you for all the good information you share. All those lip balms sound wonderful. I would be excited to try the Maya Chia’s Waterless Wonder Balm. Thanks for this awesome giveaway 🙂

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Alicia! Thanks so much for reading! Yes! Anything Maya Chia is a real treat!

  4. Reply

    Rachel

    So many great ones to try that I have not yet. 💗

  5. Reply

    Margaret

    Love your list! H is for Love is also a great one! I can’t live without lip balm. I’m more of a balm girl than a lipstick girl 😀

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Margaret! I LOVE H Is For Love Lip Glacé – shame on me for not including it! I will definitely amend my post – it’s so good!

  6. Reply

    Janice

    There are SO many products out there I’m so easily overwhelmed. Thanks for narrowing it down a bit for us! I’ll have to try these. Currently, I’m using H is for Love lip glacé and really loving it.

  7. Reply

    Jennifer Perez

    I love the Kari Gran, but I recently got a W3LL People naked lip balm (it’s a stick!) – have you tried that one?

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Jennifer! I haven’t! I’ve tried some of their colored nudist balms which are also sticks. If it’s the same formula it’s really nice!

  8. Reply

    Emily

    I am a lip balm addict and I would love to try this one!

  9. Reply

    Rosie

    I’m finally making changes in my skincare and beauty collection and going all natural. So happy to have found your blog! This is such an informative post as lip balms are SUCH a necessity. I’ll definitely be checking out these brands!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Hi Rosie! Thanks so much for reading! Love that you are here. xo!

  10. Reply

    Patricia

    I’ve not tried any waterless balms so this is super interesting for me. Just learning about what’s what and why. Thanks girly.

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Yeah girly! Its a real treat!

  11. Reply

    KB

    This is perfect timing! I have been searching for the perfect balm that will really do the trick. My 7 year old son looks terrible with chapped/split lips. Yesterday he was so bad his lips were so cut & bloody he didn’t even want to go to school! He needs a seriously great balm!!! He needs to listen with drinking his water and use a great balm and be back to his cute self again. 😉 Gotta look into all these!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      I feel the same as you – I hate it when my kids get chapped lips!

  12. Reply

    Natalie

    One of the things I unfortunately still go back to my old products on. I haven’t been able to find that perfect lip balm yet. I definitely need to try some of these

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Definitely start here Natalie! Thanks for reading!

  13. Reply

    Illy Junus

    I never heard about this brand before. But we are a lip balm family. Hoarder around 20 at the time. You can find it at every corner in my house. Recently travel to Japan brings more lip balm. I couldn’t even pronounce the name too because is in Japanese word. But right now I have been loving it for a months.

  14. Reply

    Magda

    Wanted to try maya chia for so long. Great post by the way.

  15. Reply

    Ashley

    So happy you posted this. I was just searching this past week for a great lip balm. I can’t wait to try some of these out!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Perfect timing! Thanks Ashley!

  16. Reply

    Sabrina

    Thank you for writing this wonderful article! I am always searching for a good lip balm. I’m currently using the Osmia lip doctor which I am really enjoying! I would love to try the Maya Chia Waterless Wonder Balm as I haven’t tried anything from Maya Chia!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Maya Chia is a master formulator!

  17. Reply

    Kate

    Omg these lip balms sound so amazing. I should get my boyfriend some of these, poor guy gets chapped lips easily lol.

  18. Reply

    Perrine

    Thank you for this beautiful review. I would love to try this amazing lip balm. I’m currently using Annmarie Gianni’s antioxidant lip balm that I love but it’s always great to discover new products! 🙂

  19. Reply

    Melissa Foust

    LOve the chia seed extraction! Pick me!

  20. Reply

    Gina Gallagher

    I love a good lip balm! My current favorites are by Jersey Shore Cosmetics!

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