Kinda Obsessed – Organic Lip Balms

January 23, 2020

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!

organic lip balm
Photo by Monkey & Squirrel

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!

Enter lip balms.

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!

RELATED: Top 10 Clean Beauty Products At Target

organic lip balms flat lay

Ingredients to celebrate in lip balm

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 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.

My two favorite organic lip balms

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.

profile of me applying lip balm

RELATED: HENNÉ Organics Review

More organic lip balms!

But it doesn’t stop there. Scroll down for some additional clean lip balms I use and love too. But first here are the BEST OFs for each category. Click through to see each winner:

fitglow beauty night lip serum

Fitglow Beauty Night Lip Serum

LOVE this overnight to soften, hydrate and transform lips. Pomegranate plant sterols, beet extract and vegan collagen actually work to improve lip cell structure and fight signs of aging. Can you say bedside table staple!? This formula has almost a gummy consistency but the payoff is worth it. Great for overnight, not so much for daytime. With a hint of vanilla this formula is straight up transforming. $48

olio e osso no 1 balm

OLIO E OSSO Balm No. 1

A sheer waxy balm with a stiff consistency and almost a dry finish. I love this one because it’s fragrance-free and it stays put – like you put it on and it’s not going anywhere but it’s also not distracting either. Made with only four ingredients, great for lips, cheeks and kids faces too. You can even use it to tame eyebrows and beards. $28

ogee sculpted lip oil clear

OGEE Sculpted Lip Oil Clear

This is actually a solid oil stick. When you take the cap off, it kind of look like a crayon. The Sculpted Lip Oil adds shine with a hint of mint via peppermint essential oil. They apply thin and finish with a nice slip. Available in several shades including a clear. Formulated with hyaluronic to help draw in moisture although some people report these have a drying effect on their lips. See all shades applied here! $22 (Gluten free)

Beneath Your Mask Remedy Conditioning Lip Balm

Remedy Conditioning Lip Balm

Kinda obsessed with this formula. First of all, the packaging is in a SLEEK aluminum black squeeze tube – talk about chic. Second, this formula is INTENSE. It’s designed to moisturize, condition, soften and protect and it does all of that with a hint of lavender. It’s CRAZY THICK – think Vaseline on roids. You really have work to get it out of the tube but I love that because this formula doesn’t play. GREAT for dry, peeling and chapped lips. $22

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

sparitual lip balm

Sparitual Citrus Cardamom Moisture Balm

My total daytime fave right now. I love this cubby, fatty tube. The citrus/cardamom scent is understated and elegant. The consistency is just right – not too thin, not too thick. You can use this all over your body but for me it’s reserved for lips only! $23 THISORGANICGIRL10 will save you 10% at The Detox Market. (Gluten free).

Henne lip balm v2

Henné Organics Lux Lip Balm V2

A certified organic, fragrance free, lux lip balm that comes in a sleek black tube. Medium consistency with a light creamy finish. Love it. $22 (Gluten free)

bali balm organic lip balm

Bali Balm in cinnamon & burnt orange

This smelled so strong out of the tube I just knew I was going hate it but au contraire! It’s everything I love about fall jam packed into a lip balm. A little tingly, a lot of cinnamon, a hint of orange and thick, even moisture. It even comes with one of those old school Blistex slanted lip applicators. $33

lisetta 28 melted balm

28 LITSEA Melted Balm

Yes, yes and YES! This balm is so beautiful and it’s made in my home state of Massachusetts! (Which by the way, no one can pronounce in the south – it always comes out sounding like some foul phrase – it’s actually pretty hillar because everyone says it with a strait face and I’m like; you just swore – haha!) Conditioning, creamy, not too heavy/not too light, smells minty and pretty. $12 (Gluten free)

meow meow tweet lip balm

Meow Meow Tweet’s Vegan Lip Balm

A multi-purpose chubby stick that can do no wrong. Think chapped cheeks, noses, lips, cracked hands and more. Comes in an eco-friendly, biodegradable paper tube. Coconut Cacao anyone!? Sold! $14 Code: OrganicGirl20 will save you 20%! (Gluten free)

rms lip balm

RMS Lip and Skin Balm

Any makeup line that Giselle Bündchen uses is good enough for me too. Giselle literally has the founder of RMS travel with her for shoots and work. It’s that clean and it’s that good. This is another multipurpose balm. It comes in one of two flavors/scents: a really light smelling vanilla or a light cocoa. This not only conditions but works to heal, hydrate and protect too. Love this on my cheek bones too as a natural, dewy finish highlighter. Comes in glass. An all around A+. $25

vapour organic lip balm

Vapour Organic Lip Conditioner

Recently reformulated in 2019, this fatty certified organic lip balm is not only super chic but it soothes and protects too. Love this matte conditioner for day wear; not too greasy. Plus it’s flavored with organic fig and plum apricot for a sweet finish. Read my full review on Vapour Beauty here. Certified organic. $24 

osmia lip doctor

OSMIA Lip Doctor

OSMIA can literally do no wrong and the same applies to their lip doctah! This no-frills formula is all business. It’s castor oil free (which some people are allergic to) and essential oil free – perfect for those with sensitivities. Formulated with a base of olive oil, the lip doctor leaves no lips behind! Nourishing, healing and calming. A great option for someone who is looking to swap out their Chapstick. Both of my kids have this in their school backpack. Do yourself a fave and buy two. $12 (Gluten free)

kari gran lip whip clear

Naked Peppermint Lip Whip

If you haven’t entered into the land of Kari Gran Lip Whips yet…GUUURRRL you are missing out! Creamy, conditioning and minty with the perfect amount of gloss. This balm is borderline a lipgloss. Packaged in a glass pot. They have tinted ones too. Super cute! $20 (Gluten free)

true botanicals lip balm

True Botanicals Moisture Lock Lip Balm

It’s back and better than ever. Now formulated with hyaluronic acid to help draw moisture in and also sans beeswax so it’s officially vegan. This formula has a thin consistency and a lot of slip. Love the glass packaging. $28 Code: LISATRUE20 will save first timers on $40+ orders at True Botanicals! (Gluten free)

zoe organics everything balm

ZOE Organics Everything Balm

This multipurpose balm is a mother’s dream come true. Use it on your lips, your kid’s faces, hands, heels, nipples…it literally does it all. And it’s certified organic to boot! Love that it comes in a chubby stick. $11.99

Hurraw lip balm

Hurrah Lip Balm

An all organic lip balm that comes in several flavors like lemon, mint, grapefruit…also available with SPF too. Goes on smooth, is super nourishing and smells amazing! Comes in a traditional application tube. $3.79

moroccan magic lip balm

Moroccan Magic

This all-organic lip balm is divine! Comes in several trending flavors like rose, peppermint eucalyptus, lemon thyme and coconut almond. Available at CVS, Wegmans, Bed Bath & Beyond + Whole Foods. Certified organic. Comes in a traditional application tube. $3.99

lilfox lip balm

LILFOX Gelsomino Luxury Lip Butter

With scents of jasmine, French neroli, Italian bergamot, this lip balm doubles as a perfume balm. Talk about a 2 in 1! $33

kosas clear lip balm

Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm in Baseline

This formula is charged with attracting water and sealing in nourishment while working to repair and plump. This sits heavier on the lips with a semi-matte finish. A little minty too. $18 (Gluten free)

Which one of these organic lip balms is your favorite?

Xo, lisa

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

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

    Lisa

    Would love to try this! Sounds like a perfect in the car balm…some for the lips, the cuticles, etc. love the multipurpose and great ingredients!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Red light central right here Lisa!

  2. Reply

    Angie

    Thanks for suggesting a lip balm with SPF – need a staple for my family while we’re at the beach (and everyday!).

  3. Reply

    Anne

    I’m so glad I found this post! My lips are in dire need of some good lip balm!

  4. Reply

    Steph H.

    I’ve never tried any of these! Super excited to start going down this list. Thanks for another great post to fill us in on all the best!

  5. Reply

    Stefanie

    Great post! I love Vapour Beauty’s balm. Maya Chia is on my list.

  6. Reply

    Andrea

    You are so in incredibly generous! I’m glad I found your feed and have been reading up!

  7. Reply

    Shana Miller

    Oh Wow! Maya Chia is on my bucket list of brands I NEED to try before I die! This giveaway is everything!!!

  8. Reply

    Leanna H

    How fascinating! I appreciate the time you take to better inform us as we make important skincare decisions – i am excited to share this resource with my friends. Thank you! Xoxo

  9. Reply

    Robin

    LOVE Maya Chia. My go to product. I have been getting tons of compliments on my skin…at age 65 no less. Now I need to add the waterless lip balm!

    1. Reply

      thisorganicgirl

      Oh absolutely Robin!!!

  10. Reply

    Barbie

    I love everything lip balm!!!! Would love to try this one❤️

  11. Reply

    thisorganicgirl

    Thanks to everyone who entered and a big CONGRATS to Michelle M. and Alicia D! You guys are each taking on a Maya Chia Waterless Wonder Balm! I emailed you both! xo!

  12. Reply

    Mila

    Such a helpful and comprehensive post!!! Thank you! I tried your meow meow tweet code, but it’s not working 🤷🏻‍♀️

    1. Reply

      Lisa

      I’m so sorry! That is supposed to be an evergreen code for my readers – I’ve already emailed them to check in. I’ll have this fixed ASAP! Thanks for reading! xo

  13. Reply

    Ki

    Do any of these have spf? I’m looking for a budget friendly, preferably vegan, lip balm with spf, would be very grateful for a suggestion.

    1. Reply

      Lisa

      Hi Ki! Check out Solara, All Good or Hurrah – they all have SPF options ; ) xo, Lisa

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