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We’ve put together this list of organic lipsticks because simply put: lipstick is iconic. From the classic red lip to the romanticized scenes of people carefully applying it in movies. Lipstick is more than just makeup. It’s a whole mood!
Unfortunately, conventional makeup brands don’t account for the fact that some of the ingredients they use to help us add that pop of color or to complete our look are toxic or potentially harmful to us. Even though it goes right on our lips, and we practically eat as the day goes on. I mean… we all know the taste of lipstick for a reason…
Though this might feel like common sense to some of us, it is not. Even with higher-end brands that charge premium prices for their luxury goods. So here’s a list of our favorite brands for some of the best organic lipstick options that slay — minus the harmful ingredients!
Our Top picks for organic lipstick
One of the best options for sustainable organic lipstick, Elate is a cosmetics brand rooted in authenticity, transparency, and trust. All ingredients used in their products are carefully sourced, 100% vegan, and cruelty-free.
As for organic ingredients, 75% of the ingredients used in their products are organic, though they favor fair trade over organic when they must choose between the two.
All of the packaging used is currently around 75% waste-free. Where products contain plastics, Elate ensures they are recyclable as they continue working toward becoming an entirely plastic-free and waste-free company.
In search of organic red lipstick or organic pink lipstick? This is a great place to start. Their products feature organic and natural ingredients like organic castor seed oil and organic jojoba seed oil though they also contain some synthetic colorants like red 7 and blue 2.
Elate uses a recyclable plastic insert and an infinitely recyclable aluminum wrap to package their lipsticks. They can both be disposed of in household recycling bins!
A bamboo tube can also be crushed up with heavy pliers and composted. There is a sticker that does have to be thrown away in the trash, but it is sourced locally as a more ethical alternative.
This year, Elate launched the Reveal Lip Pencil, a new low-waste, vegan, cruelty-free, multi-use pencil that enhances your natural tone! And let me say how AMAZING these pencils are.
I've got all 5 shades, the best for my skin (pale) is the Serene. I've had friends and family try them, and they fall in love instantly, too! They are unreal to use. They glide onto the lips so softly and with ease and are long-lasting, run, don't walk to get your hands on these goodies.
To ship their orders, Elate uses size-appropriate, recyclable boxes made from post-consumer material, padded with paper fill material. If you live in Victoria, BC, they invite you to pick up your order at their warehouse!
Elate also offers a Perfectly Imperfect Program where slightly damaged products that do not pass their visual quality test are sold at a discount. A great option for affordable natural organic makeup too.
Based in Wilmington, NC, River Organics offers makeup formulated to be safe and nourishing for the skin. They only use organic and natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. You will find concealer, highlighters, and blush as well as skincare, candles, and more!
We just had to include their lip stains in this round-up of organic lipsticks. Made from conflict-free, lab-made mica, they are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, so they are a good option for organic vegan lipstick. They also include many yummy certified organic ingredients like coconut oil and macadamia nut oil.
Best of all, their lip stains are completely plastic-free and packaged in eco-friendly compostable paper tubes with a biodegradable seal. Remove the cap, dip a brush or finger in, and apply directly to the lips. Use code THEECOHUB10 for 10% off.
3. 100% PURE
100% PURE is committed to offering the healthiest products possible. Their makeup is naturally pigmented using fruits, vegetables, tea, and cocoa, and is all certified cruelty-free. Other ingredients used come from plants, minerals, and marine vegetation, processed using only fermentation, distillation, and cold processing.
Made from lots of lovely fruit extracts from cherries, pomegranates, blueberries, grapes, and more, their lipsticks certainly sound yummy enough to take a bite out of (or to accidentally ingest as the day goes on).
100% Pure makes sure to source its ingredients ethically and responsibly, and they all come together to create the plethora of lovely tints available in their Fruit pigmented Cocoa Butter Matt Lipstick. Definitely one of the best options for natural lipstick brands out there!
Hailing from Canada, Zakiella has identified and filled a void in the vibrant, natural makeup scene. They took a bold step beyond the usual neutral shades in clean beauty, introducing colors from bright lipsticks to eyeshadows in blues and purples.
Zakiella's core mission is Reimagining Clean Beauty™, emphasizing diverse shade offerings and ditching microplastic ingredients. A standout feature? Their eyeshadow refills—an eco-friendly innovation that combats waste, allowing users to customize palettes or simply refresh a favored shade.
Their dedication to transparency shines through their website. Every product’s ingredients are clearly listed, backed by images for clarity. Their commitment runs deep—be it the Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free stamp, a stance against child-labor mica, or the exclusion of talc, PFAS, and silicones.
Interestingly, they’ve chosen the synthetic Red 7 for certain lipsticks, a conscious decision to avoid aluminum and align with FDA standards.
Customers will find an easy breakdown of natural ingredient percentages when navigating their website. Whether it's a 100% natural selection or something vibrant yet over 95% natural, Zakiella caters to all.
On the packaging front, Zakiella embraces minimalism. Labels are printed directly onto products, both cutting waste and ensuring a concise ingredient list, given the space constraints.
Zakiella’s Lipstick Range
Zakiella's lipsticks, crafted from natural and organic ingredients, promise the luxury of a lip balm with the pigment intensity of high-end makeup. Glide on their silky formula, and you’re met with a satin finish that moisturizes all day.
For those seeking the ultra-matte look without compromising lip care, Zakiella’s unique blend, free from microplastics, offers a bold, velvety touch, thanks to the infusion of nourishing castor oil.
Their Lip Radiance collection, a harmonious blend of balm, gloss, and oil, hydrates with organic castor oil and Lanolin—known for its moisture-locking properties. Always delivering a glossy finish minus the stickiness, Zakiella ensures you have many shades to find your signature lip glow.
Ilia’s makeup is formulated with skincare in mind using ingredients that shield skin from environmental stressors. All ingredients used are carefully chosen, with no compromises.
With lots of lovely tints to choose from, Ilia makes a great, inclusive option when it comes to natural lipstick brands.
Their lipsticks are certified gluten-free and made from lovely ingredients like sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, and avocado oil. They do contain some mica and may contain titanium oxide, dyes, and iron oxides.
In terms of packaging, Ilia does offer products using recycled aluminum, glass, and responsibly sourced paper but some of their products are more difficult to dispose of. Taking responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their product, Ilia offers U.S. customers the option to mail in up to 10 empty products per month to be broken down and responsibly disposed of with the help of Pact Collective. They also accept products from other brands, no problem.
The Beautycounter was founded by a concerned consumer who set out to offer clean, effective skincare and makeup products — while working to change the laws that determine what ingredients are allowed or not allowed in cosmetics.
To source ingredients, Beautycounter has built a responsible sourcing program designed to continually address high-risk ingredients like mica, palm oil, and vanilla.
For lipstick, Beautycounter’s Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick is available in 10 lovely everyday tints and is certified vegan. It’s made using responsibly sourced, certified organic vanilla, and a blend of botanical waxes and sustainably derived jojoba esters. No formaldehyde, phenacetin, benzene, chromium, cadmium, or other big no-nos.
For packaging, Beautycounter has developed its own packaging scorecard to help guide internal decision-making processes. Products that are packaged in plastics are free from phthalates and BPA.
While they continue working to make all their packaging recycled, recyclable, reused or compostable, they have launched refillable products like The Clean Deo.
Fat & The Moon wants to offer an alternative to unhealthy beauty standards that aim to tame, eliminate or fix. Instead, founder Rachel Budde created Fat & The Moon to celebrate and empower.
You will find healing balms and beautifying concoctions including cheek and lip stains. Though they are not quite the same as lipsticks you may want to check them out on the hunt for organic lipstick.
Their Beetroot Cheek + Lip Stain offers two products in one, is vegan, and is made from natural and organic ingredients like beetroot powder, sunflower oil, and beeswax. No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or toxins here either.
It also has mild antibacterial, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties is packaged in a plastic-free tin and will ship plastic-free in recyclable packaging made from recycled material. Perfect for a pop of color (and red-wine berry tones), it should be used within 6 months of purchase.
Henné focuses on crafting beauty products that are effective using trustworthy ingredients. With a penchant for Scandinavian design, all of their products are made to be irresistible so don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling in love.
Their lipstick looks just as vibrant and nourishing as they describe. Available in several gorgeous tints, they are made from lots of lovely organic lipstick ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic castor seed oil, and organic jojoba oil.
Though they are leaping bunny certified cruelty-free they are not vegan so do be mindful of that if you are looking for organic vegan lipstick instead.
Made with care in the USA and USDA-certified organic, there are lots to love over at Henné. Find more thoughtfully crafted products for the face, hands, and lips–formulated to be as natural as possible.
Why consider switching to organic lipstick?
Though this is slowly changing in some cases, conventional cosmetics and personal care products are still riddled with all sorts of stuff I don’t want on my skin. In fact, when we apply things to our skin, it is absorbed and joins the bloodstream.
Products like foundation tend to contain harsh and/or toxic compounds like parabens, BHA and BHT, ethanolamines, sodium laureth sulfate, retinol, lead, and heavy metals. Best to reach for some of our favorite organic & natural foundation brands here too.
When it comes to lipstick, a joint effort between the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found lead and other toxic metals in a surprising number of lipsticks. Out of all the products tested, 61% of them contained lead, which is well documented as being harmful to humans.
A good rule of thumb from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is to read labels and avoid cosmetics containing the following ingredients:
- Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3 idol)
- Coal Tar
- Untreated or mildly treated mineral oils
- Ethylene oxide
- Cadmium and its compounds
- Arsenic and Crystalline silica (or quartz).
Astonishingly, in the US, the FDA has no say over personal care products. That’s why it can feel truly insane when inspecting some of the ingredients used in the 100s of products lining the shelves at our favorite drug stores or makeup stores. The responsibility is essentially all on the consumer to know better and to make better choices.
In the EU, the use of coal tar, benzene, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium, and arsenic is prohibited. The use of formaldehyde is restricted in the EU and banned in Japan.
In Canada, formaldehyde, coal tar dye, benzene, ethylene oxide, chromium, and cadmium, and its compounds, arsenic and its compounds are prohibited or restricted. For more details see the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.
Some might argue that many of the harmful ingredients included in our cosmetics are there to extend their shelf life. Things like antimicrobials, antifungals, and preservatives are the reason why that long-forgotten tube of chapstick can sit at the bottom of your purse for ages and be recovered while looking intact. I for one would be happy with a shorter shelf life if it means safer products.
How do we choose organic lipstick
With all of this gloomy stuff out of the way let’s have a look at our clean beauty criteria for a list of what else we look out for when it comes to safer lipstick and cleaner beauty products in general.
Good Ingredients: Our selection encompasses only the best natural components, completely devoid of harmful chemicals and pesticides, and sidestepping ingredients we believe you should avoid.
Certified Organic: Our preference consistently leans towards certified organic components. This guarantees a production process untainted by harmful agents, ensuring a safer product for both you and our planet. Keep an eye out for trusted labels such as EcoCert COSMOS Organic, USDA Organic, MADE SAFE, and EWG VERIFIED.
Vegan: All products are crafted without the use of animal-derived elements, and have the backing of reputable entities like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Vegan.org.
Cruelty-Free: Our stance is firm - no animal testing. Our products come with endorsements from trusted entities like PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies, Cruelty-Free Kitty, Leaping Bunny, and Cruelty-Free International.
Palm Oil-Free: Recognizing the impacts on communities from palm oil production, we champion alternatives and highlight brands that adhere to the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Check for certifications such as Palm Oil Free from the Orangutan Alliance and RSPO.
Sustainably Sourced: We ensure that our products not only respect the planet but also uphold the rights and well-being of everyone in the supply chain. Certifications to look for include Fairtrade.org or Fair Trade Certified.
Better Packaging: We place emphasis on products that utilize compostable, zero-waste, recyclable, or reusable packaging, ensuring minimal impact on the environment.
A final word on organic lipstick
Though they are not all perfect, these brands make it possible to find safer, more eco-friendly options when it comes to lipstick. And I hope this list will make it easier to reach for safer products that look just as fabulous without the need for any endocrine disruptors or potential carcinogens.
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