Nobody likes chapped lips! Delicate lip skin is more prone to dryness than other body parts, which is why most people have a lip balm within reach most of the time—in your purse or backpack, in your desk drawer, on your nightstand…
You may have even caught yourself in a cycle where you seem to be putting on lip balm all day, every day. Well, there’s a reason for that, and it’s often about more than just dry skin. Here’s the thing: a lot of lip balms are made with petroleum derivatives which don’t actually moisturize your lips!
So in this article, we’re going to talk about why most lip balms and chapsticks don’t really work that well, and what to use instead to truly nourish your lips.
Table of Contents
- Are Vaseline & Other Petroleum-Based Lip Balms Good for Your Lips?
- 9 Best Non-Toxic Lip Balms Without Petroleum
- Waxeline (Best Vaseline Alternative)
- Somebody (Best Zero Waste Lip Balm)
- Dr. Bronner’s (Best Lip Balm Available in Stores)
- Olio E Osso (Best Natural Tinted Lip Balm)
- Earth Mama (Best Affordable Organic Lip Balm)
- Erbaviva (Best for Organic Balm for Babies)
- 6 Best Vegan Lip Balms Without Petroleum OR Beeswax
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our ingredient standards.
Are Vaseline & Other Petroleum-Based Lip Balms Good for Your Lips?
We recently looked into petroleum skincare products like Vaseline and gave you some better, more natural alternatives for multi-purpose balms.
I encourage you to read the first half of that article for the full explanation, but here’s the short version of why balms with petroleum are not good:
Petroleum jelly (which will show up on ingredient lists as “petrolatum,” “mineral oil,” or “paraffin”) is a byproduct of crude oil. Although it’s widely used as a “moisturizing” agent, it can’t actually be absorbed by the skin. Instead, it just acts like sealant, trapping in moisture until it eventually wears off. This is why you have to keep applying your lip balm over and over again—because it only “works” (a.k.a. feels like it’s working) for as long as you have it on. It doesn’t actually help your dry lips in the longterm.
The other thing to know about petroleum jelly products is that they often contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. This is especially true in the U.S. where refinement regulations for personal care products are not nearly as strict as they are in other places like the E.U.
PAHs occur naturally in unrefined petroleum and are listed as known and/or probable carcinogens by various different organizations. Not only that, but certain PAHs can also cause other kinds of problems as well, including hormone disruption, organ damage, and more.
The problem is that your petroleum-based lip balm may or may not have PAHs in it, and due to the lack of regulation in the States, there’s almost no way of knowing for sure.
For those reasons (as well as the environmental concerns that come with the fossil fuel industry as a whole), we recommend ditching the petroleum lip balm and grabbing one of our vetted brands below instead!
9 Best Non-Toxic Lip Balms Without Petroleum
These are our picks for the best natural, non toxic, and organic lip balms made without petroleum products. Not only that, but they’re also free from other potentially toxic ingredients like fragrance, artificial dyes, BHT, ethoxylated ingredients, and more.
P.S. If you’re looking for vegan lip balm without beeswax, just scroll down!
Waxeline (Best Vaseline Alternative)
Price: $11.99 for 0.25 oz tube
Waxlene’s “Soothing Botanical Jelly” lip balm really feels like standard Vaseline. But it’s made with just four natural ingredients: organic beeswax, organic soy oil, organic rosemary oil, and natural vitamin E oil. It’s also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and is USDA certified organic.
Somebody (Best Zero Waste Lip Balm)
We love Somebody (previously known by the name Shea Brand). They have a beautiful, unique aesthetic; they use (mostly) certified organic ingredients; they’re cruelty-free; and they’re committed to sustainable business practices.
Their zero-waste lip balms comes in CBD and non-CBD versions and combine organic ingredients such as coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter (hence the name!), and more. Their (non-psychoactive) CBD comes from USA grown hemp and is tested for purity and potency by a third party.
Dr. Bronner’s (Best Lip Balm Available in Stores)
Price: $3.49 for 0.15 oz
You probably know about Dr. Bronner’s because of their colorful and text-full bottles of all-purpose castile soap. Well they also carry USDA organic lip balm, which is affordable and available in a lot of big box stores like Target and Walmart.
Flavors include Peppermint, Orange Ginger, Lemon Lime, and “Naked” (unscented/unflavored). They use nourishing ingredients like avocado and jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, and beeswax.
Olio E Osso (Best Natural Tinted Lip Balm)
If tinted lip balms are your thing, check out Olio E Osso. They’re made with ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, and beeswax, plus naturally-derived colorants.
They have lot of different colors, from clear all the way to dark rose.
P.S. If you’re looking for more colorful and non-toxic lipsticks, check out this article.
Earth Mama (Best Affordable Organic Lip Balm)
Price: $3 for 0.15 oz tube or $11.99 for a 4-pack
This is another great affordable organic lip balm option that comes in scents like Orange Ginger, Mint Herbal, Lavender Meringue, and Coconut Smoothie.
Leaping Bunny certified Cruelty-Free and Oregon Tilth certified organic, they’re made with natural and nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, cacao seed butter, candelilla wax, and more. The Orange Ginger flavor is the only variety that contains beeswax; the other flavors are vegan.
Erbaviva (Best for Organic Balm for Babies)
Price: $13 for 0.6 oz
This is one of the best options for your baby’s face! Meant to be used on the lips, cheeks, hands, or other skin as needed, it’s USDA Organic and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
6 Best Vegan Lip Balms Without Petroleum OR Beeswax
These lip balms are not only free of petroleum, but also beeswax and other animal products. We’ve also investigated their full ingredient lists to make sure they’re free from other potential toxins.
Sade Baron (Best Vegan Multipurpose Balm)
Price: $15 for 0.5 oz tube
This multi-purpose balm can be used to soothe chapped lips, soften dry cuticles, and relieve dry or itchy skin anywhere else you need it. In addition to being free of petroleum and beeswax, it contains soothing ingredients like apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Public Goods (Most Affordable Vegan Lip Balm)
Price: $1.95 for 0.15 oz tube
Coming in at only $1.95 a pop, Public Goods is one our favorite affordable natural lip balms. It’s made in Iowa with only three ingredients: certified organic coconut oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax.
River Organics (Best Vegan Tinted Lip Balm)
Price: $13.49 for 0.25 oz
If you’re looking for a lip balm that is not only non-toxic and vegan, but ALSO tinted, River Organics has a great “Rouge” balm that’s made with ingredients like coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, cacao seed butter, and more. And it’s zero waste, too!
Price: $10 for 0.3 oz
DedCool’s jumbo lip balms come in fun flavors like Banana Kush, Watermelon, Pineapple Express Cannabis, and Coconut. Some of them are infused with (non-psychoactive) hemp and some aren’t, while all of them are free from soy, animal products, and petroleum.
This petroleum-free lip balm is made with just two ingredients: castor oil and candelilla wax.
Each Doctor Rogers formula is developed by dermatologist Dr. Heather D. Rogers who “combines current scientific research with her clinical expertise to create skin care products that are both safe and effective using plant-based ingredients.”
Price: $14 for 1 oz
This is another great pick for lip balm that is free of petroleum products, is vegan, and is zero waste. It’s also made with organic and fair trade ingredients, too.
Choose from Coconut Cocao, Rosemary Eucalyptus, and Sweet Orange Tangerine.
Conventional chapsticks and lip balms often contain petroleum derivatives that aren’t healthy for humans or our environment. (Not to mention other types of potentially toxic ingredients, too!) The next time you need a solution for those dry, cracked lips, go for one of the natural and eco-friendly brands above.
Image Credits: Burst, all product photos belong to respective brands