Looking for the cleanest natural and organic lipsticks that are free from harmful ingredients, synthetics and artificial dyes? I got you covered! These truly non-toxic lipstick brands offer bold colors, pure ingredients and major nourishment for lips. I’m sharing what ingredients to avoid in lipstick, my top picks for clean lipsticks made with organic ingredients and why they’re one of the best!
Table of Contents
Why Choose Non-Toxic Lipstick?
Why is it important to choose the safest lipstick possible? An FDA study in 2010 found lead in 400 lipsticks at levels up to 7.19 ppm. Five of the 10 most lead-contaminated brands are made by L’Oreal USA. Another 2013 study by University of California researchers found nine toxic heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, aluminum, manganese, and lead in testing 24 lip glosses and eight lipsticks. They also found that when used at the estimated daily rate, the intake far exceeded acceptable daily intake levels. The cosmetics industry and the FDA do not prioritize protecting consumers over profits. They consider heavy metals in lispticks safe at small dosages without considering the long term and cumulative effect of these highly toxic ingredients.
But even within clean beauty, not all lipsticks are created equal. Many clean beauty brands today include synthetic ingredients like artificial dyes while fewer and fewer brands stick to 100% natural ingredients. This article highlights clean makeup brands that are careful about selecting their ingredients and follow good manufacturing practices to ensure their lipstick products are free from harmful toxins. We’re here to take the guesswork out for you, so you know which lipstick brands you can actually trust!
Ingredients to Avoid in Lipstick
It’s important to use the healthiest and safest lipstick because what goes on our lips ends up being ingested. This applies to everything we use on our lips from lip gloss to lip balm. Here are the most common ingredients you want to avoid in your lipstick:
- Parabens: These are preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Some people choose paraben-free lipsticks due to concerns about their potential impact on health.
- Fragrance: Lipsticks with added fragrance may cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies.
- Phthalates: These chemicals are sometimes used in cosmetics to improve texture and flexibility. It’s best avoid phthalates due to potential health concerns.
- Lead: Lead is a neurotoxicant and can be dangerous even at small doses. The use of lead in cosmetics is regulated and is not intentionally put in lipstick but many color additives approved by the FDA are mineral-based and therefore contain trace amounts of lead. Keep in mind there is NO safe level of lead exposure.
- Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is derived from petroleum and has a polluting manufacturing process. You can spot mineral oil through its many names: Paraffinum Liquidum, Isododecane, Ozokerite, Cera Microcristallina, Paraffin, Petrolatum, Ceresin, Synthetic Wax, Isohexadecane, Polybutene, Isoparaffin, Isoeicosane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Silicone Quaternium-17.
- Polyethylene and Polypropylene: These are microplastics often used for texture in lip products. We don’t know the long term effects of ingesting microplastics but it’s best to avoid.
- Carmine: Derived from insects, carmine is used to add red or pink hues to lipsticks. Vegans or those who prefer cruelty-free products may choose to avoid carmine.
- Retinyl Palmitate: A form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is used in some lipsticks. Some individuals may prefer to avoid it due to concerns about its safety in sun-exposed areas.
- Bismuth Oxychloride: This ingredient is sometimes found in shimmery lipsticks. Some people may be sensitive to it, causing irritation or itching.
- Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasing Agents: These preservatives can cause irritation and may be allergenic to some individuals.
My top pick and recommendation for an organic lipstick for everyday wear is the INIKA Certified Organic Lipstick and 100% Pure Pomegranate Oil Fruit Pigmented Lipstick. INIKA is 78% organic and certified and 100% Pure is made all natural ingredients.
Non-Toxic Lipstick Brands
- These are 100% natural lipsticks that feel so buttery and have great pigment power
- Colored from antioxidant and vitamin-packed fruit pigments like plum, raspberry, and grape
- Comes in 13 wearable, beautiful shades
- Satin finish
- I found the darker shades will have some bleeding at the edges
- SAVE: Affiliate code OBL saves 20%
- This is a luxurious natural lipstick that’s silicone-free, refillable and contains bio-dynamically grown root of light, dioscorea batatas and virgin cold-pressed olive oil
- This feels a little less creamy than 100% Pure’s lipstick
- 8 shades
- Refillable eco-friendly packaging
- This is a creamy, super pigmented natural lipstick with patented plant based complex proven to boost water absorption and hydration levels by +25% across 3 layers of the lip.
- Has a very moisturizing formula with Organic Castor, Jojoba and Rice Bran Oils
- Amazing pigment power without the use of FD&C dyes
- Long wear
- Great for sensitive lips: vegan, nut and sesame oil free
- This is my top pick and recommendation for an all natural lipstick that’s under $18 and USDA Certified Biobased
- So budget friendly, glides on smoothly and moisturizes my lips
- Eco-friendly bamboo reduces plastic waste by ~60%
- 6 shades
- Price: $18
Au Naturale Eternity Lipsticks have a buildable, buttery vegan formula that glides on easily and moisturizes lips with Carnauba Wax, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil. The Eternity Sheer Lipsticks are an “almost” lipstick that’s perfect for people who don’t want a highly pigmented lipstick. It’s a sheer lipstick that provides a your lips but better look. Eternity Classic comes in 6 very wearable nude and pink shades, while Eternity Sheer comes in 8 shades.
This is the healthiest lipstick on the market with 78% organic ingredients and tons of certifications that prove their claims. It glides on so smoothly, has great pigment and lasting power and actually moisturizes my lips.
- All natural and 78% organic
- Certified Vegan and Certified Cruelty-free
- Certified Organic Avocado, Jojoba and Argan Oil
- If you prefer a matte finish lipstick, the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Cocoa Butter Matte Lipsticks are fantastic
- Goes on smooth and doesn’t dry out the lips
- Available in 24 shades
- Formulated with chocolate and antioxidant-rich fruit pigments like cherry, blueberry, and peach.
- If you’re looking for something slightly less heavy duty than a lipstick, the best option is Juice Beauty’s Satin Lip Cream.
- It’s super creamy and made with hyaluronic acid to help with the appearance of a fuller lip.
- Satin finish
- 6 shades
- This is another great affordable natural lipstick made with a luxe blend of natural oils and waxes.
- It’s a little bit drier than other clean lipsticks and has a semi-matte finish
- 6 shades
- This is an amazing affordable organic lipstick that’s 100% natural, certified organic and vegan!
- It’s creamy, heavily pigmented and made with organic shea butter, castor oil, and pomegranate extract.
- Eco-friendly bamboo packaging
Clean Lipsticks with Synthetic Color
International: Shop RMS at Space NK
International: Shop Kosas at Space NK
SAVE: Affiliate code OBL saves 15%
SAVE: Affiliate code OBL saves
Andrea is a clean beauty expert from Los Angeles, California with 10 years of experience in clean beauty, natural skincare and organic living. She writes for Organic Beauty Lover using her expertise to guide readers in choosing the best clean beauty products. Andrea graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 and has worked at multiple skincare companies, big and small. Connect with her @organicbeautylover.