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, I’m 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?
- 6 Best Vegan Lip Balms Without Petroleum OR Beeswax
- Public Goods (Most Affordable Vegan Lip Balm)
- Beautycounter (Best Non-Toxic Lip Balm with Hyaluronic Acid)
- ATTITUDE (Best Plastic-Free Vegan Chapstick Alternative)
- Sade Baron (Best Vegan Petroleum-Free Lip Balm)
- Honest (Best Non-Toxic Tinted Lip Balm)
- EcoRoots (Vegan Zero Waste Lip Balm)
- 7 Best Non-Toxic Lip Balms Without Petroleum
- Waxelene (Best Vaseline Alternative)
- Somebody (Zero Waste Lip Balm with CBD)
- Dr. Bronner’s (Best Lip Balm Available in Stores)
- Earth Mama (Best Affordable Organic Lip Balm)
- Erbaviva (Best for Organic Balm for Babies)
- Toups & Co. (Best Tallow Organic Lip Balm)
- Wrapping Up: Best Organic Lip Balms for 2024
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.
Are Vaseline & Other Petroleum-Based Lip Balms Good for Your Lips?
I 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 always the best option:
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 long term.
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 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 US, 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), I recommend ditching the petroleum lip balm and grabbing one of our vetted brands below instead!
6 Best Vegan Lip Balms Without Petroleum OR Beeswax
I’ve divided my recommendations up into two main sections. The first set includes the best natural lip balms that are not only free of petroleum and mineral oil but also beeswax and other animal products.
The second section of safe lip balm brands utilizes some natural ingredients that are non-vegan, such as organic beeswax and even tallow.
So first, let’s look at the best chapstick alternatives that are both non-toxic AND vegan:
Public Goods (Most Affordable Vegan Lip Balm)
Price: $2 for 0.15 oz tube
Coming in at only $2 a pop, Public Goods is one of my favorite affordable natural lip balms.
This petroleum free lip balm is made in Iowa with only three ingredients: certified organic coconut oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax.
Beautycounter (Best Non-Toxic Lip Balm with Hyaluronic Acid)
Price: $22 for 0.1 oz tube
If you’ve been around the ‘clean beauty’ world for any amount of time, I’m sure you know about Beautycounter!
They have a range of non-toxic and nourishing lip products, but today I especially want to call out their Clean Swipe Hyaluronic Lip Balm. It’s available in four shades—a Translucent (which is the best for just a regular Chapstick alternative), two pinks, and a Warm Berry red.
The star ingredient, hyaluronic acid, is used for keeping those lips plump and pouty, but this formulation also uses other natural and moisturizing ingredients like mango butter, jojoba seed oil, and avocado oil.
This vegan lip balm also comes with an EWG Verified Certification and is Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free.
ATTITUDE (Best Plastic-Free Vegan Chapstick Alternative)
Price: $5 for 0.3 oz tube
ATTITUDE is one of my favorite brands for natural and non-toxic skincare, personal care, and cleaning products.
They have a collection of natural lip balms that come in zero-waste, plastic-free packaging that’s made from paper. All of the varieties are clear, but they do have a few different flavors—like watermelon, coconut, and mint—as well as unscented. They also have SPF lip balm, too!
Not only is it plastic-free, but it’s also EWG Verified and Vegan.
Sade Baron (Best Vegan Petroleum-Free Lip Balm)
Price: $17 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.
Use code THEFILTERY10 for 10% off.
Honest (Best Non-Toxic Tinted Lip Balm)
If tinted lip balms are your thing, check out Honest’s affordable non-toxic tinted vegan lip balms. They’re made with ingredients like acai extracts and avocado oil to nourish your skin. Plus, they’re third-party certified by EWG and Peta.
They have a variety of different colors, from White Nectarine (which is pretty much clear) to Blood Orange. Personally, I like how these tinted lip balms glide on like Chapstick and provide a little bit of color, but they’re not as bold and bright as what you get from actual lipstick.
P.S. If you’re looking for more colorful and non-toxic lipsticks, check out this article.
EcoRoots (Vegan Zero Waste Lip Balm)
Price: $9 for 0.3 oz
Here’s another good lip balm option that’s not only made with natural ingredients (like organic coconut oil, shea butter, and more), but it’s also plastic-free & zero-waste.
They have both tinted and un-tinted options that come in fragrance-free, mint (formulated with peppermint oil), and a couple of other flavors.
7 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.
Price: $6+ for 0.3 oz tube
Fontana is one of my favorite non-toxic candle brands, and now they’ve expanded to other types of products too—including natural lip balms!
Not only are these natural lip balms MADE SAFE certified (which is one of the strictest third-party labels for ingredient safety!), but they also come in compostable tubes that are FSC certified and printed with vegetable-based inks. (In other words: no plastic!)
They use lip-nourishing ingredients like shea butter and beeswax, and they have a variety of different unique flavors—from French Press Coffee to Blue Tansy!
Use the code THEFILTERY15 for 15% off your order.
Waxelene (Best Vaseline Alternative)
Price: $10 for 0.25 oz tube
Waxelene’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 (Zero Waste Lip Balm with CBD)
I 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 come 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: $4 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.
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.
Toups & Co. (Best Tallow Organic Lip Balm)
Tallow isn’t exactly an ingredient you see being used a lot these days, but it’s a natural and very moisturizing ingredient being put to use by Toups & Co.
These organic lip balms have very minimal ingredients: 100% grass-fed tallow, beeswax, and essential oils (which change based on which scent you choose). They also have unscented.
Not only are these natural Chapsticks made without any synthetic chemicals, fillers, or artificial fragrances, but they’re also all made in the USA (Alabama!) by a family-owned and run company.
In addition to their standard Chapstick-type products, they also have lots of other types of balms as well, including tinted lip balm, face balms, and all-over balms that are available in larger jar containers.
Wrapping Up: Best Organic Lip Balms for 2024
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.