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5 Cruelty Free Lip Balms You Need to Try

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5 Cruelty Free Lip Balms You Need to Try

You’ve tried everything. Lip scrubs, oils, moisturizers--none of them are working. Consider a cruelty free lip balm that uses animal-friendly sources and hydrates your skin. Sadly, most name-brand lip products contain drying chemicals that hurt your skin, especially if you’re already sensitive to certain ingredients.

But here’s some good news: we’ve put this awesome list of cruelty free and zero waste lip balms to help you discover the right one for your parched skin.

DIY Cruelty Free Lip Balm

Before we begin, I’d like to share an incredibly simple recipe for a cruelty free lip balm.

You’ll need just three main ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of candelilla wax
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 drops essential oil (optional)

To create some yummy, natural lip balm, follow these steps:

  • Scoop the candelilla wax and pour the coconut oil and olive oil into a glass container.
  • Microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds at a time for up to three times. Stir the mixture when completely melted.
  • Drop in your essential oils if you choose. We suggest something soothing like lavender or sweet almond oil for sensitive skin, or vanilla for a pleasant smell.
  • When cooled, pour the balm into a aluminium tin, reusable glass container, a repurposed empty lip balm tube, or a cardboard lip balm tube. Depending on your container size, you can make several tubes or tins from this easy formula.

Note that candelilla wax tends to be harder than beeswax, so if you want a more buttery texture, add less wax.

Try a cruelty free lip balm from our shelves

So let’s jump right in and find out exactly why you should try these four drug store lip balm alternatives.

1. Vegan Lip Balm - Meow Meow Tweet

  • Available in three moisturizing recipes
  • Certified fair trade

The simple truth is, all companies are capable of making  ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly products. Unfortunately, not all do. This is why we support brands like Meow Meow Tweet. For instance, their cruelty free lip balm is waste free, plastic-free, and vegan.

Beyond eco-friendly, what’s a bonus factor when it comes to self-care products? Variety, variety, variety. We’re excited about this vegan balm from Meow Meow Tweet, thanks to a choice between three different essential oil scent options. Additionally, each balm is packaged in a 1-ounce (28 grams), compostable paper tube.

We almost feel bad recycling the adorable pastel tubes adorned with Meow Meow Tweet’s iconic feline mascot and his whale buddy.

But let’s not get distracted by the charming packaging.

First, we’ve got the rosemary eucalyptus. This uplifting scent also incorporates bright peppermint leaf oil. In other words, a quick pick-me-up for your lips as well as your nose. Olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, and candelilla wax make the base for this ultra-hydrating balm.

Second, consider the sweet orange tangerine for an energizing effect. A dash of rosemary leaf oil seals the deal for this kitchen-fresh balm you’ll be reaching for any time your lips need moisture protection. For this cruelty free balm, Meow Meow Tweet also used olive fruit oil, coconut oil, cacao seed butter, and candelilla wax.

Third, try the coconut cacao if you prefer a classic, sweet balm. Simple and to the point, this moisturizer uses coconut oil, cacao seed butter, candelilla wax, and rosemary leaf extract to give you a balm that’s gentle on the lips.

Note that candelilla wax is a natural humectant (weird word, we know), which means it prevents moisture from leaving your lips and it helps bring in moisture from the air for naturally softer lips. Feel free to use this cruelty free lip balm on hands and throughout your body wherever your skin needs a little help.

2. Multi Purpose Balm - Clary Collection

  • All-over balm for lips, body, face
  • Good for sensitive, healing skin

Old-fashioned but not outdated, and simple but never weak, Clary Collection’s approach to organic products is truly admirable. This brand was founded by women and is operated by women at their head workspace in Tennessee.

Oil infusion is the heart of this company. When they were experimenting with ways to bring effective, natural skin care to a wider audience, they discovered the power of this simple balm to help with various skin issues.

This cruelty free lip balm comes in a 1-ounce (28 grams) recyclable aluminum twist-off tin. If you’d rather repurpose the tin instead of recycling it in your bin, consider these practical ideas. Once you’ve reached the bottom of the container, wash it out and keep it for your DIY lip balm. You can also store small metal parts you need to keep track of like spare screws, earring backs, or mini batteries.

The short and sweet ingredients list includes olive oil, calendula, chamomile, lavender flowers, leaves from plantain, wild beeswax,  and rosemary extract. Calendula is known to help soothe irritated skin from eczema, rashes, and bug bites. What’s more, calendula prevents bacterial growth, so you can feel safe using this on cuts, wounds, and other dermal injuries.

Chamomile and lavender flowers and plantain leaves also help speed up wound healing. How? They work together to encourage your skin cells to grow, keep the site free from bacteria, and remove dead skin cells. These organic ingredients  reduce redness and swelling all the while making sure your skin stays clean and moistured so it can heal quickly.

Obviously, this is a huge plus for chapped lips. However, if you need a salve to help your brand-new tattoo heal or to calm an eczema flare-up, you should really try this balm. Believe it or not, this moisturizer helps prevent scars and discoloration, which saves you time and resources later to repair.

Needless to say, you can use this product on your face, hands, and all over your body. Keep it on you at all times during harsh winters or hot summer camping trips for soothing bug bites.

 3. Zero Waste Lip Balm - River Organics

zero waste lip balm

  • Cacao seed and mango seed butter
  • Available in soft red or bare tint

If there’s anybody who knows a thing or two about hydration, it’s River Organics. Their beauty products emphasize the importance of hydrating your skin whether you’re applying a highlighter or a lip balm. The wife-and-husband duo are perfecting their craft to deliver simple products using natural ingredients.

What’s their secret to nourishing products? Oil-based formulas.

They’re also committed to a zero waste philosophy, which we can see in their compostable and recyclable paper tube. Each tube measures 0.25 ounces (7 grams) and is available in a bare color or rouge tint

Busy bees and late risers, listen up: the rouge tint option will give you just enough color for an effortless rosy lip. Even if you forgo a full-on makeup routine, this life-saver makes you look a bit more put together even on days when you’re just too busy. You may be wondering what gives this balm that red tinge and whether or not it’s natural.

We’re glad to say River Organics uses mica, a naturally occurring mineral that’s safe for skin. Note that the company uses synthetic mica to boycott unethical and unsustainable mining operations rampant in the makeup world. The silver lining is their synthetic mica is ethically sourced and skin-safe.

On the other hand, try the bare option for that natural shine that’s a little less intense than lip gloss, but livelier than your matte balm. Both options feature coconut oil, macadamia oil, candelilla wax, cacao butter, mango seed butter, and vitamin E. While the two oils seal in moisture, the butters keep the wax together and provide a smooth application. We know all the ingredients in this cruelty free lip balm sound delectable, but the main aroma you’ll smell is cacao.

Personally, I love to use this zero-waste lip balm in bare color on a daily basis.

Since vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant, it does wonders in lip balm. It helps improve blood circulation and fights off free radicals that come from food, sunlight, and the environment. This is just to say vitamin E repairs damage and retains moisture.

Portable and highly effective, we recommend nabbing this balm if you need an on-the-go product you to keep in your bag.

 4. Yay for Earth - Zero Waste Face Lotion


  • Olive oil and shea butter
  • Local-sourced beeswax

Before we dive in, let’s set the record straight. A product can be cruelty free and non-vegan. These alternatives do use animal products, but they’re sourced from reputable, animal-friendly suppliers.

Can this be really true? Of course!

Just look at Yay for Earth’s inventory. This brand is known for its waste free ideology, featuring minimalist packaging and ingredients lists. Take their cruelty free lip balm for example. It highlights organic olive oil, local beeswax, shea butter, and organic pomegranate oil.

One of the keywords here is local. When companies can connect with their suppliers at a personal level, it’s easier to vet their practices and verify sustainable practicles. You’ll be relieved to know that Yay for Earth’s partner beekeeper takes specific measures to bolster the hive’s health and population.  With this sustainable approach, they ensure a healthy relationship between soil, planet, and animal.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s backtrack a little bit and review our ingredients list. Organic olive oil acts as an effective antioxidant to repair skin and keep it moisturized. Next, shea butter and beeswax ward off bacteria, germs, and swelling. To top it off, pomegranate seed oil prevents pre-mature signs of aging like sun damage.

Keep in mind that although pomegranate seed oil is a natural sunscreen, you might considering applying other sunscreen on your lips and face to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. This may sound strange, but yes--even our lips can get sunburned. They’re actually at more risk of sunburn since our lips’ skin layer is very thin compared to the rest of our bodies.

All the more reason to protect your skin at all costs! But don’t worry, great products like this face lotion keep burns and dryness at bay.

Since this cruelty free lip balm is oil-based and rich, it’s best to start with a little between your fingers and build up. Use on your lips either in the morning or at night after your usual cleansing routine.

If you need a smaller container for travel, the recyclable, 1-ounce tin (28 grams) is the perfect size. The rich formula will last a while when just used for lips, but it will last a year or more once you’ve opened the container.

Get soft lips with these helpful tips:

When it comes to constantly moisturized, healthy lips, often times you need to make a few other changes for the best results.

  • Drink lots of water. And then more! Hydration is the number one thing you can do to help your body keep your skin moisturized. This is even more important during warm months or if you live a particularly dry climate.
  • Try a lip scrub. Whether you make your own with sugar, honey, and your choice of essential oil or if you splurge on a deluxe exfoliator for Self-care Sunday, a lip scrub helps. This skin care step gently peels away dead skin cells to bring out a new, smoother layer of skin. Make sure you moisturize afterwards to help preserve that ultra-soft feel.
  • Identify potential allergens in your current balm. If you find yourself constantly battling dry lips and trying out every single balm at your favorite beauty shop, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Here’s the deal. A lot of mainstream lip balms use harsh ingredients that may be causing your lips to react badly. Try going a few days without your current lip moisturizer and see if you notice any difference. If your skin improves, it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved balm.

Another secret to soft, moisturized lips? Consistency! Build a zero-waste skincare routine to stick to every single day. Make an effort to incorporate different products that make you feel pampered. On top of an everyday lip balm, try another moisturizer like our deep moisturizing cacao calendula balm or shea butter moisturizer for healthy skin all over.

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