One of the easiest ways to add a pop of color to your makeup is with lipstick. But which lipstick looks and feels great while also boasting clean ingredients that are good for you? In this article we will discuss the history of lipstick, the problem with conventional lipstick and why you should make the switch to natural lipstick, what to look for in an organic lipstick, and lastly the top 10 natural, non-toxic and organic lipsticks on the market today. Stay with us for the ultimate guide to non-toxic lipstick!
What is Lipstick?
Undoubtedly one of the the most popular beauty products, lipstick is a cosmetic used to color the lips. It can be found in a wide range of shades to serve every skin tone and preference. The basic ingredients used in its formulation are pigments, waxes, emollients, and oils. Lipstick can be found in liquid, cream, matte, or gloss form. It’s commonly packaged in tubes and sometimes with an application wand. Lipstick can also be applied directly from the tube or using your finger.
Introduction to Non-Toxic and Natural Lipstick
Natural and organic lipsticks are all the rage nowadays, and for a good reason too. For decades, manufacturers have been using harmful artificial ingredients in cosmetics. However, more consumers are becoming aware of the dangers that lurk in most of the glossy tubes containing their favorite lipsticks. As a result, there has been a notable shift in the kind of lipstick that they choose.
Lipstick is among the many products that now have healthy options available. This is alongside foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and all other types of beauty items. It’s no secret that most women who use makeup would never dream of giving up lipstick, as it’s such an essential part of putting together any look. Many have had to deal with toxic chemicals because it was the only way they could achieve the look they desired. Fortunately, you no longer have to choose between a fabulous pop of color and good health because natural and organic lipsticks can achieve both.
And although the natural and organic cosmetic industry has grown quite rapidly, regulations when it comes to terms such as “all-natural” and “organic” have fallen behind. This has encouraged unscrupulous brands to use these terms to deceive customers into buying their products. But that doesn’t mean that there are no real natural and organic lipsticks available.
A genuinely organic and natural lipstick is one that’s made from real fruit, herbs, and plant extracts. Innovators of authentic natural cosmetic products are now moving away from lake dyes and artificial dyes. They are instead using organic fruit pigments from teas, natural earth minerals, and real berries to create amazing shades. Some organic lipsticks even come loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and nourishing plant oils and butters that promote soft and healthy lips.
Contrary to common misconception, even the best organic and natural lipsticks still have some type of preservative. Some of the common preservatives contained in real natural lipsticks include castor oil, vitamin E, beeswax, rosemary extract, radish root ferment, and citric acid, among other organic ingredients with antimicrobial properties. The preservatives extend the shelf life of natural and organic lipsticks as well as help your skin by unclogging pores, fighting acne-causing bacteria, and reducing redness.
The History of Lipstick
Lip coloring cosmetics have been used for many centuries, with evidence showing that Sumerian women and men used it about 5,000 years ago. Sumerians crushed gemstones to get a rich red color, which they would apply on their lips. Also, ancient Egyptians crushed insects to get pigment, which they would apply on their lips as a mark of social status. In other countries such as China, lip cosmetics were used as a way of protecting the delicate skin. The ingredients used by the Chinese included beeswax, which is also common in today’s lipstick formulas.
Commercial lipstick wasn’t introduced until the late 19th century. At that time, the main ingredients were castor oil, deer tallow, and beeswax. In the beginning, lipstick was considered too dramatic and only fit for theatrical performers. But as the 20th century progressed, actresses began wearing lipstick in public. This, in addition to the introduction of various shades besides the original red lipstick, eventually warmed women to the idea of wearing lip makeup at home and in public.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and lipstick is now considered a staple in every makeup bag. Today, women can wear lipstick confidently, whether in a casual or professional setting. In addition, the ingredients used and the formulations available have evolved, providing consumers with limitless options.
The Top Benefits of Using Lipstick
It’s easy to think of lipstick as just a beauty product. Many people who use it may even be unaware of the other benefits whenever they apply a coat of their favorite lipstick.
Here are some of the advantages of using lipstick that you should know about:
- Keeps Lips Moisturized – Lips can easily dry and crack when left bare. Many natural lipstick brands have moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera juice that keep the lips well hydrated.
- Adds a Pop of Color – Lipstick allows you to express yourself with a pop of color. With warm, cool, bright, dark, and all other kinds of shades available, it’s quite easy to find one that complements your skin tone and fits your personality and mood. The color of lipstick you use can help you create a fun and casual look, or a powerful and professional one.
- Makes Lips Look Fuller – Lipstick defines lips, making them appear plump and fuller. Such a look will definitely draw attention to your lips as they become more noticeable. Also, lipstick is capable of making your lips look smaller if that’s what you desire.
- Completes Your Look – Lipstick used on its own can transform how you look drastically. When used with other cosmetics, it completes your look and gives a more striking result. Besides, lipstick is always one of the first things people notice when they look at you. Of course, you’ll have to choose the right shade that compliments the rest of your makeup and your coloring.
- Protects and Heals – Some lipsticks contain sunscreen, which protects the delicate lip skin from the sun’s UV rays. This is important because lips lack melanin, which is a skin pigment that protects the rest of the body. Besides preventing sunburn, lipstick also creates a protective barrier that shields against harsh weather elements such as wind and cold, which would otherwise cause your lips to dry and crack. Lipsticks that contain essential oils and plant extracts in their formulations can also promote healing of cracked and damaged skin. This leaves your lips looking and feeling soft, smooth, and supple.
- Boosts Your Confidence – The simple act of wearing lipstick boosts the confidence and mood of many women. Moreover, by choosing the right shade, lipstick can enhance and brighten your smile.
The secret to getting these benefits is selecting the right lipstick. That is because some types which contain harsh chemicals can actually cause harm to your lips. Instead of hydrating and nourishing the skin, such lipsticks may leave the lips chapped and looking dull. You can steer clear from such products by looking for organic and natural lipstick ingredients when shopping for your favorite formulas.
The Problem with Conventional Lipsticks
Most mainstream lipsticks are made using synthetic ingredients. These include chemicals that are toxic to the skin and body. Some of the ingredients that you should be wary of are synthetic dyes, heavy metals, and methylparaben. Unfortunately, you may not find metals such as lead listed in labels because they usually find their way into cosmetics as contaminants. However, studies carried out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have established the presence of lead in many cosmetics from the top brands in the U.S.
In the body, lead causes neurotoxicity, which affects learning abilities. Long term exposure also diminishes fertility in both women and men. Other harmful metals that have been found in conventional lipsticks include cadmium, manganese, and aluminum.
Methylparaben is used as a preservative in lip products and becomes harmful when exposed to high-intensity sunlight. This exposure accelerates DNA damage to the cells, which increases the risk of cancer. Synthetic dyes, on the other hand, have been found to induce kidney and thyroid cancers. They also make the lips sensitive and cause irritation. Such artificial colorants can be identified on labels by the letters D&C or FD&C.
Why You Should Switch to Natural Lipstick
Natural lipstick contains none of the harmful chemicals found in conventional lipsticks. This means that using organic and natural lipsticks helps protect you from the adverse effects of the synthetic chemical ingredients found in traditional formulas.
Instead of these chemicals, natural lipsticks use naturally derived ingredients such as essential oils, plant-derived butters and waxes, and earth minerals. These create formulations that are not only beautifying but also nourishing. Therefore, using natural and organic lipstick is one of the best ways to keep your lips looking soft and hydrated while also giving them an attractive pop of color.
What to Look for in Organic Lipsticks
The following are what you should look for in organic and natural lipsticks in order to purchase a genuine product:
- Ingredients – Organic lipsticks should contain organically and naturally derived ingredients. These include organic natural oils. Watch out for artificial chemical ingredients as they’re not clean. A truly organic lipstick should only contain natural substances.
- Color Selection – With any kind of lipstick, color selection is quite important. Your skin tone and complexion should be the basis on which you select your colors and shades of lipsticks.
- Moisturizing – Dry and chapped lips are uncomfortable and not the best look. That’s why it’s vital to look for lipstick with moisturizing properties. You can find this in lip colors with ingredients such as beeswax and vitamin E.
- Long-Lasting – Long-wearing lipsticks can last throughout the day, with minimal need for touch-ups. This saves you the hassle of having to take frequent breaks to apply a fresh coat. It also gives you confidence that your lipstick will look good even after eating or sipping on a drink.
- Smudge-Proof – Great lipstick should be able to stay within the lip line where it has been applied instead of getting smudged and bleeding over it. A lipstick that smudges can create a very messy look, which is why you should look for a formula that won’t run once applied.
- Where the Lipstick is Made – The country of origin of the lipstick you use is important for a number of reasons. One is that different countries have different regulations concerning the manufacturing of cosmetics. Production practices are closely and strictly monitored in some countries in order to protect the consumer from harmful chemicals. In others, however, there are little to no restrictions, which leaves consumers exposed to many toxic substances. Researching the cosmetic industry environment of your favorite brand is, therefore, an essential step in choosing the right natural and organic lipstick.
- Price – With so many organic lipstick brands available in the market today, you can find lipsticks at all price ranges. Regardless of the price, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting a truly natural product by checking the ingredients.
Other Factors to Consider
Additional factors to consider include:
- Vegan Lipstick – If you’re leading a vegan lifestyle, there are many lipsticks that conform to your standards. Vegan lipsticks use plant-derived ingredients and avoid animal products such as beeswax.
- Gluten-Free Lipstick – Gluten-free makeup is ideal for people who are gluten intolerant, or for those who wish to eliminate gluten from their diet. Many times, women ingest some of the lipstick they wear daily. If this happens with a gluten-containing color, those with celiac disease can get symptoms such as a bloated stomach. Gluten-free lipstick doesn’t contain any wheat, rye, or barley products. Therefore, it is safe for celiacs to use.
- Cruelty-Free Lipstick – Cruelty-free lipsticks are made without testing the efficiency of the ingredients on animals. This saves a lot of animals from suffering or dying in experimental labs.
- Fragrance and Flavor Free Lipstick – Traditional lipsticks use several chemicals to create various fragrances and flavors. Most of these chemicals are toxic to the body and should be avoided by opting for fragrance and flavor-free lipstick.
- Certified Organic Lipstick – Unfortunately, not every brand that claims to be organic is. That’s why it’s vital to check for those that have been certified by recognized organizations. Such institutions include the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Soil Association, COSMOS Organic, and Australian Certified Organic (ACO).
How to Apply Lipstick
For your lip color to look its best, you first need to make sure that your bare lips are in their best shape possible. Use a soft, damp toothbrush to exfoliate any dry skin. Next, prep your lips with lip balm to moisturize and soften them. This makes it easier to apply lipstick smoothly.
2. Apply a Base of Concealer or Foundation
For an even tone, it’s advisable to apply a base using either concealer or foundation that matches your lip color. That way, your lipstick will look more natural and uniform once applied. It will also last longer.
3. Use a Lip Liner
Use a lip liner to define and contour your lips so that when you apply lipstick, it will be precise. A lip liner acts as a guide, allowing you to create a polished look. To make it more natural, use one that matches your natural skin tone, or for a more even look, match the shade of the liner with that of your lipstick. If you’re using light lipstick, avoid a dark liner, and vice versa. That’s because, for example, using a light lipstick with a dark liner will draw attention for all the wrong reasons.
The right liner will make your lips look bigger and fuller. A lip liner also allows you to shape your lips the way you desire. For instance, you can choose to create the illusion of a prominent cupid’s bow.
4. Apply Lipstick
Finally, using a brush, finger, or directly from the tube, apply your lipstick of choice. Apply within the corners of the lip liner, ensuring you cover each spot.
6. Blot Your Lips
Blotting your lips after application aids in creating an even look. To do this, lightly press a clean tissue on top of your lips. Make sure you remove the excess color from both the inside and outside of the lips.
When blotting, many women press the tissue at the center of their lips. This leaves more product on the outside and creates an uneven look. Also, with time, the color on the inside wears out faster than that on the outer parts. Hence, blotting entirely at the center means you’ll have to reapply your makeup several times. To avoid that, press the tissue gently on the entire surface of your lips so that no area is stripped of more lipstick than the other.
7. Add a Layer of Lip Gloss
After blotting, apply a layer of lip gloss if desired to add shine. Lip gloss reflects light, making your lips appear more alluring.
8. Dispose of Expired Lipstick and Be Wary of Testers
Throw away any lipstick that is more than 12 to 18 months old as it can cause infections and allergic reactions when used.
While it’s advisable to try the colors before buying, avoid applying the tester products available at stores on your lips. Many people have already used them, and this can encourage the spread of germs and infections. Instead, try them on the back of your hand. You can also take this time to mix different shades to discover which combinations blend perfectly with your natural skin tone.
Removing Lipstick the Right way
At the end of the day, it’s important to remove all the lipstick from your lips. Leaving your lipstick on overnight can cause dryness and even clog the pores on the skin near the lips. This encourages breakouts. Whether your lipstick is long-wearing or not, here are some simple methods of removing it:
- Use Petroleum Jelly – Apply petroleum jelly on your lips and let it sit for 2-5 minutes. Next, wipe it off with a wet wipe. It will come off with the makeup and leave your lips looking soft.
- Lip Balm – Lip balm also works in the same way as petroleum jelly. Apply it over the coat of lipstick, leave it for a couple of minutes, then remove it using a cotton pad. Rub the cotton pad in a circular motion for more effective removal.
- Use Oil – This method not only allows you to strip away all the lipstick, but it also nourishes your lips naturally. Dab either olive or coconut on your lips, then wipe it off to reveal clean, supple lips.
- Exfoliate with Honey and Brown Sugar – Gently scrub your lips with a mixture of sugar and honey to get rid of all residual lipstick and dead skin cells. This will remove even the most stubborn of lip colors.
Avoid using too much pressure while removing lipstick, as this may disturb the delicate skin on the lips and cause soreness. Also, use gentle removers that don’t cause any irritation. It’s advisable to moisturize your lips once you remove lipstick to keep them soft, smooth, and supple.
Best Organic, Natural and Non-Toxic Lipsticks
1. Best Moisturizing Lipstick
Burt’s Bees Satin Lipstick
Made with 100% moisturizing ingredients, Burt’s Bees Satin lipstick is your go-to formula if you desire well-hydrated lips. It contains castor oil, moringa extracts, and raspberry seed oil, which keep your lips soft and nourished for 8 hours after application. The lipstick is available in 18 shades and provides intense color to suit a variety of skin tones. Beeswax and vitamin E are some of the other ingredients in the formulation that will ensure your lips remain conditioned throughout the day.
2. Best Cruelty-Free Lipstick
Axiology has made a lot of effort to be one of the best cruelty-free lipstick brands. Firstly, its lipstick contains only 10 easily identifiable natural ingredients. These include organic avocado oil, neem oil, coconut oil, and candelilla wax. Secondly, the lipstick is not tested on animals, and there are no animal products used. And lastly, the packaging is made from recycled trash, thus promoting environmental conservation. So, if you’re passionate about using makeup that doesn’t cause harm to you, animals, or the environment around you, then this is the lipstick for you.
3. Best Gluten-Free Lipstick
Evxo Organic Lipstick
The Evxo Organic lipstick is a gluten-free, vegan formula full of moisturizing ingredients. This is thanks to the presence of cocoa, cupuacu, and mango butter that have potent hydration abilities. In addition, the lipstick contains castor and coconut oils that act as natural sunscreens and protect your delicate lips from sun damage. When applied, the Evxo Organic lipstick gives a glossy finish for long-lasting glamor. It’s also highly pigmented to provide full coverage.
4. Best Vegan Lipstick
With 27 shades available, you will be hard-pressed not to find a color that works for your skin with the Gabriel lipstick. It contains sesame seed oil, fennel extract, safflower seed oil, and a number of other vegan ingredients. This combination ensures the formula glides easily on your lips, leaving behind a coat of rich color.
5. Best Long-Lasting Lipstick
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Liquid Lip
The intense concentration of plant-sourced pigments enables this lipstick to wear like a stain all through the day. It contains fruit stem cell serum and cold-pressed oils for maximum nourishing benefits. Grapeseed oil is used to soften the lips while shea butter moisturizes the lips and keeps them from drying or chapping. This formula is available in 8 shades, including coral, strawberry pink, and burgundy. There are no artificial dyes used in the Liquid Lip formula.
6. Best Certified Organic Lipstick
Nūdus 27 Kisses
The 27 Kisses lipstick contains 27 active natural ingredients that provide a range of benefits to your lips, including hydration and protection. For coloring, the lipstick uses extracts from herbs, fruits, and flowers. Organic ingredients used in the formula include pomegranate seed oil, turmeric root extract, and basil extract. This lipstick is COSMOS Organic certified.
7. Best Drugstore Lipstick
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Nourishing Lipstick
Clinically tested and approved by dermatologists, you can be assured that this is a reliable and quality drugstore lipstick. It’s also hypoallergenic, which makes it safe for use on all skin types as it isn’t irritating. Ingredients such as castor oil, olive esters, and jojoba oil make the Organic Wear Nourishing lipstick an antioxidant-rich formula that helps heal damaged lips. Additionally, the formula is paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and available in 6 shades.
8. Best Sheer Lipstick
Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick
For a sheer touch of color, this is the ideal lipstick. There are 11 shades to complement a range of skin tones. It’s buildable, which gives you the option of layering if you’re looking for more intense color. The sheer lipstick uses natural vanilla in place of artificial fragrances for a healthy beautifying effect. To get that super lustrous look, you can apply lip gloss on top of this fierce lipstick.
8. Best Smudge Proof Lipstick
Jane Iredale PureMoist® Lipstick
The Jane Iredale PureMoist® lipstick contains orange peel wax, which protects the lips from environmental aggressors, sunflower seed oil for hydration, and blackberry and pomegranate extracts that provide a natural flavor. It also has moringa butter, which is rich in vitamins A and C, both of which have healing and nourishing effects on lip skin. Vivid pigments made using fruit extracts give this product long-lasting wear with no smudging.
9. Best Flavor Free Lipstick
Bella Mari Natural Mineral Lipstick
This is a USDA, certified organic beauty product. It’s formulated with plant extracts and pure natural minerals that can be comfortably used daily without exposing your lips to any harsh ingredients. There are no synthetic flavors used. The formula is also non-GMO and vegetarian.
10. Best Fragrance-Free Lipstick
Ecco Bella Flowercolor Lipstick
Latte, almond, and mauve rose are just some of the shades available for this lip product. The Flowercolor lipstick has a combination of vegetable waxes, mineral pigments, and natural oils, which make a creamy consistency that is easy to apply. There are no artificial dyes or fragrances used. What’s more, synthetic preservatives such as parabens and formaldehyde, which have been proven to be carcinogenic, are also absent.
The Bottom Line
The lipstick you choose determines how your lips will look and feel, not just while you wear it, but also afterward. Since organic and natural lipsticks are nourishing, your lips will remain lustrous even long after you have removed your makeup. With non-artificial cosmetics gaining popularity each passing day, it’s now becoming easier to find the perfect non-toxic lipstick for you. And one way you can ensure you do that is by checking the label for any suspicious ingredients.
Finally, what’s clear is that whatever you put on your body affects you just as much as what you ingest. As such, if you’ve not yet made the switch to natural products when it comes to your beauty routine, then it might be time to start thinking about it. And since you can get a striking color on your lips without compromising your well-being, there’s absolutely no reason to choose conventional lipsticks that will only end up drying, chapping, and damaging your lips, or even worse, impacting your health negatively.