Non-Toxic Lip Balm: The #1 Makeup Swap You Should Make for Your Health

What was the one thing that could make your day immediately better as a teen? 

Confession: During high school and college, only a new lip gloss could make my day better (and you know how often those bad days happen for high schoolers! ;)). 

I would keep every purse, pocket, and car cup holder stocked with my secret weapon to help pull myself together and feel more confident to face the day.

I came across this quote years ago, and it’s always stuck with me: “Life’s hard; lipstick helps.”

It’s true, isn’t it? 

However, as a teenager, I took that quote to the extreme and had no clue what toxic ingredients I was applying to my lips. Non-toxic lip balm was not on my radar. Given my only priorities in picking out a new lip product were color, price point, and gloss factor, I’ve consumed my fair share of artificial colors, fragrances, and chemicals. 

Sometimes, the right makeup product or lip color can make all the difference in how we feel and show up. It helps our lips feel nourished, and with one swipe, it’s like we’re taking care of ourselves in a small yet transformative way. I still remember my favorite brand as a teenager to this day.

We all have our favorite makeup brand or go-to color we regularly reach for, but at what cost? Thankfully, when we know better, we can do better. That’s where the consideration for a non-toxic lip balm comes into play.

So, as the holistic esthetician at Primally Pure, my hope is to shed some light on the reality of traditional lip products. And with that knowledge, empower you to make safer makeup decisions – and/or help the teen in your life do the same.

Why Non-Toxic Lip Balm Is Essential

You may have guessed by now, but the #1 makeup swap you should make is… yup, your lip products. I can’t stress enough the importance of choosing an effective: 

  • Non-toxic lip balm
  • Non-toxic lipstick
  • Non-toxic gloss

While your lip product of choice may provide that pop of color and self-confidence, there’s a dark side we usually don’t think about. Many of the most popular lip products – from chapstick to lipstick and every lip gloss and liner in between – contain a long list of harmful chemicals.

Similar to deodorant, even a small swipe of a product can help boost well-being or have detrimental long-term side effects.

Let’s think through this together. Here’s what we know about our relationship with lip products: 

  • Many of us have built a hefty collection of lip products over the years
  • They’re often applied every day (or even several times a day)
  • We stock them in every desk drawer, purse, or diaper bag
  • We often keep them past their expiration date
  • We apply them to a very delicate, absorbent part of our body

Now, let’s think about what we do throughout the day… 

  • We lick our lips
  • We sip a latte
  • We eat lunch
  • We smooch our partner (or, in my case, my adorable baby nephew’s cheeks!)

→ Now, putting two and two together, we’re starting to see the need for a non-toxic lip balm, right? 

Those chemicals, heavy metals, or harmful toxins in your lip products aren’t just dissolving into thin air. Have you ever glanced in the mirror and realized you needed to “reapply” halfway through the day? 

Your body has absorbed that lip product – essentially, eaten. (Ew.)

So unless you’re using a safe, essentially edible, non-toxic lip balm, your body is left with the tricky task of detoxing to remove these harmful components. 

Think about how many times you’ve had to reapply your lip product and will reapply it in the future. Just how much of those toxins are you ingesting in total in your lifetime? This begs the question: Do you know what ingredients are in your lip products – and ultimately, you’re ingesting? I definitely didn’t, so there’s no shame. 

But just as you want to fuel your body with the most healing, nutrient-dense foods possible, you should prioritize what goes on your skin. Especially your lips!

While there are debates over the exact amount of lip product you might consume, there’s no argument with the general consensus. Over the course of a lifetime, the cumulative exposure could have some severe consequences.

That $4 drugstore lip gloss may seem like a steal and super budget-friendly at the time. And that $24 department store lip color may feel like a luxurious treat. 

But unfortunately, you’re probably applying more than just a pretty color or a popular brand-name product. Unless you opt for a non-toxic lip balm or non-toxic lipstick, you’re most likely coating your lips with harsh chemicals and heavy metals. 

Chemicals Found In Conventional Lip Colors

You might be thinking, “Wait, what? Heavy metals are in my makeup?”

I hate to break it to you, but yes. Many studies (and enlightening documentaries) have proved the presence of toxins like heavy metals and forever chemicals in conventional lipsticks and other makeup products.

So, that top-dollar lipstick you tucked away for the annual holiday party? It’s time to toss it. Sadly, with greenwashing rampant, many brands with lip products labeled as “non-toxic lipstick,” “naturally-derived pigment,” or “natural lip balm” can still contain sketchy ingredients.

Why? 

The FDA doesn’t regulate or provide any certification for these claims, so any company can label their product however they please to make it seem safe. While there has been some positive movement towards better regulation (like the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 – or MoCRA), there’s still much work to be done.

As we’ve seen in other industries (like household products), even with regulations, there are often loopholes for chemicals and toxins to sneak in as “proprietary” ingredients. So, I’d encourage you to take everything at face value and learn how to read labels to avoid these greenwashing tactics.

Finding a TRULY non-toxic lip balm is so important! 

With all of this in mind, here are some of the biggest culprits for harmful ingredients that might still be lurking in your lip products:

  • Artificial dyes contaminated with heavy metals: Often, synthetic pigment colorings that give lipsticks their beautiful hues are contaminated with heavy metals (like lead, aluminum, cadmium, and chromium). Particularly red lipsticks. They’re proven carcinogens that pose serious problems for many your body’s organs and tissues (even at low levels, which add up over time).1  
  • Synthetic fragrance: Fun fragrances and cute packaging can trick you into thinking a lipstick will make your lips feel and smell oh-so-fresh. But the scary truth is these synthetic scents can contain thousands of chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens.
  • Petroleum or mineral oils: While they’ve been a staple in lip products for decades, they’re derived from the same substance as motor oil. (Uhh, no thanks!) Petroleum is also often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals.2 If inhaled or ingested, this foreign substance can contribute to toxic build-up in your body. 
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA): This petroleum-based preservative (ahem, see above!) is present in lipsticks to maintain the product’s burst of color. The EU has banned BHA as research strongly suggests it’s a carcinogen, allergen, and endocrine disruptor. 
  • Propylene glycol: This chemical is actually found in antifreeze and acts as a fragrance, skin conditioner, and absorption enhancer. But it’s closely linked to organ toxicity + skin irritations. And because it improves product penetration, it helps carry other harmful ingredients in the product through your skin.
  • PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances): These dangerous compounds increase the durability and waterproof factor of many cosmetics. But they’re known as “forever chemicals” because your body can’t break them down.3 

Okay, friends, whether you’re a lip gloss junkie like I once was or just love adding a little color for special occasions, tossing your toxic lip products is. a. must. 

But you don’t have to skip wearing lipstick or sacrifice soft, colorful (or kissable!) lips. Just opt for a safe, truly non-toxic lip color. This is the perfect segue into my favorite non-toxic lip balm out there – our line of non-toxic lip balms!

(Don’t worry, there’s a natural tinted lip balm too. ;))

Make The Swap: Primally Pure Non-Toxic Lip Balm

Trust me, it’s possible to create a gorgeous pop of color while providing your lips (and body) with the most nourishing care. 

Our non-toxic lip balm swaps artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, and harmful preservatives for floral + fruit pigments, natural earth minerals, organic essential oils, and hydrating butters. It will infuse your lips with healing properties and the perfect touch of color.

Both our untinted lip balms and our natural tinted lip balm are TRULY natural – and you can prove it by reading our transparent ingredient list: 

  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: The fatty acids in coconut oil moisturize + minimize inflammation, providing much-needed relief for dry, irritated, or chapped lips. It repairs, protects, and prevents moisture loss.
  • Cocoa Butter: A healthy, nourishing fat that naturally heals + softens. Cocoa butter is ultra-hydrating and high in antioxidants that protect from environmental damage. Plus, it’s completely edible.
  • Beeswax: Locks in moisture and helps repair even the most dry, chapped lips. Rich in vitamins, this natural skin-loving emollient improves the appearance + texture of lips.
  • Organic Essential Oils: Essential oils provide therapeutic + beauty benefits, along with fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Plus, they’re completely safe to apply (and reapply) on lips!
  • Fruit + Floral Pigments: Organic + fair trade beetroot and hibiscus provide a petal pink hue that complements any skin tone or occasion. The buildable color also provides antioxidants and skin-brightening benefits. (Does your drugstore lipstick do all that?) 
  • Natural Earth Minerals: For a hint of shimmer, mica adds a little dimension to your lips and a sparkle to your smile – without artificial dyes or heavy metals.

These are 100% natural + non-toxic ingredients. So you can feel good about putting this natural tinted lip balm on your lips or smooching your beau – or baby. 

Reapply (and reapply) your natural tinted lip balm to your heart’s content. ;) 

Setting an Example for the Next Generation

Here’s what I really love about swapping to a natural tinted lip balm: not only are you impacting your personal health + wellness. If you’ve got little ones watching your every move (and wanting to mimic everything you do), it’s an even bigger impact. 

While I’m not a mother, I was a little girl once (and a lip gloss-obsessed-teen). I remember how often I played with and applied lip products. So, if you have little ones running around, stocking up on natural tinted lip balm (or maybe just your standard non-toxic lip balm in one of our best-selling scents) is the best way to be sure your kids are safe if they reach for your makeup bag. 

Sometimes, little ones want to be just like their mamma. Well, guess what? Now they safely can without exposing their delicate skin or developing bodies to harmful ingredients. Because when we show our littles that we value and treasure our bodies like the sacred homes they are, they feel inspired to do the same.

Confidence Booster, Toxin Tosser

We’ve always known lipstick to be a powerful force for feeling better and bringing our best face forward. But now, with your non-toxic lip balm full of natural + nourishing ingredients, you can take that feel-good effect to a whole new level. 

And I hope you’ll accept the invitation to make this #1 makeup swap for the sake of your well-being – and those following in your footsteps. 

XO



 Sources:

  1. National Library of Medicine | Toxic Mechanisms of Five Heavy Metals: Mercury, Lead, Chromium, Cadmium, and Arsenic
  2. National Cancer Institute | Mineral Oils: Untreated and Mildly Treated
  3. ACS Publications | Fluorinated Compounds in North American Cosmetics


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Courtney O’Connor

Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.