5 Clean Non-Toxic Lipstick Brands (Safe Natural Ingredients)

TheRoundup is reader supported. We may earn a small commission when you make a purchase via links on this site, at no cost to you.
All products are personally reviewed and tested in accordance with our Review Methodology.

Stephanie Cole
With her Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (MSREE) from Oregon Tech, Steph is supremely well qualified to write on all aspects of sustainable living. She has already achieved a zero carbon footprint and her goal is to help as many other people as possible do the same. Her other hobbies include music, yoga, swimming and horror movies.
Stephanie Cole
Updated: May 1, 2024

I love how a swipe of good lipstick can transform my mood and uplift any outfit.

However, did you know that in 2010, the FDA found lead in almost every brand of lipstick it tested?

And then there are all the other nasties, such as parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, microplastics, and more. None of which should be sat on your lips all day.

The solution is non-toxic lipstick. But with so many brands claiming to be green, eco-friendly, and sustainable, how do you know who to trust?

I've combined my love of lippy with my tenacious (some would say obsessive!) approach to testing and research to unearth the best brands offering clean and natural lipstick in 2024.

My 7 Favorite Chemical-Free Lipstick Brands

Quick Picks

Staying Power: 4/5
Shipping: Free US Shipping on Orders Over $55
Eco-Credentials: Vegan, Plastic-Free, Cruelty-Free, Handmade in the USA

Why It's My #1 Pick: I love Axiology's eco-credentials and the fact the company is BIPOC-owned and woman-run.

Also, as someone who prefers an uncomplicated yet effective beauty routine, it's great to have a single product for my eyes, lips, and cheeks.

The Super Fan Pack I tested includes 14 shades suitable for any occasion. It's become my go-to choice for everyday wear and special events.

Personal Experience: The Axiology Super Fan Pack has simplified my makeup routine and made it more environmentally friendly.

Each crayon (Axiology calls them 'Balmies') in the pack glides smoothly and has a satisfyingly creamy texture. This is a big difference from the drying, cakey feel of some of the poorer-quality lipsticks I tested and dismissed.

Axiology makes its Balmies with just nine natural ingredients. I find that the matte finish and rich pigmentation look vibrant on my skin and lips and make my skin look and feel healthier.

I love how this one product has allowed me to declutter my makeup bag dramatically. Now I carry just one or two sticks that cover all bases.

I also really like the recyclable paper packaging, which doubles as a carrying case.

About the Brand: Founded by Ericka, Axiology shows what one person's passion can achieve. The brand uses completely plastic-free materials derived from recycled island trash. This helps reduce landfill waste and provides stable, fair-paying jobs to women in Bali!

Pros & Cons

Safe for the skin and the environment
Delivers rich color with fewer applications
Supports fair labor practices and sustainable sourcing
High price point (but worth every cent!)

Verified Customer Reviews

  • So Nourishing!
    I admire the colors, the ingredients and Axiology's commitment to zero waste.

    Christine A

  • Good Thing in a Small Package
    It's so cute in its packaging and also I love the color! It stays on well and doesn't dry my lips out.


  • Balmies are beautiful
    The color with these Balmies is amazing. Goes on smoothly.

    Joi S

Staying Power: 5/5
Shipping: Free US Shipping on Orders Over $25
Eco-Credentials: Conflict-Free Mica (lab Made), Vegan, Cruelty-Free Certified, Compostable Paper Tube, Plastic-Free 

Why It's the Best Lip Stain: The Fig Vegan Lip Stain from River Organics beat all the other stains I tested because of its incredible hydration levels.

The use of restorative Shea butter and moisturizing plum and jojoba oils provided a nourishing experience that most others struggled to achieve.

Personal Experience: I very much enjoyed using this lip stain during testing. The rich shade provided just the right amount of color to enhance my natural look without overpowering it.

I was surprised (in a good way) by the texture of this product. It's surprisingly creamy for a stain, gliding on smoothly without the drag typical in other long-lasting products.

However, what truly set it apart during testing was how it felt on my lips. There was none of the typical dryness associated with stains. Instead, my lips felt continuously moisturized thanks to the nourishing oils and butters in the formulation.

About the Brand: Based in Wilmington, NC, this independent company was founded by an art historian and a former chemist for Chanel's skincare labs.

River Organics commits to 100% vegan ingredients, transparency in formulation, and a strict zero-waste philosophy.

All its organic lipstick products are encased in fully compostable paper tubes and shipped in recycled materials.

Pros & Cons

A deep, natural color that enhances the lips
Keeps lips hydrated
Compostable packaging
Compact and sturdy for on-the-go applications
Only one shade available
Get 15% Off at River Organics with Coupon Code: ROUNDUP15

Or Buy on Amazon (Without Discount)

Staying Power: 3/5
Shipping: Free US Shipping on Orders Over $50
Eco-Credentials: Recycling Program, Vegan, Cruelty-Free

Why It's the Best Lip Jelly: Tower 28's ShineOn Lip Jelly very much shone during testing (pardon the pun). Most of its competitors left my lips feeling sticky. But this lip jelly quickly dried to a lovely, moisturizing, glossy finish.

I also liked that its sensitivity-safe assurance means it can be used by virtually anyone, regardless of skin type, without fear of irritation.

Personal Experience: I'm not normally a lip gloss/jelly kind of gal, so I didn't know what to expect while testing this type of lip product.

Most lip glosses provide temporary shine without much thought for lip health. However, ShineOn Lip Jelly is formulated to moisturize and protect, something I really noticed working during testing.

Wearing it throughout the day, I noticed a significant improvement in the condition of my lips (making them more supple and less prone to chapping). I also found that the subtle touch of color (I tested Semi-Sheer Raspberry) was perfect for daily wear, enhancing my natural lip color rather than overpowering it.

The list of ingredients is longer than I would generally approve of. However, knowing that this lip jelly had passed the Credo Clean Standard gives me peace of mind that it's a non-toxic product. 

About the Brand: Tower 28 Beauty is inspired by the carefree vibe of Santa Monica's lifeguard Tower 28 (a hub for community and healthy fun).

Founded by Amy Liu, a veteran in the beauty industry with sensitive skin, the brand is committed to creating products that are safe, non-irritating, playful, and accessible.

All Tower 28 products are rigorously dermatologist and allergy-tested, ensuring they meet the highest safety and performance standards. This commitment also extends to their packaging, which uses at least 50% post-consumer resin (PCR).

Pros & Cons

Enhances natural lip color
Hydration and less chapping with continuous use
Multiple shades suitable for various skin tones
Vegan and cruelty-free
Fully recyclable (via the Pact recycling scheme)
Long list of ingredients might put some people off
Staying Power: 5/5
Shipping: Free US Shipping on Orders Over $50
Eco-Credentials: USDA Organic, Cruelty-Free, Made in The USA

Why It's the Best Organic Luxury Option: Unlike many of the other lip tints I tested that claim to be organic but compromise on performance, Henné Organics delivered on both fronts.

Due to its superior blend of nourishing ingredients and ethical manufacturing, the Luxury Lip Tint I tested felt exactly that...luxurious!

It's made with high-quality, organic ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. This provided exceptional hydration and kept my lips soft all day.

Personal Experience: I loved the coral shade I tested. It's flattering for a wide range of skin tones, providing just the right amount of warmth to enhance natural beauty without overwhelming it.

The texture was luxuriously creamy and smooth, which made applying it easy. From the first swipe, this lip tint provided a burst of hydration and a pop of color (both of which I found to be very long-lasting).

I also liked the aluminum tube packaging. It felt luxurious and was fully recyclable.

About the Brand: Henné Organics merges impeccable Scandinavian design with high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients.

Laura Xiao created the brand to bring a touch of everyday luxury to the organic beauty market without compromising on aesthetics or ethical standards.

Operating from Wilmington, North Carolina, Henné Organics is USDA Certified Organic and Cruelty-Free certified by Leaping Bunny.

Pros & Cons

Formulated to be gentle and non-irritating
Strong focus on reducing environmental impact
Easy to transition from day to night
Higher cost due to organic ingredients and ethical practices
Staying Power: 3/5
Shipping: Free US Shipping on Orders Over $50
Eco-Credentials: Talc, No Parabens, No Synthetic Dyes, No Synthetic Fragrances, Gluten-Free, Made in USA

Why It's the Best Lipstick for Kids: Adult makeup (even non-toxic options) is too harsh for the skin of young children. Klee Naturals' products are designed to be gentle on young, sensitive skin.

I love the use of organic oils and the absence of harsh chemicals such as parabens and synthetic fragrances. This makes Klee Naturals ideal for children eager to experiment with makeup.

Personal Experience: I don't have children. However, I'm a proud Aunt and love spoiling my niece, Bella. She was delighted to test the Enchanted Fairy Makeup Up Set for me.

She particularly loved the Watermelon Slice lip shimmer, which gave just a hint of color and sparkle without being overwhelming.

As we applied the makeup together, I was impressed by how the products were formulated to be gentle yet effective. The lip shimmer provided enough color to make Bella feel grown-up while giving me peace of mind that it washes off easily and is free from harmful chemicals.

About the Brand: Founded on the principle of safe, natural play, Klee Naturals uses only natural, non-toxic ingredients in their formulations.

Pros & Cons

Formulated for young, sensitive skin
Various themes that spark children's imaginations
Natural and organic ingredients
Made in the USA
Limited range of lipsticks

How I Tested

The lip products I tested had to excel in the following categories to make it into this article and onto my list of personal recommendations.


The ingredients were my starting point for every test.

I rejected any lipsticks with long lists of ingredients I couldn't pronounce.

I'll cover which ingredients to avoid and prioritize later in this article.

Comfort and Feel

How lipstick feels on your lips is also very important.

I tested each lipstick in multiple scenarios to ensure it didn't leave my lips dry or cakey.

Color Options

Non-toxic lipstick isn't just about being safe; it must also look good.

I tested a range of shades to see how the colors perform across different skin tones.

It's important to me that my recommendations are as diverse and vibrant as the ecosystems we're trying to protect.

Product Scent

I tested for any strong or unpleasant odors that might be off-putting.

If the lipstick was scented, I checked to ensure the smell was derived from natural sources and not overpowering.

Staying Power

Whether it's a day at the beach or a coffee date with my gym crush, I need to know these lipsticks can last.

I checked how well they held up after eating, drinking, exercising, and the occasional wipe.


I examined how the lipstick performed under various conditions, such as different climates or occasions (smart, casual, etc.).

Bonus points were awarded for multiple uses (for example, if it can double as a cheek tint).


I prioritized testing lipsticks carrying certification marks.

Certifications tell me that the product meets stringent environmental and ethical standards.

More on exactly which ones to look out for in a later section.


The carbon footprint of getting the product to your door matters. So, I looked at the company's shipping practices for each lipstick.

Are they using recycled materials? Is the shipping carbon-neutral? These are essential questions.

What Lipstick Ingredients Should I Avoid...And Why?

Some of the potentially harmful ingredients found in traditional lipsticks include the following.

Heavy Metals (Lead, Chromium, Cadmium, Aluminum, Manganese)

  • Why Used: These metals can add color and durability to lipstick
  • Health Risks: They can accumulate in the body over time, potentially causing harm, such as memory loss and inhibited growth (especially in children)
  • Environmental Impact: Mining and refining these metals often result in devastating pollution and habitat destruction

Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl)

  • Why Used: Used as preservatives to extend shelf life
  • Health Risks: Linked to hormone disruption and might increase cancer risk
  • Environmental Impact: Parabens in cosmetics can persist in water and soil, disrupting wildlife hormone systems and coral reefs


  • Why Used: Primarily used to make fragrances last longer and plastics more flexible.
  • Health Risks: Phthalates have been reported to increase the risk of gestational diabetes and miscarriage in pregnant women.
  • Environmental Impact: Phthalates do not break down easily. They accumulate in our ecosystems and affect animal health.

PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances)

  • Why Used: Creates a durable, smooth finish and helps lipstick consistency.
  • Health Risks: May affect growth, learning, and reproductive health. Some PFASs have also been linked to cancer.
  • Environmental Impact: PFAS can remain in water and soil for decades.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)

  • Why Used: For its anti-aging properties
  • Health Risks: Can break down into harmful radicals when exposed to sunlight, potentially damaging DNA and leading to skin tumors
  • Environmental Impact: When washed off, it can contribute to toxic effects on aquatic organisms

Synthetic Fragrances

  • Why Used: To enhance the appeal of lipstick with a pleasant scent
  • Health Risks: Often contain phthalates and can trigger allergies and asthma
  • Environmental Impact: Can produce harmful byproducts during manufacturing, polluting air and water

Polyethylene and Polypropylene (Microplastics)

  • Why Used: Often used as a binder or filler to achieve the desired lipstick texture
  • Health Risks: Potential contaminants can accumulate in the body and lead to allergies and immunotoxicity in some people
  • Environmental Impact: Contributes significantly to plastic waste, harming marine life and ecosystems

Petroleum (Petrolatum, Mineral Oil)

  • Why Used: Provides a barrier to retain moisture in lipsticks.
  • Health Risks: Can become contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogenic.
  • Environmental Impact: Its extraction and refinement contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and habitat loss. It's also toxic to aquatic life.

Colors and Pigments (Synthetic Dyes)

  • Why Used: Used to achieve vibrant shades.
  • Health Risks: Some synthetic dyes have been linked to ADHD and cancer.
  • Environmental Impact: Dye manufacturing pollutes waterways, harming aquatic life. Most synthetic dyes are carcinogenic, recalcitrant, and toxic to ecosystems.

Butylated Compounds (BHA, BHT)

  • Why Used: Act as antioxidants in lipsticks to prevent spoilage
  • Health Risks: Suspected endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogens
  • Environmental Impact: Can accumulate in the environment and affect the health of wildlife

Bismuth Oxychloride

  • Why Used: Gives lipsticks a pearlescent finish
  • Health Risks: Can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions
  • Environmental Impact: Its refinement process is energy-intensive and pollutive

Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

  • Why Used: Prevent microbes from forming in lipstick
  • Health Risks: The EPA considers formaldehyde a probable human carcinogen (meaning it's likely to cause cancer)
  • Environmental Impact: Toxic to aquatic organisms and can contribute to air pollution

How to Identify Non-Toxic Lipsticks (Buyers Guide)

If you already own some lipsticks, or want to verify that your favorite brand is non-toxic before continuing to buy from them, then this is what you need to look for:

Natural Ingredients

  • Coconut Oil: Moisturizing and helps provide a smooth application.
  • Beeswax and Carnauba Wax: Natural binders that hold color well without harming your skin or the environment.
  • Jojoba Oil: Great for skin health and longevity of the lipstick.
  • Almond Oil: Rich in vitamin E. Helps nourish and soften lips without synthetic additives.
  • Cocoa Butter: Fantastic natural moisturizer that also provides a pleasant, subtle scent.
  • Avocado Oil: High in vitamins A, D, and E, which are all great for nurturing skin health. Its rich, creamy texture helps provide a smooth application. Excellent for dry or chapped lips.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil: Loaded with vitamin E and antioxidants. It's lightweight and doesn't block pores.
  • Peppermint Oil: Often used for its natural plumping effects. Can enhance circulation to the lips, providing a natural boost in volume while also delivering a refreshing sensation.
  • Mica: A natural mineral that adds shimmer and color to cosmetics. It's essential to look for mica that is ethically sourced.
  • Iron Oxides: Natural pigments used to color lipsticks. They're considered safe and non-toxic.


Buying products that carry well-known and trusted third-party certifications can help you avoid cosmetic industry greenwashing.

Some of the best certifications to look out for include the following:

  • USDA Organic: Ensures ingredients are grown organically without pesticides, which is better for the planet
  • EWG Verified: This mark means the lipstick meets strict health standards
  • Leaping Bunny: Ensures that no animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers
  • Fair Trade Certified: Certifies that the ingredients were sourced in a way that promotes better trading conditions and sustainable farming
  • B Corp Certification: Although not specific to cosmetics, this certification shows a company's overall commitment to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): This certification isn't typically seen in ingredients but can apply to the product packaging
  • Vegan Society: Vegan certifications help ensure the products support animal welfare and often indicate a more natural and safe product composition.

Decoding Ingredient Lists

When scanning a lipstick label, ingredients are listed in order of concentration.

Keep an eye out for long, unpronounceable words, which are often the ones to avoid.

Stick to labels with ingredients that sound more like a recipe and less like a chemistry experiment.

What Are the Different Types of Natural Lipstick?

Matte Lipstick

  • Characteristics: Delivers a flat, non-shiny finish that lasts for hours
  • Why Choose Matte: Perfect for a bold, vivid color payoff that doesn't smudge easily
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Look for matte lipsticks with natural waxes and oils. They'll still provide hydration despite the dry finish

Cream Lipstick

  • Characteristics: Offers a smooth and creamy texture with a slight gloss
  • Why Choose Cream: They provide comfortable hydration, making them suitable for everyday wear
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Choose cream lipsticks made with organic butters and botanical extracts

Glossy Lipstick

  • Characteristics: High shine for a fuller-looking pout
  • Why Choose Glossy: They reflect light, adding dimension and plumpness
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Avoid synthetic film formers. Instead, choose glosses made from natural oils and fruit extracts

Sheer Lipstick

  • Characteristics: Translucent and lightweight, providing a subtle wash of color
  • Why Choose Sheer: Ideal for those who prefer a natural look or are just beginning to explore the world of lipsticks
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Be sure to check that the sheer shimmer comes from ethical mica and natural pigments.

Liquid Lipstick

  • Characteristics: Fluid formula with a high-intensity finish that can range from matte to glossy
  • Why Choose Liquid: Offers long-lasting wear and precise application (no mess, no fuss)
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Look for water-based formulas to avoid unnecessary chemical solvents

Lip Stain

  • Characteristics: Tints the lips for a long-lasting color that won't budge
  • Why Choose Lip Stain: Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who need a 'set-it-and-forget-it' option
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Choose stains derived from natural fruits and vegetables.

Lip Tint

  • Characteristics: Similar to stains but with a balm-like texture and less intensity
  • Why Choose Lip Tint: Great for those wanting a hint of color with moisturizing benefits
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Seek out tints with organic oils and butters for nourishment and sustainability

Lip Balm

  • Characteristics: Focuses more on moisturizing, but there are some options with a hint of color
  • Why Choose Lip Balm: When your adventures take you to harsh climates, lip balm keeps your pout protected and pretty
  • Eco-Friendly Tip: Beeswax or plant-based waxes are vital for locking in moisture without harming the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which brands have lead in lipstick?

According to a 2010 FDA analysis of 400 lipsticks, the two brands with the highest lead content were Maybelline and L'Oréal.

Should I be worried about lead in lipstick?

Lead levels in most modern-day lipsticks (especially the ones recommended in this article) are at an all-time low.

However, you should remain vigilant and use non-toxic products wherever possible. The FDA has some good further information on lead in cosmetics.

Which lipstick is safe for daily use?

All of the recommendations in this article are safe for daily use.

The Final Word

It's clear that choosing the right lipstick can impact both our health (reducing exposure to chemicals) and the planet (reducing plastic waste).

Each recommended brand, from Axiology's versatile Super Fan Pack (my #1 pick) to Klee Naturals' kid-friendly formulas, shows you can have beauty without compromising health and sustainability.

I've rigorously tested and researched these products to ensure they meet the highest safety and performance standards. By choosing these non-toxic options, you're not just beautifying your routine; you're committing to kinder and safer products.

Want even more beauty recommendations? Check out James' guide to non-toxic makeup brands.

Stephanie Cole
Stephanie Cole
With her Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (MSREE) from Oregon Tech, Steph is supremely well qualified to write on all aspects of sustainable living. She has already achieved a zero carbon footprint and her goal is to help as many other people as possible do the same. Her other hobbies include music, yoga, swimming and horror movies.

You May Also Like

Why Trust TheRoundup

Our core values mean we always prioritize sustainability over profit. We carefully evaluate and personally test every product to ensure they meet our high standards. All products recommended in this article were tested in accordance with our Review Methodology.

TheRoundup.org - As Seen On

As Seen On Logos


Your guide to a green and eco-friendly lifestyle. We offer simple, practical advice that anyone can follow. Together we can make a difference today & save tomorrow.

All Content ©2024 TheRoundup - All Rights Reserved.

108 E Main St Suite 3 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 | +1-830-904-0838 | [email protected]