Six flavors of vegan lip balm made by Hurraw.

Vegan Lip Balm: the Best Cruelty Free Brands

Finding vegan and cruelty-free lip balm will pose you no problems. A number of companies make excellent versions, and this page concludes with a list of top vegan brands.

Many mass-market lip balms contain petroleum distillates, which, although vegan, make sense to avoid. Why smear your lips with petroleum products when you can instead choose plant-based balms? So even if you’re not vegan, it makes sense to choose vegan lip balm. These products are usually formulated with high quality ingredients, such as organic coconut or hemp oil. What’s more, vegan lip balms typically avoid artificial substances, and instead make use of natural scents and flavors.

By contrast, mass-market lip balms often contain preservatives and artificial colors.

Avoiding Lanolin and Beeswax

Not only are most vegan lip balms free of questionable ingredients, they eliminate animal cruelty too.

Many mass-market lip balms contain lanolin, which is a byproduct of wool production. Raising sheep for wool is a notoriously cruel practice. Lanolin doesn’t offer any properties that make it uniquely suitable for lip balm. The stuff is used mainly because, as a byproduct of wool-making, it’s cheaper than most plant-derived ingredients. Even if the cruelty doesn’t dissuade you from purchasing a lanolin-based lip balm, the disgust factor might. Lanolin is basically the hair oil squeezed out of wool—do you really want to smear that stuff on your lips?

Many lip balms also contain beeswax. As with lanolin, beeswax doesn’t offer any unique properties that make it superior to plant-derived waxes. Since beeswax is not vegan, and beekeeping is associated with some troubling practices, it’s nice that many top lip balm brands avoid it.

Recommended Vegan & Cruelty Free Lip Balms

As you can see, cruelty free lip balm offers numerous advantages. The key is to buy your lip-balm before you need it. When purchased in a multi-pack, tubes of premium organic vegan lip balm are quite affordable. The best deal is the 4 pack of assorted flavors from Earth’s Daughter. You can get the good stuff for the same price as tubes of Chap-Stick sold at the drugstore.

For further reading: please see our vegan beauty guide and our animal ingredients list.
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