Step Away From the Chapstick!

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Dec 28, 2011
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5 Eco-friendly ways to protect your kisser.









Personally, I don’t like lipstick. I used to wear it from time to time, until a few years ago I read about how much lipstick the average woman ingests in a lifetime (estimated to be between four and seven pounds!) This knowledge also put an end to my Chapstick addiction.

I bite and lick my lips constantly–even more so when I’m writing or concentrating hard on work–so it’s an effort to keep them soft and smooth. It also makes me keenly aware that whatever is on my lips is also ending up in my mouth. I want my lip balms to be free of ingredients that I’d be afraid to eat! If you wouldn’t put petroleum products in your mouth, don’t put them on your lips either.

Besides all the chemicals, there are so many different and beautiful colors for lips to be, why fake it? If you do like to change it up for fun, there are some great eco-friendly lipsticks available. For me, I’m going to stick with just keeping them soft, which means these suggestions all fit for our male elephants too. My main criteria? No petrochemicals, no animal testing, and it has to taste good. Environmental Working Group is a great source of information about other scary ingredients you might wish to avoid. (I also need to make mine gluten free...if you are in the same boat, be sure and check labels for wheat germ oil and other ingredients containing gluten.)

My favorites:

Pangea Organics – Egyptian Fennel with Grapefruit & Sweet Orange. My hands-down, Holy Grail, all-time fave lip balm. (It’s what I have on my lips in the picture above.)



 Kiss My Face Organic Strawberry Lemon. Second runner-up in terms of softness. Tastes like summertime!



Mocha Cocoa Badger Balm. Mmmmmm! Plus the castor oil in it is great for helping heal any chronic dry patches. Badger also makes great salves and balms for all over.



Burt’s Bees Original Lip Balm. It’s a classic for a reason! Great stuff, inexpensive, and easy to find.



Unfortunately for any vegan friends, one thing all of the above products have in common is that they contain beeswax. If you are looking for a vegan lipbalm this one is great:

Merry Hempsters Lemon Lime. The only downside here is I think the flavor makes me lick my lips a little more. Delicious!


Did your favorite make my list? If not, leave it in the comments!


Note:  All of these items were purchased by me!






About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


39 Responses to “Step Away From the Chapstick!”

  1. Andréa Balt says:

    Great post, Kate! I almost never wear lipstick for the same reason. But I do chapstick most of the time. I don't use any of the brands that you mention here, 'cause I can't get them easily on this side of the ocean. I use one by Urtekram a Danish brand – with only 4 ingredients, 100% organic & natural.

    One terrifying thing about lipstick is that most brands put lead in it <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( Yes, LEAD! Crazy. I love it that you recommend Environmental Working Group (great source of info). They've done such an amazing job. A wonderful book on the issue is Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>(

    My rule of thumb for lipstick (or other stuff): if you can't eat it, don't put it on your lips! More kissable, no?

  2. Andréa Balt says:

    Oh yea! Forgot about those two. I buy Weleda toothpaste (made with sea salt, non-fluoride) and Dr. Haushka for make-up. (Kate, seriously, can you actually see me through the satellite or something?)

    I wear a bit of make-up most of the time but I try to make it seem like I'm not wearing any (hahaha) – except for mascara which you can't hide. And of course, non-toxic. I actually try to make my own. So far I've only succeeded with a powder I made out of carob & cacao – instead of blush… crrrazzzyyyy. :). "Hey, what's that chocolate smell? Wait, it's your face!" But always wash face before bed and I agree that the best skin is the naked kind.

    PS. I love talking about this stuff. Don't get me started. 🙂

  3. 🙂 I do like mascara…super-blonde lashes & all…I feel like I look more awake with it on. But give me my moisturizer, lip balm & mascara & that's all I want 90% of the time.

  4. Andréa Balt says:

    The essential three. All you really need (other than love, of course).

    I was just about to edit the above comment to add that I'd love to get my hands on Josie Maran's makeup ( but they don't do international shipping (yet). It looks like some of the best natural makeup out there, from what I've researched.

  5. Le moi says:

    Burt's Bees!!! I love it on so many levels…thanks for posting!!

  6. Pearl D. says:

    Great list and Im going to share on my skincare page! One of my personal faves is the peptide lip tx from PCA Skincare but I love Burts Bees too. The Merry Hempsters lip tx sounds great…I will have to try!

  7. I'll have to look for that one – thanks!

  8. Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed!

  9. I knew i never liked that stuff at the supermarket!

  10. Jen says:

    So glad yo mentioned Dr Haushka in the comments!

  11. Yeah…icky. But actually….The Badger Balm, Burt's Bees & Kiss My Face, I can all get at the grocery store now! Thanks Hannah!

  12. Yes…Dr. Hauschka makes some great stuff too. Thanks Jen!

  13. jeanine says:

    how bout one with no flavor???

  14. I know Badger Balm & the Merry Hempsters both make "plain" balms. Weleda does also…can't think of the name of the top of my head. Hope that helps!

  15. Thought of your real body project when I was looking for a pic of lips… I wanted just a pair of women's lips, no lipstick, no crazy photoshopping or anything weird. Had to make my own!

  16. Thanks for the recommendation!

  17. Susan Simon says:

    Great post! Posting link on Elephant Food page.

  18. mccubma says:

    My fav is the eos brand (evolution of smooth). Their lip spheres are Gluten-free, Paraben-free, Petrolatum-free, Phthalate-free. 95% organic, 100% natural….
    (no, i don't work there!)

  19. I've seen those but never tried! Love the little ball–so cute!

  20. BentoBoxGirl says:

    How about Lucky Lips by Handmade. Pure.
    I added them to my Good Karma Bento Box Gift. In chocolate.

  21. AvFanBarb says:

    Check out They have some awesome organic lip balms, even an unscented one!
    I love their stuff and always keep extras of the lip balm in the house.

  22. Awesome list – thank you! In terms of makeup….Lippy Girl Makeup is vegan, PETA certified etc. Amazing colours, awesome feel on the lips and hilarious names for the shades. Check them out!

  23. I use raw organic shea butter, which has worked best for me and my lips get D-R-Y! All the others are great suggestions. Thanks, Kate!

  24. Thanks Taslim! I am going vegan in 2012 & am on the lookout for more good vegan lip products!

  25. Nice! I have a big jar of raw mango butter (bought it to make some massage cream) and sometimes put that on my lips before bedtime! Thanks Lynn!

  26. Melanie says:

    Badger cocoa butter lime rocket and sweet orange are my favorites! I also like these:

  27. Louise Brooks says:

    I've tried some of the eco-friendly make-up. Sorry, but it really does not stand up to the more mainstream products at this time. Until it does, you'll find me wearing lipstick, foundation, blush, and mascara from the "big names".

  28. Aunty says:

    I haven't used Burt's bees since you said it was bought out by Clorox. Also, my husband has worked for the company that makes Chapstick for 23 years. He pays for my health insurance and my house. I kinda like those things….

  29. What about just wearing your regular face & not worrying about it? Just a thought…not meant as a judgmental thought, but an encouraging, "what about this instead?" sort of thought.

  30. Hmmm…I had forgotten about the Burt's Bees buy out..still at least their products aren't animal tested even if the new parent company is not so hot. Health insurance & house are nice…I kinda like those too;)

  31. Nice! Will have to try those – thanks!

  32. Fair enough! I have very blonde lashes too…that's my one must have…no mascara & I feel a little blank;)

  33. […] skip honey? Maybe I could be like an Apia-vegan or something. Guess I need to find a new favorite lip balm too…since technically, I do end up swallowing a lot of it. I need to think about this honey thing. […]

  34. Kate says:

    After using and loving Burts for years I read the label and was surprised to see lanolin listed. What a disappointment!

  35. Guest says:

    Try Chicken Poop lip junk (Does not contain chicken poop!)

  36. […] been five days since going vegan, and I am still using lip balm with beeswax in it. Sigh. Maybe I will write to Pangea and see if they have plans to make a vegan […]

  37. That it is important to me! Thanks Melissa!

  38. Leesa says:

    Love Rocky Mountain Soap Company Lip Balms (all ingredients are right on their website). I would stay away from their glosses, though (who wants to ingest hydrogenated oils???).