Best vegan lip balm

Lip Makeup

Some lip balms contain the ingredient lanolin, which is grease extracted from wool, making the products not vegan.

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Which vegan lip balm is best?

For people who follow a vegan lifestyle, it can be surprising to learn how many everyday products are made with animal-derived ingredients. Lip balm is no exception. Finding the best vegan lip balm means knowing what ingredients to seek out and what substances to avoid. 

There are many companies producing lip balms that are both hydrating and completely plant-based. Melixer Vegan Lip Balm is the top pick because it’s rejuvenating, lightweight and certified cruelty-free and vegan by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

What to know before you buy a vegan lip balm

Ingredients to avoid

Following a vegan lifestyle is more than just foregoing a diet of meat and dairy, it also means that you need to check for animal-derived ingredients in all of your cosmetics, moisturizers and bath products. Many of these substances may not seem like animal byproducts at first glance, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with a few of the most commonly-used ingredients before choosing a lip balm

  • Lanolin: This waxy substance is naturally secreted by sheep and other animals to wick away moisture and keep their woolly coats dry. It’s often used in moisturizing products like lip balm and beard balm.
  • Carmine: This red material is actually derived from a type of beetle. You will commonly see it used as a natural dye in certain cosmetics and food products. 
  • Beeswax and honey: These ingredients are commonly found in natural and organic products, but since they are produced by bees, they are generally not considered vegan. 
  • Glycerin: While vegan-friendly vegetable glycerin does exist, most products that simply list glycerin in their ingredients are referring to a type of animal fat called tallow. 
  • Petroleum jelly: Although it is not technically an animal byproduct, petroleum jelly is derived from crude oil, which means it’s non-biodegradable and toxic for the environment, factors that are important to most vegans. 

Ingredients to look for

There are many plant-based ingredients that can be used to replace their animal-derived counterparts. Sunflower seed wax is often used as an alternative to beeswax, while shea butter and hemp seed oil can easily replace lanolin. A red dye like carmine can easily be replaced with vegan sources like pomegranate juice. Look for a lip balm that uses vegetable glycerin and other nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, mango butter and aloe vera. 

Vegan and cruelty-free

Although the terms are commonly used together, cruelty-free products are not inherently vegan and vice-versa. If a product claims to be cruelty-free, that simply means that it was not tested on animals during its development. Similarly, if a product only contains vegan ingredients, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t tested on animals. For the best of both worlds, look for a lip balm that’s certified both vegan and cruelty-free by third-party organizations. 

What to look for in a quality vegan lip balm

Sustainable packaging

To reduce your environmental footprint, look for a vegan lip balm that is being sold in eco-friendly packaging. Some of these products are sold in recycled cardboard tubes, while others may be packaged in post-consumer plastic or glass jars. 

Sun protection

In addition to moisturizing, proper skincare means protecting yourself from sun damage. Look for a vegan lip balm with a listed sun protection factor — or SPF — particularly if you’re often outdoors. 

Third-party certification

Regardless of what a company states on their label, it can be difficult to confirm that a product is truly vegan unless they have been certified as such by a third-party organization. Vegan Action, Vegan Society and PETA are three reputable organizations that can verify a product’s vegan status. 

How much you can expect to spend on a vegan lip balm

The cost of vegan lip balm usually depends on the ingredients and container size. Most people can expect to spend around $3-$15 per tube, but you can also save money by buying lip balm in bulk. 

Vegan lip balm FAQ

What does Leaping Bunny-certified mean?

A. Products that are Leaping Bunny-certified have not been tested on animals during any stage of their development. This does not mean that they are always vegan, however, so check the ingredients list to be sure. 

Does vegan lip balm expire? 

A. Most companies suggest throwing out containers of lip balm after a year, but you can also look for an expiration date to confirm. 

What’s the best vegan lip balm to buy?

Top vegan lip balm

Melixer Vegan Lip Balm

Melixer Vegan Lip Balm

What you need to know: This lip balm is completely plant-based and available in a dozen different colors.

What you’ll love: The vegan formula contains ingredients such as shea butter, sunflower seed oil and agave. It’s been certified cruelty-free and vegan by PETA, and the company prioritizes sustainable packaging for all of its products. 

What you should consider: Some users wished the colors were a little more vibrant.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top vegan lip balm for the money

Pure + Simple Vegan Lip Balm, Fragrance-Free 5-Pack

Pure + Simple Vegan Lip Balm, Fragrance-Free 5-Pack

What you need to know: This multipack contains five certified-vegan lip balms for a reasonable price. 

What you’ll love: This affordable lip balm is PETA-approved and contains no harmful parabens or gluten in its formula. The plant-based formula includes avocado oil, jojoba oil and an infusion of vitamin E.

What you should consider: The tubes are packaged in plastic, making them less environmentally friendly than other brands. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Vegan lip balm worth checking out

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm

What you need to know: This vegan lip balm is available in a variety of vibrant colors. 

What you’ll love: The color options include plum drop, blood orange and fruit punch. The ingredients list contains antioxidant-rich acai and pomegranate, and the product has been certified by the Environmental Working Group. 

What you should consider: A few users noted that the product doesn’t go on very smoothly compared to other lip balm tubes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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