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Having chapped lips is a legitimate concern.
The whiteness and minuscule cracks accentuate the lips, which give off a bad impression when interacting with someone. If the person we’re having a conversation with stares at our moving, cracked lips, that’ll put us in an uncomfortable spot.
In most cases, you can prevent chapped lips by using a lip balm. In other cases, the issue is more complicated, and you might have to visit a dermatologist. And sometimes, what you have is the habit of licking your lips, which is what causes the problem.
For the majority of people, lip balm is the savior. But if you’re a vegan with dry lips, then you might have to search for a more specific solution.
Why Are Most Lip Balms Not Vegan?
There are usually two things we need to check before buying a lip balm.
We need to know whether or not that brand conducts testing on animals, and if they use any animal ingredients to formulate the product.
The issue with most lip balms is that they cross the line on both.
To give you a clear idea, here’s the list of ingredients within the Chapstick lip balm:
- Arachidyl propionate,
- Carnauba wax
- Cetyl alcohol
- Isopropyl lanceolate
- Isopropyl myristate
- Titanium dioxide
- White wax
- Yellow 5 lake
- Light mineral oil
- Oleyl alcohol
- Phenyl trimethicone
- Red 6 lake
You can find bolded the non-vegan ingredients.
Lanolin is a greasy yellow substance removed from sheep’s wool.
Many might argue that the removal can be done ethically, but we all know how dirty and abusive the animal industry is toward any species.
Yellow 5 lake and Red 6 lake are artificial colorings. The reason they’re not vegan is that colorings are usually tested on animals.
Other flavors contain different colorings, and a different product might contain Beeswax instead of Lanolin.
Therefore you need to keep an eye out on the labels.
The Best Vegan Lip Balms
Unfortunately, in spite of my love for vegan products, I can’t buy every single lip balm in the market and give it to my wife for a quality test.
As such, I have analyzed a long list of well-reviewed lip balms, and have singled out the most convincing ones. An important aspect I consider when looking at the companies selling vegan products — is how transparent they are, and if the information they’re making available to the public makes sense.
Sometimes companies may claim they’re authentically vegan, but there’s information about the supply chain that is omitted in their FAQ page. Leaving us with no way of knowing if a product is ethical, sustainable or actually vegan. Oftentimes I send emails to ask questions, and those questions are returned with vague answers, and sometimes no answers.
The list of vegan lip balms I’ll share with you resulted from researching the products and tuning into what the buyers had to say about the product. Please note that I will never promote a product on request, and these are all my personal choices.
- Hurraw! – Premium Vegan Lip Balm — Most Transparent & Affordable.
- Soapwalla Lip Balm— Natural & Sustainable.
Hurraw! – Premium Vegan Lip Balm
The HURRAW! lip balms have been around since 2010, and I have yet to see an extremely bad review about them. You can find these lip balms on Amazon, but they’re also available on the Hurraw! website.
Given the nature of this review, I had to verify if the lip balm they advertise on Amazon is actually legit. The reviews are great, but sometimes I can’t help but think that it might sound too good to be true. In this particular case, I actually think they are true.
They Seem Very Transparent
The Hurraw! company seems to scratch most boxes I’ve pointed earlier in the article by sticking to plant-based, sustainable and ethical concepts. They create plant-based balms from organic ingredients, and even avoid the use of common carcinogenic colorings like yellow 5 lake or red 6 lake, and swap them out for plant-based alternatives.
While their lip balms are not 100% organic, you can still check the percentage of organic ingredients on their website. The Moon lip balm, for example, is made from72% organic and 10.7% wildly grown ingredients.
Hurraw! is also certified by the Montana Department of Agriculture, and is kept GMO-free.
They are certified vegan by Vegan Action (Vegan.org) and registered by the Vegan Society. They’re also approved by the CCIC (The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics), which gives them the cruelty-free badge that confirms their cruelty-free testing policy.
Why They’re Not Fairtrade
Lastly — Hurraw! is not a Fairtrade Certified Company, and the reason is that it’s not suitable from a business perspective, because both farmers and small businesses need to give up a percentage of each product to certifying agencies like the Fairtrade Foundation. This may sound like a flawed argument, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to buy this lip balm for $7-$8, when this one’s already so expensive.
Hurraw!’s addressing Fair Trade.
Not many websites usually sound as persuasive, but from what I’ve gathered, Hurraw! has some convincing arguments that compelled me to put them on this small list.
Plus, unlike a great number of cosmetic companies, they’re not owned by a parent company that owns different brands that run animal testing or include animal ingredients in their products. (Unilever is an example of one such parent company)
Hurraw also seems to be very transparent with their packaging information. Their wholesale packs and product boxes are made from 100% post-consumer paperboard using 100% wind power. But the same can’t be said for their plastic tubes. It appears that they don’t have enough PCR (post-consumer recycled material) pellet to create tubes… and thus only 50% of the tubes are created with PCR pellet.
People Seem To Love This Product
Despite not being extremely popular on Amazon, the reviews validate the product.
One customer compares the Hurraw! Lip Balm to a different one containing petroleum: “Hurraw was much more soothing, less prone to “caking”, and reduced the peeling and cracking. I’ve replaced all the petroleum products with Hurraw!”.
Another customer mentions how her experience with vegan lip balms had been negative until she found Hurraw!: “I haven’t had much luck with vegan chapstick in the past, but these are nourishing and taste amazing.”. And apparently, they feel great on the lips, too: “They smooth on like butter! Leaves my lips velvety smooth and they taste amazing.”
Something I’ve noticed as well is how relatively cheaper it is to other vegan lip balms.
Soapwalla Lip Balm
Soapwalla was born from Rachel Wizards’ (the founder) need to find skincare products that wouldn’t aggravate her sensitive skin issues caused by systemic lupus.
Her search for pure, effective and trustworthy skincare products would result in her creating Soapwalla.
That’s awesome… but here’s what’s so enticing about Soapwalla…
Produced Locally In The US
Soapwalla is a small-time company in NYC that handcrafts skincare products in very small batches, using sustainably grown ingredients.
These sustainable ingredients come from very small farms and undergo a vetting process where Rachel actively monitors the practices of farmers, to ensure the ingredients abide by environmentally friendly practices.
In fact, Rachel stays in touch with farmers to ensure they follow Soapwalla’s value structure of respect, authenticity, and transparency… which is what we vegans love!
And we also love products that are produced locally, and Soapwalla produces its products inside the Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn, NY.
Natural, Organic & Fair Trade?
Soapwalla’s lip balm is 100% natural.
It relies on natural, plant-based ingredients like almond, citrus, avocado, calendula, ginger, jojoba, lavender, rosehip, salt, shea, and sunflower. They have a page where you can select an ingredient, and it returns you with a list of products that contain that given ingredient.
However, just like Hurraw! — their organic ingredients are not 100% certified. Obtaining a USDA certification for every single ingredient calls for a long and expensive process. As such, not all the organic ingredients within their product are USDA certified.
Rachel herself oversees the suppliers, and ensures every single one is cruelty-free approved, and following a strict environmental guideline.
On their FAQ page, they mention sourcing from local farmers whenever possible, but I’m assuming that’s not most cases. Therefore, It’s difficult to know whether the company abides closely by the social principles you can expect from any other Fair Trade company.
When asked about their policies on doing business in countries with suspect human rights records, this is the answer they’re giving:
“We strongly believe that any person who wants to use wholesome, vegan, consciously-produced, environmentally-sound products should have that ability. We work closely with each potential retailer and distributor to ensure a good fit.”.
I find it a bit too vague. Because according to their product page, they consider their ingredients (or at least some) to be Fair Trade:
At the same time, Soapwalla is independently owned, which is a good sign.
Is The Product Package Eco-Friendly? What About The Shipping Package?
Soapwalla products come packed in cobalt blue glass or PET plastic.
However, PET plastic is the most used form because it protects the contents of the product against contaminants, and can be recycled and reused without losing quality.
While I don’t appreciate the use of plastic, the one they use is free from PVC, Bisphenol-A, and heavy metals. Note: PVC is considered the worst form of plastic.
Also, the shipping materials are made from biodegradable packing peanuts.
A natural, plant-based source in the form of wheat and corn starch… that can be dissolved in water. The only downside is that it makes shipping more costly, which is why most companies choose more pollutive alternatives.
But not Soapwalla. And I believe any vegan appreciates that.
In spite of my love for brands like these, I still feel the need to call what I see.
Some information is vague, but among other brands I’ve researched (Honest Beauty, for example), these were by far more transparent about their modus operandi.
And while for most people it suffices to see a vegan logo and a leaping bunny logo… I believe we need to dive deeper and seek truly conscious alternatives.
From what I’ve been able to gather, Hurraw! and Soapwalla is those conscious alternatives because they have decided to do things differently, in spite of their small size. I can’t speak for the quality of the products, but generally, people seem to like their products, not only the lip balms but the other available line of products as well.
This being said, I’m in no shape or form an expert in cosmetics. I’m merely someone who has conducted some research and arrived at a somewhat convincing conclusion.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you know of other brands with similar or even better backgrounds than the ones I’ve presented here.
Stay vegan, stay true. 🙂