By K W Warburton, The Reluctant Spoonie
I was obsessed with lip balms as a tween and collected all the Lipsyl flavours (sustainable skincare was not a thing back then). Like all good ’90s/ 00’s girls, I kept them in a purple caboodle. That is until I started having allergic reactions to them and I had to throw them all away. Since then, I have been very cautious about what I put on my lips due to my sensitive skin.
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I have tried numerous brands including The Body Shop, Burt’s Bee’s and others without success. Over on my Instagram, I have been reviewing sustainable lip balms for sensitive skin for the past few months. Here is a summary of my thoughts and ratings for all the ones that I have tried.
*Disclaimer* This post is not sponsored and these were not gifted to me (because no one wants a person with puffy lips promoting their brand). These are my unbiased views on the lip balms that I tried. My main goal was to find one that was comparable in price to a drugstore brand that worked for my skincare requirements.
Please follow my methods, rather than the exact brands that I have chosen. If you live outside of the UK, these choices will not be the most sustainable for you due to shipping.
Sustainable Lip Balms for Sensitive Skin
1. Scence Lip Balm (£3.90, Greener Beauty)
This lip balm by Scence is handmade, plastic-free, vegan and cruelty-free. It does not have to be stored in the fridge like many lip balms that are packaged this way. However, this packaging may be difficult for some people to use as you have to manually push the stick up from the bottom.
I tried the Bitter Orange flavour, but it is also available in Black Pepper, Natural Jojoba and Peppermint.
This lip balm is free from common allergens such as gluten and nuts which means that it should be a suitable lip balm for those with sensitive skin.
I tried this lip balm for a week and almost gave up after two days as the packaging made it hard to use. This balm is fatter (more girthy) that usual lip balms which meant that I smeared half of it on my face with every use. It is also a ‘hard balm’ which means that you have to press quite hard to get the product to transfer onto skin. Those who live in warmer climates may not have this problem.
Ingredients: myrica fruit wax, organic coconut oil, mango butter, organic illipe butter, organic jojoba oil, natural vitamin E oil (non GMO), bitter orange essential oil, sweet orange essential oil
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 3/ 5
Final Thoughts: Good value for money, but it was not for me as the packaging made it difficult to use and the formula wasn’t as moisturising as I need for my dry skin. I would not buy this again, but would not discourage you from buying it if you only need a light balm.
2. Yaoh Hemp Seed Oil Lip Balm (£2.95, Greener Beauty)
This cost-effective sustainable lip balm is available in a variety of flavours: Blueberry, Bubblegum, Caribbean Breeze, Coconut, Mango, Natural, Spearmint, Strawberries & Cream and Watermelon. I tried the Blueberry flavour.
This lip balm contains hemp seed oil which is great for those with sensitive skin.
This company was founded in 2002 and looks like they haven’t changed the packaging since then. This sustainable lip balm is packaged as a regular lip balm, but is made from natural ingredients.
The flavour is very strong and I felt like I was eating a blueberry pie every time I used it. This lip balm is long-lasting and doesn’t dry out as quickly as some lip balms. after a few days of use, I noticed a marked improvement in my scarring from skin picking.
Ingredients: Virgin olive oil, candelilla wax, organic hemp seed oil, comfrey, calendula, St. John’s wort, tocopherol (natural vitamin E), rosemary extract
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5
Final Thoughts: Pick a flavour that you know that you like as the flavouring is very strong. Do a patch test beforehand if you have not encountered some of these ingredients before.
3. Fruu Colour Balm (£5.00, Greener Beauty)
This tinted lip balm claims to be allergen-free and suitable for those with sensitive skin. Unfortunately, I found this to be false and had an allergic reaction to it. Looking closer at the list of ingredients, I found that it contained cocoa and shea butter (listed as different names).
This lip balm is also a unique shape- a squashed almond shape which makes it quite difficult to use. I also found the texture of the balm to be cakey and unpleasant to use. That was even before I had an allergic reaction to it.
In comparison to the other lip balms that I’ve tried, this one was the most expensive. It also contained the most ingredients.
Ingredients: Euphorbia cerifera cera (Candelilla wax), Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Simmondsia chinensis seed (Jojoba) oil, Theobroma cacao seed (Cocoa) butter, Citrus limon (Lemon) seed oil, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf extract, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, Octyldodecanol, Titanium dioxide, Mangifera Indica (Mango) seed butter, Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon) seed oil, Musa sapientum (banana)fruit extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Ricinus communis seed (Castor) oil, Aroma, CI 77491, Stevia rebaudiana leaf/steam extract, CI 15850
Rating: ⭐⭐2/ 5
Final Thoughts: Ensure that you research all the possible names of your allergens that may be listed as ingredients. This brand also does a non-tinted version which may be more suitable for those with sensitive skin.
4. Lather and Smudge Sweet Orange Lip Butter (£4.00 Etsy)
Etsy may not be your first choice when looking for new skincare brands, but it is a great way to find sustainable skincare brands. Small batch skincare brands might be your best option when you are looking for a sustainable lip balm for your sensitive skin. Etsy is a great platform to discover these brands, but remember to only buy from local sellers to avoid international shipping.
This lip butter by Lather and Smudge comes in a cute tin and is bright orange in colour. It has a mild fragrance and the packaging is accessible and easy to use which is always a plus for me! However, I found that it wasn’t moisturising enough for my skin type.
Ingredients: Sweet Orange Lip Butter Natural Ingredients Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) wax, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Achiote Annatto (Bixa orelana) seeds, Tocopherol (Vitamin E Oil), Citral*, Linalool*, Limonene*.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐4/ 5
Final Thoughts: Cute tin and easy to use. I would definitely recommend this seller if you live in the UK. When shopping on Etsy, ensure that you get a full list of ingredients before you purchase. Some sellers only list the main ingredients and not all of them.