According to Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, authors of The Green Book, “the average woman may inadvertently ingest more than four pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.” While this may be a discomforting statistic for women to read, men aren't entirely off the hook either. Most lip balms, glosses, and salves are made using a base of petrolatum – petroleum jelly. So men and women who wear any form of lip moisturizer are getting tiny amounts of petroleum, and all the other ingredients, in their mouths every time they eat a meal, sip a beverage, or lick their lips. The ick-factor isn't what's harmful to the environment, though: petroleum – and its derivatives – is a nonrenewable fossil fuel. Furthermore, the demand for petroleum products prolongs and increases America's dependence on foreign oil.
It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but switching to lipsticks and lip moisturizers that do not contain petrolatum is one way you can cut down on the air pollution and soil contamination that oil mining causes.
ALL-NATURAL LIP MOISTURIZING ALTERNATIVES
- Burt's Bees offers a Res-Q Lip Balm (SPF 15) that soothes and hydrates your lips with 100 percent natural ingredients like hemp seed oil, rosemary leaf extract, and sweet almond oil. But best of all, it's petrolatum free! Purchase directly from BurtsBees.com, or at most local grocery and drug stores.
- Eco Lips Organic Lip Care Line offers a range of products that are cruelty-, gluten-, hydrogenated oil-, and petrolatum-free, and are made with 99 percent certified organic ingredients. Try their unscented Gold USDA Certified Organic Lip Balm, which is made from certified organic jojoba oil and is enriched with Vitamin E. Buy directly from the Eco Lips online store.
- Eco Lips also offers a Vegan Bee Free Lip Balm, which is lemon-lime flavored and contains certified organic oils, vegetable wax, and butter blended with certified organic essential oils. You can also buy this lip balm directly from the Eco Lips online store.
ALL-NATURAL LIPSTICK ALTERNATIVES
- EcoTint Moisturizing Lip Tints by Eco Lips are lipsticks made with organic plant oils, beeswax, and aloe vera to moisturize and add shimmer to your lips naturally. Pick from their five mineral-tinted shades at either EcoLips.com.
- TreeHugger.com and The Jane Goodall “Good for All” brand recommend Primitive Makeup's line of all-natural, petroleum-free lipsticks, glosses, and lip pencils. These products are made in the USA with naturally occurring ingredients, with no synthetics, additives, or preservatives, and without animal testing. Additionally, Primitive's lipsticks manage to offer a range of luscious shades without petrochemicals, parabens, or synthetic colors. Choose from color names inspired by deserts, beaches, and sunsets directly through PrimitiveMakeup.com.
- Hemp Organics offers 32 different shades of certified organic lipsticks that are made with hemp seed oil and beeswax. They're also free of lead, petroleum, wheat, and gluten. Shop from Hemp Organic's selection of lipstick, gloss, liners, and tint at VashonOrganics.com.
AT-HOME LIP BALM RECIPIES
Whether you need a new DIY project or simply want to be absolutely sure your lip balm is 100 percent eco-friendly, these homemade lip balm recipes will do the trick!
- Everyday Moisturizing: Melt 2 teaspoons organic olive oil, ½ teaspoon grated, cosmetic-grade, organic beeswax, and ½ teaspoon shea or cocoa butter over low heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then add honey or any flavored oil (such as all-natural acai, apple, or blueberry from SweetCakes.com) to taste, plus 1 Vitamin E capsule as a preservative (optional). Stir until all ingredients are blended well.
- Healing Dry, Cracked Lips: Melt 2 tablespoons organic jojoba oil, 2 tablespoons organic almond oil, 2 tablespoons organic avocado oil, and 1 tablespoon grated, cosmetic-grade, organic beeswax over low heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add 6 drops lavender essential oil, 2 drops tea tree essential oil, and 3 drops lime essential oil. Stir well to combine.
- Chocolaty Flavored: Melt 6 tablespoons grated, cosmetic-grade, organic beeswax and 8 tablespoons organic olive oil on low heat. Over the melted mixture, pour ½ teaspoon cocoa and ½ Vitamin E capsule. Stir well to combine.
[Note: Once combined, each moisturizer may be poured into a reusable jar, tube, or tin (available from SunBurstBottle.com) and should then be left to sit for at least 48 hours to solidify.]