Note: This is an honest review. Neither Sweatpants & Coffee nor the authors have been financially compensated for this review.
From summer sun to winter wind, lip balm is an essential to moisturize and protect the delicate skin of our smiles. The problem is that many lip products, including some versions of our old buddies ChapStick and Vaseline, contain petroleum, and while the jury is still out on whether that’s as bad as we thought it was, why bother worrying about it when there are so many wonderful natural products out there? I tried five different brands of all-natural, cruelty-free lip balms easily available on Amazon. Here’s what I found. (Notes: to compare fairly, I tried the most basic mint flavor of all of the brands. Prices are current as of time of authoring, but may vary at later dates.)
ArtNaturals, set of six, $6.50
Flavors included: Passion Pitaya, Hibiscus Blossom, Island Coconut, Mango Papaya, Grapefruit Tropic and Eucalyptus Mint
This barely scented lip balm boasts jojoba oil, coconut oil and aloe leaf extract amongst its natural ingredients, and it glides on smoothly with no gooey or sticky residue. There is only a hint of flavor in the Eucalyptus Mint balm that fades quickly, but the moisturizing effect of the balm itself lasts. If you’re looking for value you can’t beat the price for this set—it’s the most economical of the bunch and the largest variety of flavors. That said, it was the only set not officially labeled organic, if that is of concern to you.
LipLoks, set of five, $13.99
Flavors included: Vivacious Vanilla, Mystic Mint, Passion Punch, Minty Madness and Tantalizing Tangerine
LipLoks Mystic Mint lip balm had a more natural but slightly medicinal scent to it and a much softer consistency, probably due to the wildcrafted shea butter included in the formula, leading to a more coated (and protected) feeling on the lips. This balm most resembled a homemade balm in texture. There was a pleasant cooling sensation and a light taste from the included natural mint flavor oil. While I usually like a firmer consistency in my lip balm, LipLoks was a pleasure to use.
EcoLips Mongo Kiss, set of four, $10.49
Flavors included: Peppermint, Pomegranate, Acai Berry and Vanilla Honey
I had never heard of fair trade Mongongo Kernel oil before I tried this lip balm, but consider me converted, especially since this lip balm also includes amongst its all-natural ingredients rosemary and calendula extract. This balm, bigger in size to all of the others, had a firm texture that left almost a glossy sheen on the lips, noticeably thinner in layer than some but still providing ample coverage. With almost no scent I was prepared to be disappointed in the flavor but there was a hint of peppermint there that made my lips and tongue feel cool and refreshed. This one was a favorite.
Moon Valley Organics, set of five, $16.63
Flavors included: Tropical Coconut Lime, Cool Mint Vanilla, Sweet Honey, Velvety Vanilla and Juicy Blackberry
This balm, perhaps because it was a mint-vanilla flavor instead of just mint, had a very pleasant scent that kept me going back to sniff it. The taste was blander than some of the others (though it did have the cooling effect of the peppermint essential oil.) The balm went on as smoothly as a lipgloss, leaving me with lips I couldn’t help but rub together as though I were applying a lipstick. This formula has even more organic herbs in the blend, including licorice root, calendula, comfrey and lemon balm, and the company says that all sales help preserve pollinator habitat. A great choice.
Moroccan Magic, set of five, $17.99
Flavors included: Coconut Almond, Rose, Peppermint Eucalyptus, Lemon Thyme and Lavender Vanilla
Moroccan Magic seemed to bring everything that I loved about all of the other lip balms together. The consistency was perfect—firm and stable but smooth to apply, (thanks to the inclusion of Argan oil in the blend) and with no waxiness or greasiness. The cooling effect present in the other balms was here, too, thanks to the organic peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, and the balm had a light scent and flavor that almost made me feel as though I had chewed a fresh stick of minty gum. The moisturizing effect lingered long after the initial glossiness had faded—it felt like the balm absorbed into my lips instead of just sitting on top. Yes, the price is the highest of the bunch, but to support a woman-owned small business and have the perfect lip balm in my pocket it is a price I am willing to pay.