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Let’s talk clean lipstick.

You guys already know I’m all about non-toxic beauty products that WORK. So, I wanted to round up and share some of my favorite clean lipsticks brands with you all.

Lipstick basically goes IN your mouth.

Can you think of anything more important that should be non-toxic?! Many popular lipstick brands contain seriously scary levels of heavy metals (lead and arsenic to name a couple). And this is a major cancer risk.

“Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.” – CBS NEWS: Top 10 Lead Filled Lipsticks 

There are lots of studies and articles out there with lots of helpful information on what makes so many lipstick brands toxic. I want to just cover the basics here and encourage you to do some further research of your own if this is something you find important! I suggest downloading the Think Dirty APP on your phone, it is an excellent and easy to use resource for weeding out toxic cosmetics.

Remember! “Cruelty Free” and “Vegan” are NOT the same thing as “Non-Toxic”!

There are brands out there that pride themselves on being “cruelty free”, meaning they don’t test on animals. Which is great and all, but that doesn’t mean they don’t use toxic chemicals in their makeup. Brands like Kat Von D, Lush, Charlotte Tillbury all have a wide variety of concerning ingredients.

What are among the MOST TOXIC  brands?

  • NARS
  • Revlon
  • L’Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Covergirl
  • Clinique
  • Rimmel London
  • MAC

It is really sad that more non-toxic beauty products aren’t more affordable and readily available at stores like Walgreens and Target. Sigh. As far as I’m concerned, Physicians Formula is the cleanest brand available at drugstores.

Here I am wearing BeautyCounter in Twig with W3LL PEOPLE Nudist #8 gloss on top | T-shirt is ASOS and also available in white, bracelets are busywrist, watch is Nixon

I want to clarify that I did most of my research using the Think Dirty App, EWG Skin Deep, and the blog Gimme The Good Stuff; among other articles and blogs. Please note that not ALL of the lipsticks made by these brands are totally non-toxic. For instance, Bite Beauty’s matte lip crayon contains a dye that is not approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, but their High Pigment Lip Pencil does NOT contain that dye and is therefore okay.

Here are the best NON-TOXIC lipstick brands:

1. BeautyCounter

2. Axiology

3. Milk

4. Kjaer Weis Lip Tint

5. Josie Maran Color Stick

*Note: The Josise Maran Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick has a long list of concerning ingredients, but the Color Stick is okay! (Gimme The Good Stuff)

6. Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil

*Note: The High Pigment Lip Pencil is safe, BUT Bite Beauty’s Matte Creme Lip Crayon contains Yellow Dye No. 7 which is not approved by the FDA for use in lip products. (Gimme The Good Stuff)


8. RMS Beauty

9. Ecco Bella

10. Ilia

11. Physicians Formula

12. Juice Beauty

13. 100% Pure


  1. Burt’s Bees isn’t toxic and they have never tested on animals. The ingredients are all-natural and is even sold at Whole Foods. Their parent company is Clorox and they are not all natural so just because they are owned by a toxic company doesn’t mean that they are toxic.

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Rosie! Thanks for checking out my post. I actually did a bunch of research on Burt’s Bees because I totally thought the same thing when I did this post! I figured that because they advertise as “all natural” and were carried by Whole Foods that the brand should be totally safe. However, that was unfortunately not the case! Burt’s Bees lipstick has tested positive for traces of lead and also their lipstick is listed as “sneaky stuff” on GimmeTheGoodStuff.org (my non-toxic product bible, that girl is a MASTER researcher, I love her product guides – definitely check out her site if you like this kind of stuff too!). Here is the link to her article: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-product-guides/lipstick/ (in summary Burt’s Bees isn’t very transparent about the ingredients used in their products)

      Also, Burt’s Bees soaps and lotions contain a lot of synthetic fragrances (which are hormone disruptors) so that just makes me generally not trust any of the brand’s products. I wish Whole Foods would do a better job of only stocking brands that are totally clean! It can all be so overwhelming!

  2. Linda McMilin Reply

    Hi Meg, thanks for the info. I’ve recently been wanting to include more clean makeup. I have always had a hard time keeping lipstick on so I’ve used a cover girl long wear for years. Time to trash them 😉 On another note, are we related

  3. Clinique is one of the SAFEST so it’s wrong to have them on the toxic list

    • sorry to say clinique is not the safest. plus they test on animals. I used to love clinique… just do a little research and you will soon fall out of love like I did. Be warned, you will go down a rabbit hole & will never see clinique and several other “safe” brands the same way again.

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