Consumer safety groups suggest choosing a lipstick with natural components or one that has 10 or fewer ingredients. Paula Begoun, however, warns that "natural" does not always mean better. Several of these lipsticks, she says, contain natural but potentially irritating ingredients. While natural cosmetics are growing in popularity, most are not reviewed often enough to properly evaluate their effectiveness. If you prefer natural alternatives, Environmental Working Group rates lipsticks for safety at its Skin Deep cosmetics database. This website also notes whether or not a company conducts animal testing.
Even though organic foods and skin-care products are becoming more mainstream than ever, it is still rather difficult to find truly natural cosmetic products. That's because most companies rely on synthetic ingredients to some degree. Jolene Edgar of Allure magazine also points out that the industry is largely unregulated and many natural ingredients are not as heavily tested and studied as synthetic substances. Due to a lack of funding for research, one company's natural lipsticks may not be as good, or good for you, as another's.
BITE Luminous Creme Lipstick (*Est. $24) may be as natural as lipstick gets. The company only uses food-grade ingredients and a quick look at the ingredient list confirms this. Its main ingredients are castor, jojoba and argan oils along with beeswax and shea butter. The natural lipstick also contains resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine. As equally impressive as its ingredients is the list of components not included. BITE lipstick is paraben-, sulfate- and phthalate-free. It doesn't contain any synthetic fragrances or dyes, either. Editors at TruthInAging.com say that the lipstick has an "amazing creamy texture" and that the color lasts throughout the day. The lipstick is available in 21 shades that consist of reds, neutrals, pinks and berries.
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick (*Est. $24) also uses natural substances to obtain its range of hues and to provide moisture to the lips. Ingredients include shea butter, rose hip and carrot extracts, rose and jojoba waxes, along with a slew of essential oils. The lipstick, however, gets a "moderate hazard" rating from the Skip Deep website because it includes fragrance and some of the ingredients can cause irritation and allergies. Paula Begoun, who often criticizes natural-cosmetics companies for using irritating ingredients, gives Dr. Hauschka a good rating but says that the colors have "minimal stain." Dr. Hauschka Lipstick is available in eight shades.
It may be easier to find a natural lip gloss in a shade that you love, since glosses require less color. RMS Beauty Lip Shine (*Est. $25) is recommended by editors at TruthinAging.com. It contains all natural ingredients -- namely castor, coconut and moringa oils as well as carnauba wax, beeswax and cocoa butter. Editors say that it is comfortable on the lips and isn't goopy like a lot of lip glosses. It has a hint of color with a nice shine. Lip Shine is available in two shades: Bloom, a sheer pink shade and Moment, a light rose brown. It can be used on the cheeks as well.