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I Tested The Top 7 Lip Balms So You Don't Have To

I Tested The Top 7 Lip Balms So You Don't Have To

DISCLOSURE: The Eco-friendly marketplace Ecoternatives has asked me to write about this topic, but all opinions are unbiased, and my own.

If you're anything like me, you need a good chapstick. 

But you're also uncomfortable knowing that:

  1. We send over 200 million plastic chapstick containers every year to our landfills
  2. And that most all chapsticks are made from petroleum

So I spent the last 2 months on a mission testing out zero waste lip balms to find one that actually works.

Here are the 7 popular zero waste brands I tested:

  1. Little Otter
  2. Blue Heron Botanicals
  3. River Organics
  4. Poppy & Pout
  5. Ethique
  6. EcoRoots
  7. Attitude 

And here is their cost break down:

As you can see, the average price per lip balm was $9.12, with Little Otter being the most affordable at only $4.75, and Blue Heron being the most expensive at $14.70. 

The Test

My daughter and I used each chapstick for three days in a row, with a two day gap in between each brand. Everyone will have different favorites, but this is what my daughter and I could agree on as our rank: 

    #1 - Little Otter (organic)

    I've been using Blue Heron Botanical for a while, and it's always been my favorite. However, after trying Little Otter, there was no denying how yummy this one was!

    Little Otter is simple, smells great, applies with ease and leaves your lips feeling incredible all day long, so no need for reapplying.

    It’s size is the smallest, but the business claims that it actually yields the most due to the way it's packaged, so it’s a real bang for your buck!

    Little Otter is one of the most ethical and philanthropical companies I've purchased from. They don't make many products, but the ones they do make are AMAZING. 

    There is literally nothing I can complain about here, the lip balm smells amazing, it's incredibly moisturizing, it lasts for a long time, and works on even the worst of lips. I even gave the lip balm to my dubious friend (who has notoriously chapped lips)  and now it's the only lip balm she'll use.

    The only thing that might catch you off hand is how small it looks. However, in reality, it stores twice the amount off lip balm as Burts Bees, but just doesn't waste it's packaging with air.

    Little Otter (Peppermint) Ingredients

    Organic coconut oil, beeswax, organic peppermint oil, organic rosemary oil.

    Buy Little Otter for $4.95 at Ecoternatives (the world's first actually affordable zero waste store)

    #2 - Blue Heron Botanicals

    Blue Heron's chapstick features a squeeze bottom, rather than push or turn, and it’s actually quite effective and very simple to use for kiddos.

    We received the sample pack that had multiple flavors, all made from essential oils, so there are no weird “natural flavors” which we LOVE!

    It goes on so smooth and the smell/flavor is so subtle but your lips can definitely feel it’s magic.

    The packaging is so simple and effective I don’t feel bad going through it fast and having to get more.

    I even got a cute note from the owner with the lip balms, she is great and always willing to answer any questions — definitely someone to support and give a try!

    Sustainably sourced, zero waste, plastic free, and with every product sold they protect a baby turtle hatchling.

    Blue Heron Botanicals (Pacific Peppermint) Ingredients

    Beeswax, cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil, shea nut butter, castor oil, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, spearmint essential oil, peppermint essential oil, certified organic.

    Buy Blue Heron Botanicals for $14.70 

    #3 - Poppy & Pout

    The packaging is so cute and works well, but must be reapplied often to have the same soft lips throughout the day.

    And maybe it's due to the “natural flavors”, but I did notice that after not using for a couple days my lips would get chapped —  whereas with the other brands  after stopping use, my lips didn’t go through “withdrawals”.

    Poppy & Pout (Island Coconut Lip Balm) Ingredients

    Coconut oil, Beeswax, Sunflower oil, Natural coconut flavor oil, vanilla planifolia extract, Vitamin E.

    #4 - River Organics

    River Organics is a zero waste makeup company, and one of their flagship products are their lip balms. What's different is that they come in all different types of plant-based tints, which can be a main attraction for shoppers. However, I can't say that the color you get off these balms, the 'taste', or the texture was 5 stars. It definitely takes some working or getting used to. 

    Overall, I wouldn't buy this product because I don't care much for tints and I just think that the other options are superior to them. 

    River Organics Ingredients

    Coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, candelilla wax, cocoa butter, mango butter, vitamin e oil (made from wheat germ)

    #4 - EcoRoots

    Overall, this is a good product, but the packaging seemed thin and flimsy, and the lip balm seemed like it stayed on my lips long enough. However, I did like the colors, scent, and texture - but I wouldn't put it up with Blue Heron and Little Otter.

    EcoRoots Ingredients

    Coconut Oil*, Olive Oil*, Wildcrafted Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter*, Jojoba Oil*, Vitamine E, Rosehip Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Neem Seed Oil*, Rosemary Leaf Extract*. *Organic

    #5 - Ethique

    Overall, this product did not live up to my expectations.

    For starters, the cardboard tube was very hard to push up, but once you did, it would push up a bunch of lip balm all at once. 

    In terms of the product itself, I didn't find it very soothing or moisturizing. When applying, I had to drag it across my lips, it did not "glide". The texture was hard, and although I will keep using it, I would not reorder this product.

    Ethique (Peppermint) Ingredients

    Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Euphorbia cerifera cera (candelilla wax), stearic acid, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, Moringa oleifera seed oil, Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, linalool, limonene

    Attitude Lip Balm

    For full transparency: after reviewing the past 5 lip balms, then reading Attitude's sub-par product reviews on Amazon, I decided not to test their lip balm. I thought that Little Otter and Blue Heron were clear winners and I didn't add Attitude to my list. 

    Concluding Remarks

    Overall, you couldn't go wrong with Little Otter Lip Balm. They're arguably the most sustainable and philanthropic company on this list, their ingredients are organic, they work great, and they also don't sell their products on Amazon unlike most of the other suppliers on this list. Which shows that their true intentions really are sustainability over profit.

    Last but not least, they're the most affordable product by a long shot. That's partially thanks to their partnership with Ecoternativesthe world's first actually affordable zero waste store

    You can buy Little Otter here. It has a 4.8 star rating on their site!

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