Why Vegan and Cruelty-Free Lipstick Is Not Enough (Part 2)

Vegan or cruelty-free does not mean non-toxic, chemical free. In part two of our series, I will explain why.

As we talked about in our previous post if a lipstick claims to be waterproof, smudge-proof, or lasts all-day, there may be questionable chemicals within the ingredients to add these components to the lipstick. What’s more, even if a lipstick is vegan or cruelty-free that does not mean it contains all non-toxic ingredients. Below are some of the toxic ingredients you may find in vegan or cruelty-free lipsticks.

Yellow 5 CI19140 (Not to be confused with Yellow Oxide)

Read the bottom of lipstick ingredient lists and you may find this ingredient tucked in between other long numbers. Yellow 5 though should not be taken lightly. Also known as Tartrazine, Yellow 5 CI19140 is a xenoestrogen and an endocrine disruptor. What does this mean? Tartrazine effects the body’s hormones interfering with its natural functions. It can also cause allergic reactions and adverse “hypersensitive reactions for some people.”

Tin Oxide

One study stated that tin oxide seems to be safe depending on the use and concentration. However another study revealed that tin oxide can in fact cause mild irritation of the skin and “mucous membranes” (Source)


Shiny lipstick is usually made with micas, a glittery powder that is dust-like. The main issue with micas is when they are inhaled over a period of time they can scar the body’s lungs and damage the respiratory system by causing “shortness of breath and coughing” (Source) Micas can also cause allergic skin reactions for some people.“Micas’ microscopic glittery flakes can contain toxic metals like lead, manganese, chromium, and aluminum” (Source) So even if you are not inhaling the powder form of mica, if you ingest via your lipstick, you are in taking harmful metals.

Several of these ingredients can be found in mineral Vegan or Cruelty-free lipsticks. The issue is that a lipstick can be vegan (does not use beeswax) and cruelty-free (does not test on animals) and still be completely toxic and a danger to your health. You deserve more; demand more from your lipstick.

These are the reasons I decided against using micas and dyes in lipstick for my lipstick. We use our organic ingredients but without all of potentially toxic additives.


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