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What is in Your Organic Lip Gloss?

Written by Irina Webb

Doesn’t your lip gloss make your lips look bigger and your face more youthful?  Of course, it would be great if it were organic, too.  The truth is, however, that there is no certified organic lip gloss (or makeup for that matter).  We may call it “organic” because of its certified ingredients, such as botanical extracts, plant oils and butters.  Yet, unless a product has the USDA or the CCOF certification, technically it is not organic.  Keep reading to learn which lip gloss ingredients prevent it from being certified organic.  Also, find out which non-toxic lip gloss I use and why.

What is in Your Organic Lip Gloss? A photo of woman's lips with safe lip gloss ingredients.

There is no organic lip gloss because of colorants

To begin with, the two types of colorants – mineral and petroleum based – are not agricultural products and, therefore, cannot be certified as organic.

Unfortunately, all colorants may have heavy metal residues because they are a natural part of the earth’s crust.  Since petroleum and minerals are raw materials that come from the earth, heavy metals are a given.  Read my post to find out what independent tests on cosmetics reveal regarding the issue of heavy metals in makeup.

Specifically, did you know that there may be lead in makeup, even in lip gloss ingredients?  For instance, according to the results of lead testing performed on 400 lipsticks, Maybelline and L’Oreal lead levels were 7.19 parts per million (ppm) and 7.0 ppm, respectively (source).  To compare, the US limit of lead in drinking water is 15 parts per billion.  Please refer to my post about lead in lipstick to learn how you can protect yourself from lead in makeup.

Although both types of colorants may have heavy metal contaminants, I consider mineral pigments, e.g. iron oxides, safer.  This is because they do not have contaminants characteristic of petroleum, like benzo[a]pyrene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and brominated resorcinol.  However, it is important that the mineral pigments be NOT manufactured in China.  Personally, I do not trust China because of its high background levels of pollution and lenient regulations.

There is no organic lip gloss because of bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2

First of all, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 is one of those lip gloss ingredients that the product cannot do without.  It is this ingredient that makes it glossy, but it is synthetic and cannot be certified organic.  They also use it in hair colors to coat the hair and mask the damage from the hair coloring process.  If you dye your hair, you will benefit from reading my post about ammonia-free hair color brands.  

The EWG Skin Deep database’ rating of bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 is 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as the most toxic).  However, the EWG notes the absence of safety data.  Therefore, when you assess the safety of products, know that a rating of 1 does not necessarily mean safe.  Rather, an EWG rating of 1 can mean that there are no safety studies of the ingredient.  For more information on how to use the Skin Deep database the right way, please read my post.

With this said, the Skin Deep database is actually wrong in this case.  Luckily, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 has safety data.  To clarify, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel issued a final safety report on it in 2013.

Safety studies of bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 as one of many lip gloss ingredients

Even though bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 prevents an organic lip gloss from being certified organic, let us see how safe it is as a lip gloss ingredient.

First, per the CIR report, even high oral doses had no negative effects on reproduction, fertility, or development of animals.  Additionally, there were no signs of general toxicity, so the researchers found it non-mutagenic and non-genotoxic.  Plus, in human patch tests, the researchers found it neither irritating nor sensitizing.

Second, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 is made by heating diglycerin, adipic acid, isostearic acid, 12-hydroxystearic acid, stearic acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid with catalysts (source).  After checking them all, I found that adipic acid is the only one that has some concerns.  Specifically, it is a mild irritant and is slightly to moderately toxic to aquatic life (source).

Third, the EU allows bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 in cosmetics and personal care products (source).

In sum, though synthetic, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 is safe enough to belong in a non-toxic lip gloss.

My favorite safe lip gloss

When I need some lip makeup for special occasions, I resort to Crunchi lipstick or their so-called organic lip gloss.  Before we look at Crunchi lip gloss ingredients closely, let me tell you some facts about this company.

To start with, Crunchi makes sure that its mineral pigments are not from China. 

Next, the company sources iron oxides that have an EcoCert certification which means that mineral pigments are free of synthetic additives.  Besides, the EcoCert European agency requires documentation regarding the compliance of heavy metals before it issues a certification.

Alternatively, other companies either do not disclose what country their pigments come from or simply source their pigments from China.  Hence, I encourage you to contact your makeup company and ask them this question.

In addition, I was very happy to hear that Crunchi had recently used 3rd party testing for heavy metals.  They found insignificant levels, way below European and Canadian limits.  You can read more about the results of their heavy metal testing in my Crunchi Non-Toxic Makeup Review post.

Most importantly, the lip gloss packaging is a recyclable glass tube.  Only cap and wand are plastic.  Read on to learn about its performance and see the color palette I made for you.

Crunchi organic lip gloss ingredients

Let us look at the toxin-free Crunchi lip gloss ingredients which I rearranged into several groups for your convenience.

Plant oils

Ricinus Communis Oil (Castor)*, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut)*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower)*, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba)*

Plant butters

Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa)*, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit (Shea Butter)*

Botanical extracts

Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract (Oregano)*, Thymus Vulgaris Extract (Thyme)*, Olea Europaea Leaf Extract (Olive)*, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary)*, Lavandula Angustifolia Flower Extract (Lavender)*, Hydrastis Canadendesis Root Extract (Goldenseal)*, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract (Vanilla)


Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Copernicia Cerifera Wax (Carnauba)

Mineral pigments

Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)**, Iron Oxides (CI 77499)**, (CI 77491)**, (CI 77492)**

Other ingredients

Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder, Kaolin (it is a type of clay), Tocopherol (Vitamin E • Non-GMO)


*Certified Organic**EcoCert 

As you can see, most ingredients are certified organic, and the pigments are EcoCert certified.  The plant-based ingredients speak for themselves, and the non-organic ingredients have not been found to pose any harm. 

For instance, the carnauba wax is sustainably harvested from Brazilian palm leaves and is used in numerous cosmetic applications.  It is a food-grade ingredient allowed in or on certified organic foods (as listed at 7 CFR Part 205.605(a)).

Crunchi performance

First, because bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2 is one of this lip gloss ingredients, it is as glossy as a conventional lip gloss would be. 

Then, this organic lip gloss is just the right amount of sticky without making it uncomfortable.  In fact, I sometimes forget that I am wearing it and start eating.  I hope you will be better at remembering to wipe off your lip gloss or lipstick before eating.

Next, the Crunchi toxin-free lip gloss moisturizes my lips, which I certainly love because I often have dry lips.  If I do not use lip balm frequently enough, my lips get so dry that they start peeling.  

In addition, it helps my lips look bigger naturally without making it obvious that I tried to make them bigger. 

As I promised before, I have created a color palette for you.  Here are the pictures I took wearing 4 of my favorite shades.  From top left to bottom right, they are namaste, date night, genuine, and sangria.   Keep in mind that the genuine color is no longer available.  My favorite color is date night.  Which shade do you like the best on me?

Conclusion about Crunchi safe product

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize why I like Crunchi organic lip gloss available on the Crunchi website

Not only is it well performing but is also safe and responsibly made.  Besides, the lip gloss ingredients are mostly organic, safe, and beneficial for the skin.  The toxin-free lip gloss does not expose me to harmful heavy metals.  And the packaging is recyclable with minimum plastic. 

This is true about all their makeup which you can read about in my Crunchi non-toxic makeup review.  If you are a vegan, you might be happy to know that Crunchi non-toxic lipstick is vegan.

As always, I welcome you to my shop where you can find multiple options of non-toxic products.  If you have any questions about your upcoming purchases, feel free to book a consultation with me.  Finally, I encourage you to join the Savvy Consumer Circle to share your experiences with other like-minded people.

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14 thoughts on “What is in Your Organic Lip Gloss?”

  1. Thanks, Irina. The only makeup I’m able to wear is lipstick, so I’m excited to try something new and safe. I see on their website they have lip gloss and lipstick. Did you try both? Do you know what the difference is? Judy

  2. No wonder the name looked familiar. I must have read your previous post because I never miss one. I haven’t used lip gloss since back in the 50’s. Being barely tinted, it’s what our parents allowed us to use before we were old enough for the real thing. So please bring me up to date. Is the difference just in the application or is one more moist than the other? Color-wise, are they the same?

    1. 🙂 The shades are different. If you like a glossy look and your lips are dry, I would go for a lip gloss. And if you prefer lipstick, their lipstick is good, too. It is not as moist as lip gloss but it is not drying as some lipstick can be. I have and wear both from time to time. Does it help? ~Irina

  3. Thanks so much for this, review, Irina! I love the Crunchi lipsticks, but I don’t think of myself as a lip gloss wearer. However, your review has me thinking…I also have pretty dry lips most of the time. I haven’t found much to cure it. It sounds like you find the lip gloss very helpful for overly dry lips, is that right? As for colors, is there a neutral one you could recommend? Thanks for your time and always insightful and thoroughly researched information 🙂 🙏

    1. Hi Laurie: I am excited for you to try the lip gloss. I think Namaste would be most neutral… They also carry a transparent lip gloss. Please let us know in the comments here how you like it. Thank you! ~Irina

  4. Hi Irena,

    Do you have any recommendations ( or post that I haven’t seen) regarding tinted lipstick/balm like pacifica/hurraw?
    Preferably one that sells on Amazon or iherb because I do not live in the stats

    1. Hi, Hila: There are many tinted balms that are okay in terms of the safety of non-colorant ingredients. But it is quite a challenge to find pigments that are NOT made in China. Do you care about that? ~Irina

  5. Yes
    I do care about that.
    But as you say,
    How do you know which of the ingredients are made in China if the manufacturer is in the US?
    Do you know the origin of the ingredients of the brands I mentioned or do have a better alternative for balm?

    1. Hila: It seems that I am the only blogger who emails makeup companies ask them about the country origin of their pigments. And the end results of it is that the only brands I can recommend is Crunchi. Have you had a chance to contact companies about the origin of their ingredients? I do not have exclusive rights to email companies. In fact, I strongly believe that if more of us ask questions, the more positive changes we will see. ~Irina

      1. No about the origin of ingredients.
        I did not think about questioning regarding each ingredient.
        What is an acceptable origen in your opinion?

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