Is my red lipstick safe?

What's in red lipstick? Is red lipstick safe?

Not all shades are created equal. By now you probably know that most lipsticks have a bajillion totally unnecessary and harmful ingredients. Old school beauty had itself a party with chemicals. But even within the “natural” beauty world of today, there are major differences among lipsticks that are pretty important to know about since whatever’s on our lips goes in our bodies. 

At Axiology, we’re proud to make bold and vibrant shades that stand up to old school lipsticks without any of the scary ingredients or dyes. 

So what’s the actual difference between Axiology shades and other brands? Basically comes down to two things:

#1 Dyes

#2 Crushed up bugs.

Let’s look at the color red to compare🍏s to🍏s.

Covergirl’s Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in the shade Crimson Cat

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Isostearate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Acetylated Lanolin, Ozokerite, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax / Cire De Candelilla, Paraffin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Cire De Carnauba, Cetyl Lactate, Cetyl Alcohol, Squalane, Fragrance / Parfum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Silk Powder / Poudre De Soie, Maltodextrin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Propylparaben, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lauroyl Lysine. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Red 27, Carmine, Orange 5.


LOTS of ingredients in there but, let’s focus on the ones that deal with color (in bold) for this post. Orange 5, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake. The TLDR is that these dyes can be toxic and can build up in the body over time. The EU has already banned quite a few of these. The truth is, we thought about using these dyes for our formula but after a few independent chemists said they couldn’t confirm the safety of these ingredients we opted out. If you want to go more on dyes check out our previous post


The other pigment in Covergirl’s list that we’re definitely not down with is Carmine (also known as cochineal). That is scientific speak for bugs. Crushed up bugs to be precise. The cochineal insect is a small bug that is ground up to create red powder for pigment (for more details on that see our blog post here). Vegan companies, such as ours, don’t use this ingredient. 

Now onto Axiology’s reds.

Axiology Lipstick in shade Worth 

Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Avocado Butter, Candelilla Wax, Avocado Oil, Organic Grape Seed Oil, Vitamin E Oil (from Sunflower), Organic Orange Oil, Elderberry Extract, Organic Neem Oil. May Contain/Peut Contenir: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica, Kaolin - Illite (Red Clay)


We get our pigments from rocks. How cool is that?! The earth makes beautiful colors that we can put on our lips. Because our pigments mostly all come from the earth, we needed to add a bit of synthetic color called synthetic fluorphlogopite so that our reds could look red without all having a terra cotta tone. And of course, we made sure this synthetic is the safest. 

Bottom line is, when you wear Axiology lipsticks or crayons you can have fun with all the colors without the stress of wondering if it contains risky dyes or dead bugs :) 

Other great reds without dyes or dead bugs: True, Clarity (our pink red), and Cherry Balmie

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