Is Lip Gloss Made Out Of Whale Sperm? What About Lipstick?

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Funny thing about the Internet… It’s like a game of “Telephone” where you line people up and the first person tells someone a message and then it gets passed down along the line, until it reaches the last person. That last person tells everyone what the message is. The hilarity ensues when the first person reveals the original message and everyone realizes how different it is from the final message (great party game btw).

What does this have to do with – is lip gloss made out of whale sperm? – Everything!

The Internet is like the world’s biggest game of telephone.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question… only stupid statements. So, good for you to be checking on information that you’ve heard from someone else to find out whether or not it’s true. If more people did that, there would be much less misinformation floating around the Internet.

As far as whale sperm in lipstick or gloss goes, this is 100% FALSE! Where did the idea come from? Find out below!


Where Did The Idea Of Whale Sperm In Lipstick Come From?

This goes back to the ‘telephone game’. If you’ve ever played it, you’ll know that the original message and the message the last person received are VERY different, but it usually has some of the same elements of the original message — maybe just not in the right order, or taken completely out of context.

In the case of the idea that lipstick is made out of whale sperm, this is exactly what’s happened. And it all has to do with ambergris.

What is Ambergris?

Ambergris has been called “the treasure of the sea” and “floating gold”.

In the olden days, ambergris was used to make perfumes and lipstick, as well as other cosmetics.

For a long time, its origin remained a mystery. There were theories about where it came from, including hardened seafoam or the droppings of large sea birds, but no one really knew.

It was not until large-scale whaling operations began in the 1800s that the mystery was solved. It was discovered that ambergris came from the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).

A sperm whale is a type of whale. This is a prime example of how things can get taken out of context and confused when information is passed from one person to another.

Sperm whale – not whale sperm!

Sperm whale – not whale sperm!

Sperm whales eat a lot of squid and cuttlefish. The indigestible parts of these animals are vomited out before the rest gets digested. Just like a large snake will expel fur and hooves and other things it can’t digest after it’s swallowed its prey.

But sometimes, these indigestible parts move into the whale’s intestines and bind together.

They slowly become a solid mass of ambergris that accumulates over a long period of time.

How Is Ambergris Collected?

In the past, one of the ways ambergris was collected was from whaling operations, from the intestines of dead whales.

It can also be found washed up onto beaches and floating on the surface of the sea, hence one of its nicknames being “floating gold”.

Not all ambergris was obtained from dead whales in the past.

There is still wide debate as to how the ambergris is expelled from live whales in the wild to be found floating in the sea or washed up on the beach, but it’s theorized that it’s either vomited up, or excreted. No one really knows for sure.

Is Ambergris Still Used?

Yes it is.

Before you start making animal cruelty memes and posting them on social media, here are a few things you should know:

  • In the US, the possession and trade of ambergris are prohibited by the Endangered Species Act of 1973
  • In the UK and Europe, all living species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises are protected by law.
  • the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) considers ambergris a waste product of sperm whales that occurs naturally, making it legal to collect it from the beach or sea

You may find products made outside the US, like very expensive perfumes, that contain ambergris which has been collected from the sea or from the beach where it washed up. But it doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) come from dead whales.

Is Lipstick Made Out Of Whale Sperm

No, lipstick is not made out of whale sperm.

In the past, you could find ambergris (from the sperm whale – not whale sperm), and even whale fat in lipstick.

But the use of whale products, because sperm whales are an endangered species, has been prohibited in the US since the early 70s.

No, lipstick is not made out of whale sperm.

There are both synthetic and natural alternatives that are much cheaper for manufacturers to use than ambergris to make lipstick nowadays. So even if it were allowed by law, it would not still be used.

There are no lipsticks on the American market that contain whale sperm, ambergris, or any other whale parts.

Here are just five of the best-selling lipsticks on Amazon (and none of them contain whale parts – sperm or otherwise)

Revlon Lipstick, Super Lustrous Lipstick, High Impact Lipcolor with Moisturizing Creamy Formula, 030 Pink Pearl, 0.15 oz
Revlon Lipstick, Super Lustrous Lipstick, High Impact Lipcolor with Moisturizing Creamy Formula, 030 Pink Pearl, 0.15 oz
ADDICTIVELY COMFORTABLE FORMULA: Creamy, super-moisturizing, comfortable feel
$5.80 Amazon Prime
COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Lipstick Cream, Romance Mauve 265, Lipstick Tube 0.123 OZ (3.5 g)
COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Lipstick Cream, Romance Mauve 265, Lipstick Tube 0.123 OZ (3.5 g)
Deliciously rich color infused with shea butter that saturates lips with moisture; Get soft, smooth, conditioned lips with luscious moisturizing formula
$5.94 Amazon Prime
Almay Lip Vibes Lipstick with Vitamin E Oil & Shea Butter, Matte Cream Finish, Hypoallergenic, Go Wild, 0.14 Oz
Almay Lip Vibes Lipstick with Vitamin E Oil & Shea Butter, Matte Cream Finish, Hypoallergenic, Go Wild, 0.14 Oz
Silky smooth lipstick that comes in matte, cream and topper finishes; Rich color impact for gorgeous, statement-making lips.

What About Lip Gloss? Is Lip Gloss Made With Whale Sperm?

Nope, same thing with lip gloss! No whale sperm can be found in lip gloss. But there are definitely oils present in lip gloss, which may be where these rumors started. Let’s look a bit closer at lip gloss.

What Is Lip Gloss Made Of?

As you can imagine, different lip glosses will have different ingredients, but all contain some sort of emollient. These oils give the gloss its slick, wet texture, and shine. These oils can either be synthetic like petroleum jelly; or they can be natural like coconut oil, or jojoba oil.

Lip glosses also often contain waxes and clays which serve as thickeners. These can also either be synthetic or natural.

Lip glosses can also include fragrances and even flavoring. But despite the varying ingredients from product to product, you are guaranteed that there is no whale sperm in any of them.

Are there Animal Products in Lip Gloss?

Some lip glosses do contain animal products. But most of these animal products are sustainable and reasonable, in our eyes. Here are the most common animal products found in gloss.

1.       Beeswax – Beeswax is a natural, renewable product made by bees to form a honeycomb. Beeswax is obtained by melting honeycomb with water and then straining it, which leaves behind a waxy, sticky residue. It prevents emulsions from separating, keeping your lip gloss smooth and intact.

Beeswax is not made from crushed bees. Beeswax is not derived from wild jungle bees that have had their homes destroyed by the evil cosmetics industry.

Beeswax comes from farmed bees. When done properly, harvesting beeswax is completely sustainable.

The health of the beehive is of the utmost importance to beekeepers as their livelihood depends on it. Properly harvesting beeswax actually encourages hive renewal and bee reproduction.

2.       Lanolin – Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted from a sheep’s sebaceous glands. It helps protect their coats and skin from the cold. Sheep are sheared, then the wool is washed, processed and the lanolin extracted from the sheared wool. So no baby lambs are slaughtered in the making of lanolin.

Sheep need to be sheared to keep them healthy and comfortable as the seasons change. The ability to shed naturally has been bred out of most breeds of sheep, which makes shearing an absolute necessity.

Take Away

Is lipstick or lip gloss made out of whale sperm? No, They are not.

Does Mascara have bat poop in it? No, it does not.

Does looking to find information about things you’ve seen or read online make you smarter than most people? Absolutely!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).