Is Lip Gloss Made Out Of Whale Sperm? What Is The Fuss All About?

Is Lip Gloss Made Out Of Whale Sperm

The internet never ceases to surprise. There is always something new going on in the world of rumors. Recently, rumors revolved around the questions, “is lip gloss made out of whale sperm?” Let me tell why this so happened.

If you are into makeup or basic skin care, lip gloss is something surely add to your routine. Coming across such a rumor might make you disgusted.

First, the rumor is false.

There is no such thing ever added to lip gloss. Though it’s not exactly whale sperm, there is a hint of truth that you should know as well.

What are the basic ingredients of lip gloss?

The popularity of fresh face and minimalist makeup in recent times has increased the consumption of the product. Lip gloss adds shine to the lips, making it a popular product regardless of whether you are a makeup pro or want to stick with the basics.

But what lip gloss is made of?

Well, the ingredients can differ based on the brand you choose. It can differ from the secret formula brands. But there are basic ingredients that make the base.

Some of the key components include:


Emollients are oils that are also available to the lip gloss base. It helps in giving the wet texture, shine, and slickness. The ingredient helps keep the lips moisturized, hydrated and soothes them. It also adds a protective layer, trapping the moisture within the skin.

Depending on the quality of the product, these can be synthetic, natural, and organic. Some ingredients added here are Vitamin E, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.


One of the key ingredients in lip gloss bases includes thickeners. Well, the thickening agent helps increase the liquid’s viscosity without changing the properties of others.

It includes clays and waxes, which can be natural or synthetic. This also helps keep lip gloss on lips without smearing and dripping.

Coloring agents and glitters

The basic lip gloss also has coloring agents. This can help give lips a tint based on the colors added. Tinted lip gloss can be natural elements like fruits or flower extracts. It can be traditional dyes too.

So now you know where your favorite tints of glossy lip come from. To add the glitter, it includes mica or iron oxide.

Iron oxide is naturally available in mineral deposits that helps add pigmentation. Depending on the type, the color you can get is red to yellow or yellow and black.

Brands also add additional ingredients to add the sweeteners in lip gloss. You can also find lip gloss with sunscreens.

is lipgloss whale sperm

Is lip gloss made out of whale sperm?

They do not make lipstick using whale sperm. It’s Ambergris that came from sperm whales, not whale sperm. A lot of time, it has whale fat.

They prohibited the ingredient in the US during the 70s. The reason was the whale products as it was coming from endangered species.

However, now there are more options in synthetic and natural alternatives. These options are a cheaper and safer for the manufacturer to use instead of Ambergris for making the lipsticks.

Because of this, manufacturers stopped using the products, and it’s also prohibited by law.

In the US market, no lipstick or lip gloss has such ingredients. The makers add nothing like whale sperm, ambergris, or any parts of the whale.

How did the rumor start about ‘whale sperm’ in lip gloss?

People have been using different substances to achieve the perfect glossy lips for centuries. A variety of properties, including beeswax, petroleum jelly, and even there was a time crocodile dung, were added.

However, the rumor about ‘is lip gloss made out of whale sperm’ started in the early 1800s. The ingredient is rumored to be used for making lip gloss, and it has persisted since then.

There are a lot of theories regarding the lip gloss and whale sperm, making people believe the rumor is true.

If not whale sperm then what is in lip gloss?

So, is lip gloss whale sperm in it?

The rumor is based on a misunderstanding. The lip gloss is not made of whale sperm, but sperm whale.

More precisely, it’s an ambergris that sperm whales produce. It’s also known as the treasure of the sea or floating gold.  The waxy substance originated in the sperm whale’s intestine.

The sperm whale or Physeter macrocephalus is a type of whale that produces the substance.

Ambergris was an important ingredient that people used to add to cosmetics, including perfumes and lipsticks. As per some theories, the substance might come as hardened seafoam or dropping large sea birds.

In the 1800s, it solved the mystery regarding the substance. It started as a large-scale whaling operation where Ambergris was found.

Where does it come from?

The sperm whales consume a lot of cuttlefish and squid. However, some parts are indigestible for the whale. Instead of digesting it, they vomit it into the sea. The substances slowly turn into a solid mass of Ambergris.

How is Ambergris collected?

In the past, people collected Ambergris from doing whale operations, and from dead whales and their intestines.

The collection process was controversial on its own. The wide debate arose regarding if the substance was taken from dead whales or killing them during whale operations. However, it’s theorized that it either gets exerted or vomits up.

Sometimes, the sea waves wash out these substances to the shores. Also, it can be found on the sea’s surface, making it get the name of ‘floating gold.’

Is it still Ambergris used in lip gloss?

Well, there are some uses of these substances. But Ambergris has a lot of controversial opinions surrounding it. There are some countries that have banned the use of the substance.

The substance comes from endangered species. The US prohibited the possession and trading of Ambergris under the Endangered Species Act 1973. Also, countries like the UK and Europe prohibited it, as all living species, including dolphins and whales, are protected under the law.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, however, considers it a waste product that sperm whales naturally produce. Under this, collecting it from the sea or beach is still legal.

Parts of animals used for lip gloss

The discussion about whether lip gloss is made of whale sperm or not is all over the internet. But now you know why the discussion even started. But apart from having a history of Ambergris in ingredients, lip gloss might have more animal products included. However, not all products might have it. Some vegan and plant-based lip glosses are available.


Carmine or Cochineal is a red dye that is made using insects.  The dye comes from crushing insects and is used in blush, lipsticks, and eyeshadows like cosmetic products. The color is deep and scarlet red.

The insects are parasite bugs that latch on prickly pear cacti. It is lentil bean size and harvested and dried out in the sun. Also, they ground it down to make the powder and mix it with water, releasing the color.


Lanolin or sheep sweat closely resembles a human skin sebum, which makes it highly moisturizing. This is found in the sweat glands of sheep and has a greasy secretion. It helps the sheep to protect themselves regardless of what climate it is.

The process of harvesting Lanolin includes washing the sheared wool in hot water and detergent. This process is done on repeat until it strips the wax.


Beeswax is an important ingredient in lip gloss. It’s made to protect the honeycomb wells and store the honey inside it.

The manufacturers use beeswax to create a barrier between lips and the environment. It is a deal of weather like windy or cold. It also gives a smooth texture and a glossy finish.


Squalane comes from shark livers and its oil substance. A lot of manufacturers contain Squalene, which has therapeutic and moisturizing properties.

In the cosmetic market, Squalene or squalane helps improve the absorption and spreadability of lotions and creams.

Final thoughts

Lip gloss is a basic yet most-used lip product. It has been in use since 1930, helping to get the perfect glossy and neat pouty lips.

But is lip gloss made out of whale sperm? The answer is no.

It’s mostly a piece of half information taken out of context. However, it surely uses animal products like mentioned, but there is a wide option in vegan, cruelty-free, and plant-based lip glosses.


1. Does lip gloss contain whale sperm in it?

There is no evidence that the lip gloss contains whales or any other animal’s sperm.

2. What does lip gloss make of?

Most lip glosses have petroleum jelly or wax, oils or pigmentation, and ingredients to add fragrance.

3. Is lip gloss vegan?

Lip gloss has animal products like beeswax, lanolin, etc, making it a non-vegan product.

4. What does Ambergris mean?

Ambergris is a substance found in sperm whale intestines. It’s a solid waxy in texture and was previously used for making cosmetic products.

5. Why should you use lip gloss?

A lot of lip glosses have zinc oxide titanium dioxide for sun protection. Also, it has moisturizing ingredients to help get a shiny but clean look.

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