NEWS UPDATE: FDA's own tests now confirm lead in all 20 lipsticks it tested!
Apply, lick off, and repeat. That’s what we as women do many times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Sure, it comes off on a glass, a friend’s cheek, a lover’s lips. But over the course of a lifetime, we swallow a fair amount of lipstick. Four pounds according to Glamour Magazine, six pounds according to urban lore, and nine pounds according to the Environment Working Group, a consumer advocacy group. Whomever you believe, it’s enough consumed lipstick that should make any woman ask: What’s in the lipsticks I’m wearing?
According to a study released by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a division of EWG, more than 60% of the 33 famous brands studied contained lead, with levels ranging up to 0.65 parts per million. All the regular names you’ve known and used. Lead is a known neurotoxin that has been linked to brain damage and miscarriages, among other things. No lipstick ingredient labels list lead.
The Food and Drug Administration does not limit lead in cosmetics, like it does in candy. In fact, one third of the lipstick brands exceed the FDA limit for lead in candy: 0.1 parts per million. The levels ranged from 0.03 - 0.65 ppm. Very small amounts mind you, but lead levels build up in the body over time.
But its not just lead—parabens, derived from coal-tar, synthetic fragrances, phthalates and BHA are questionable ingredients in many lipsticks, with side-effects that range from skin irritations to being suspected carcinogens.
No, you don’t have to swear off lipsticks forever — just pay attention to what you buy. Just as with food, look at the ingredient labels and stick with products that use certified organic ingredients and are certified natural.
Make sure your lipsticks are certified all natural by the BDIH, one of the strictest certifying bodies in world. Lipsticks should consist of all natural ingredients such as organic essential oils, candelilla wax, jojoba oil, and natural minerals such as titanium, zinc and iron oxides.