Should you be worried about lead in your lipstick

You may remember, a few years back, lead found in lipstick was big news. All of a sudden, it seems, these stories are resurfacing. Why? It appears that over the years little progress has been made. In some cases, it looks like it’s much worse.


The FDA even states they had reports of lead found in lipstick in 1990. Why in the world, then, is it still showing up in reports in 2013?

Great question.

According to the FDA, there’s no safety concern because “Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities.”

But, we all know that approximately 60% of what goes on our skin is absorbed into our body. And, lead builds up in the body over time.

How many times a day do you reapply lipstick/lip gloss?

Ever lick your lips?

Me too.

What’s the harm in lead? According to the CDC “Lead poisoning can damage the nervous, muscular and reproductive systems, and has been tied to kidney damage and reduce IQ in kids.”

Also interesting is that the FDA doesn’t have a set limit on the amount of lead allowed in lipstick, only the amount of lead allowed in color additives.

In a 2007 study, Cover Girl lipstick (Incredifull Lip Color- Maximum Red) took the #1 spot containing the most lead (3.06 ppm) out of the 20 tested. Cover Girl also showed up 3 times in the “top” 10.

In the 2010 study of 400 lipsticks, Cover Girl showed up 2 times in the “top” 10. Though they weren’t number 1 (that spot went to Maybelline Color Sensational Pink Petal at 7.19 ppm), they did enter at #4 with Vibrant Hues Color Ruby Remix at 4.92… an amount higher than three years earlier.

Want to see how your lipstick rates? Check out this study, or check out the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database. Over 72,000 skin care products are scored between 0-10: 0-3 “green” considered the safest, 4-6 “yellow” warning- probably should look for an alternative, and 7-10 “red”- probably best to throw out.

I know, it can take time finding a new favorite color, and one that’s safe. Let us take the guess-work out it for you!

imageSpaRitual (vegan & gluten-free) lip glosses and Keeki Pure & Simple (great for everyday, or for introducing teens/tweens to safe lip gloss) all rank in the safe green category!

The Consumers for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) want companies to put an end to lead in our cosmetics.

Manufactures worked quickly to remove lead paint from children’s toys because we, as consumers, demanded it. We didn’t want to run the risk of children putting lead-based paint into their mouths. Why then, are we not demanding lead be removed for “paint” we put on our lips?

Daily Green Special: Say no to lead and yes safer lip color! Save 20% on SpaRitual and Keeki lip glosses. Offer valid until tomorrow’s post. Happy Thursday!

lipstick photo credit


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