Thursday, February 16, 2012

THERE'S LEAD IN MY LIPSTICK (and yours too)!!!

I found this out not long ago but I wanted to get the word out as soon as possible.  33 popular lipstick brands were tested in 2009 by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the results have finally been published.  It is absolutely ASTOUNDING because so many of the popular lipsticks we rant and rave about are on this list.

L'oreal is the producer of the top 10 most lead-contaminated brands of lipsticks.  Brands that are contaminated include:

1. Estee Lauder
2. MAC
3. Clinique
4. Wet n Wild
5. Dior
6. Benefit
7. Maybelline
8. Cover Girl
9. Revlon
10. Mary Kay
11. Bobbi Brown
12. NARS
13. Avon
14. Shiseido
15. Clarins
16. Chanel
17. Rimmel
18. Burt's Bees
19. Elizabeth Arden
20. Almay
 ...and many many more

With that said, I don't think ALL lipsticks from each of these brands are contaminated with lead.  In this list, you can check for the specific shade(s) that are contaminated.

Just to throw a few out there, some of the lipsticks on the very very extensive list include MAC Angel, Clinique Black Honey, MAC Lady Danger, MAC Red, MAC Viva Glam I, MAC Show Orchid, Maybelline Nearly There.  I'm listing a lot of MAC lippies not because I'm picking on them, but because MAC is probably the most talked about brand in the blogging world.

So what does this all mean?  Research shows that there is no safe level of lead, and yet the FDA claims that there is no concern for the level of lead in lipsticks.  In fact, the FDA does not have a limit on lead in cosmetics and have never been very restrictive on beauty products in general.  At the very least, however, cosmetic companies should be REQUIRED to list ALL their ingredients on he label, which they currently are not.

Here are the lead-contaminated lippies (that I know of) that I dug out of my own personal collection:

Wet n Wild Red Velvet, L'oreal Undeniably Mauve, Maybelline Madison Mauve, and Maybelline Mauve Me.

I haven't decided what to do with these lipsticks yet.  I originally wanted to throw them out immediately, but I wonder what good it would actually do me.  All cosmetics that are not organic and natural are probably bad for us in one way or another, and all the food we eat is also processed and contaminated to some point as well.  With that said, I don't think that this makes it okay for there to be lead in our lipsticks in the first place.  You see how I'm bouncing back and forth here?

In any case, I wanted to put the facts out there and let you all decide for yourself what to do about the lipsticks.  I think one thing we can all agree on is that there should not be lead in our lipsticks to begin with, so we can email or facebook message many of the companies listed about lowering or eliminated the lead in lipsticks.

If you would like to read more about lead in lipsticks and see the extended list of lipsticks tested, please check out these very helpful and informational sites:


  1. I've heard about the concerning amount of lead in lipsticks; apparently red lipstick is a frequent offender. I'm with you, I don't know that throwing away all of our lipsticks are the best course of action, but it definitely makes me think twice before reapplying, or wearing lipstick around the house just for fun. Poison has been a part of makeup for most of history; Renaissance Italian women used belladonna in their eyes, and women in Elizabethan England whitened their faces with lead-based pigments. Thanks for the heads-up; another reminder as to why we might all do better thinking twice about our makeup purchases, or why we might should shop organic and natural. I know I'm not great sticking to this, but it's not a bad idea.

  2. Wow, I didn't realise so many had lead in them, shocking! I just started following your blog, would love you to check out my blog and follow me too :)

  3. Wow! I was blissfully unaware about all that! Scary when one thinks about it! Thanks for a great post!

  4. Uh oh, lead in my lipstick....maybe THAT explains why I feel like I'm losing my marbles lately!

  5. The FDA recommend less than 0.1 ppm in INGESTED material (eg candy) for INFANTS. Lipstick is not ingested, and even if it is, it is a one-off unless you're one of those people on My Secret Addiction.
    The amounts found in lipsticks are 10ug/dl, approx 1ppm, but as it is not meant to be ingested, and lead absorption through the skin is poorer than through the gut, I would say allowances for lipstick are much higher than for edible food.

    That having been said, avoiding lead 100% is impossible. The lower exposure limits are always set lower than we would anticipate would be the lowest threshold that would not cause disease. And lead can be found in the environment, in the 'natural' food you eat ( and humans have managed to live through this for millions of years.

    I say this as a scientist and a lover of make-up - there's no need to stress over trace levels of lead in your cosmetics.

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