Wondering About Lead in Lipstick?

Perhaps you have heard reports about lead in lipstick that have you concerned. Reason enough to at least check out what is going on.

Concerns about lead in lipstick have been around since the early 90’s but until recently have not been taken particularly seriously. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC)addressed this concern when they tested 33 brands of red lipstick for lead and presented it’s findings at the end of 2007.

Where Does Lead Come From

Lead can be found all around us naturally, in the air, the water and the soil. Lead in lipstick more than likely comes from the colorants FD&C;, raw materials like zinc oxide or some petroleum-based ingredients.

What Is The Problem With Lead in Lipstick

When the CSC did their study for lead in lipstick they found that over half of the brands tested had detectable levels of lead and one-third of those tested above the level set by the FDA for lead in candy. No level is set by the FDA for lead in lipstick because it does not consider the amounts of lipstick ingested to be of any consequence.

Lead has been linked to numerous health problems from learning to behavioral problems on to possible miscarriages, hormonal changes or menstrual irregularities.

The CSC is concerned that our exposure to lead is cumulative, it builds up in the body. Throughout our life we can be exposed to it from many sources and no safe level of lead exposure has been determined. Addtionally, lead exposure within some communities is already higher. Women and teens living in these areas and using lipsticks that contain lead may potententially be putting themselves at risk.

The CSC Test Results

Lipsticks can be made without lead as shown by at least 15 brands who did not have detectible levels. Brands below tested positive for lead with levels above that set by the FDA of 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy:

  • L’Oreal Colour Riche”True Red” 0.65ppm
  • L’oreal Colour Riche”Classic wine” 0.58
  • Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor”Maximum Red” 0.56
  • Christian Dior Addict”Positive Red” 0.21″

The FDA says basically that the amounts of lipstick ingested is not enough to warrant concern. But because concerns for lead in lipstick keep coming up they will be reviewing this and reporting on their findings.


Choosing Lipsticks Without Lead

Even if you feel that lead in lipstick is not a problem, no real conclusions have been come to so why not try to find lipsticks that do not contain lead.

Lead is not exactly listed as an ingredient so we can’t read a label to to find those do or do not contain lead but we can check our favorite brands with the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database and see if they are safe.

Look for lipsticks made without FD&C; coloring or petroleum based ingredients. Companies mentioned on natural lipstick is a good places to start. Also if you have signed up for my newsletter make sure and check companies listed in your free download. If you havn’t signed up yet check out the form on the right.

A Few Other Places To Shop


Probably one of my favorite places for safe, natural or organic skin care products. Not a big selection but nice products with great ingredients. Another plus sunscreen is in their lip products.

Most of us, myself included, are not using sunscreen on our lips on a regular basis so this lip color solves the problem of protection and color in one.

Beautiful colors and lip protecting ingredients including chemical-free sunscreen for even more protection. A signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and cruelty free.

Certified organic, organic and natural ingredients with the addition of hemp oil. Soft colored lipsticks in sheers, shimmers and matte lipsticks. For greater color intensity use with Colorganics lip liner for greater color intensity. Sample available. Choosing natural or organic products helps us eliminate problems of lead in lipstick. When I hear concerns like this it only confirms for me how important it is to be informed.


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