An analysis that was just commissioned by the FDA revealed that 400 popular lipstick brands contained lead and 380 of them have amounts more than 0.1 ppm. That’s more than is allowed in chocolate bars!
However, the FDA says that this is not a fair comparison- since lipstick, unlike candy bars, are not meant to be consumed by rather are “intended for topical use and are ingested in smaller quantities than candy”.
I’m sorry but even if we don’t ingest large quantities of it (although I have to wonder, how much we might accidentally ingest through drinking, eating and just licking our lips..probably more than we realize), our skin is still the body’s largest organ capable of absorbing large quantities of toxins! This exposes our inner organs and tissues to these same chemicals causing problems in our nervous, digestive, reproductive and immune systems.
Not to mention that washing off lipsticks and related products in our sinks and showers puts lead and other toxins right into the environment, contaminating water systems.
And while the FDA tries to lessen our fears relating to lipsticks but saying they don’t believe the lead content in any of the lipsticks analyzed are a health risk, they are going to evaluate the need for an upper limit for lead in lipsticks to “further protect the health and welfare of consumers”. Ummmm what?
Here’s a link to the FDA’s page on lead in lipsticks if you want to take a look for yourself
I’ve made an effort in the last couple of months to clean up my personal care routine and I have become a huge believer in natural, organic beauty products. I’ve actually experienced very positive changes showing that it doesn’t need to be complicated and there’s really no excuse for any potentially harmful substances to be in products we put on our bodies everyday!
Here’s a resource by the David Suzuki Foundation that I found very helpful when I was choosing new personal care products. The report identifies 12 of the most prevalent harmful chemicals that are found in a wide variety of personal care products from shave gel to perfume to mascara. It even comes with a little handy printout that will fit right in your wallet!
I hope that one day we can walk into a store and not have to scour the labels of endless numbers products to find ones that don’t pose a risk to our health and the environment, but until that time I plan on being a discriminating consumer :)