Applying Lead to Your Lips?

Everytime you gloss on a bright red hue of lipstick, you’re also introducing lead into your system.


Years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported there was lead in more than 60% of the 33 top lipsticks. The study was groundbreaking and the FDA promised to look into the situation.

Now, in 2009, the FDA has finally conducted its own study on lipstick lead. And the findings? Worse than anyone originally anticipated.

The FDA found lead in 20 of all lipsticks it tested, with levels ranging fro 0.01 parts per million (ppm) to 3.06ppm, some almost four times the highest level found in the 2007 study. The results were published in the July/August 2009 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Science.

But what exactly is the problem with trace amounts of lead on your lips? Treehugger stated it best: Lead is “…a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language, and behavioral problems, lead in lipstick—in any amount—is a health concern, says the CSC, especially because lipstick is applied several times a day, every day. The heavy metal can build up in the body over time, adding to significant exposure levels.” (After all, we removed lead from cars, blinds, paint, etc. And you don’t even expose your system to those products!)

So it’s safe to say that lead in lipsticks isn’t a brilliant idea and we’ll just have to wait and see how the FDA handles the situation as we move forward. But, in the meantime, you can help!

Learn more about toxic chemicals in your cosmetics by visiting the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or check out the full Treehugger article here.

And don’t forget: you can always bring Stacy Malkan (founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics) to your school, organization or non-profit to hear her expert opinion on the subject. Learn more here.