Let's Talk Lipstick

Let's talk lipstick, shall we?  Did you know that many makeup items contain heavy metals?  Do you know what the headliner of the heavy metals category is?  Lead.  Yes, lead.  Gulp.  Now, remember, companies are not intentionally adding heavy metals to makeup, but rather these are typically contaminants that are inadvertantly brought along with both mineral and synthetic ingredients used to give products color.

The FDA conducted a study of 400 lipsticks in 2007 for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which found small increments of lead in the majority of lipsticks tested.  The FDA also claims these are of minimal risk to people as lipstick is rarely swallowed.  Well...did you know, the average woman swallows seven pounds of lipstick in her lifetime?  SEVEN POUNDS!  

While there are some guidelines and restrictions limiting the use of lead in color additives used in cosmetics, there is no FDA limit defined for lead in cosmetics. Ultimately, this has been left to companies to create their own heavy metal standards which is terrifying, as many do not subscribe to safety as a #1 priority.

Okay, now that I've given you some facts - some good news.  There are companies that test all color products for heavy metals.  For example, during development, Beautycounter sends its cosmetic formulas to independent labs to test for 12 heavy metals.  They work with suppliers to do their best to avoid contaminants, and keep heavy metal levels at a non-detectable level - which is significantly more screening than most companies do.  Remember, there are no FDA restrictions on what the limit should be for ppm heavy metals in cosmetics at present. 

Some food for thought for the next time you're in the market for a lipstick.  This one is currently always in my purse.  


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