/> The Juicy Beauty Word: Is there Lead in Lipstick?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is there Lead in Lipstick?

zoya matte velvet lipstick

Dangerous ingredients may be in your cosmetics and personal care products. 1400 unsafe or questionable cosmetic ingredients have been banned or restricted in the Europe Union. The US has only banned 30. 

There may be formaldehyde in hair products and nail polish.

There may be parabens in your moisturizer. 

There may be lead in your lipstick. 

Yes, lead, the heavy metal that can accumulate in the body and cause neurological problems and even death at very high levels.

Lead has been in lipstick for years. But, why is lead there and not listed on the ingredient label you ask? It's not an added ingredient. It is an impurity in the natural pigment that is mined from the earth. 

There can be other heavy metal contaminates in pigments as well, metals including nickel, copper, manganese, chromium, cobalt, titanium, cadmium and aluminum. The only metal that is deliberately added to lipstick is aluminum. It is used as a stabilizer and keeps colors from bleeding.

The red pigment is the culprit. For instance, iron oxide is a frequently used natural red pigment. When the iron oxide is mined, it can be contaminated with the lead that is naturally occurring in the earth. 

The amount of lead in the mined iron oxide can vary. The iron oxide can be purified to reduce the lead and other heavy metal content to a trace. Many companies routinely have their products tested to ensure the lead level is low. 

The FDA has determined that 10 parts per million of lead in a lip product would not pose a health risk. Health advocates say there is no safe amount when it come to lead.

Don't think you are safe because your lip color is not red. Think back to art class. Red is used to mix many colors. Red and white make pink. Yellow and red make orange.

Some dyes approved by the FDA contain lead. The FDA allows it because the amounts are small. 

In an
FDA test, Maybelline (L'Oreal) Color Sensation #125 Pink Petal contained the highest amount of lead of the lipsticks tested. It contained just over 7 parts per million. Need more info on what the FDA says?

Click here for the FDA Limiting Lead in  Lipstick and other cosmetics.

What can you do? 

Buy Lead Free Lipstick
Buy lipstick from companies that are striving to reduce the amount of lead in their lipsticks to zero or trace amounts. I read on a blog that Glow Cosmetics uses iron oxide that is sourced from a controlled oxidation process
instead of earth mining so there is no lead. I am not able to confirm that on their website, though.

Look to see if carmine is the pigment used in the product on the ingredient label. It is natural red #4. 
My vegan friends, vegetarian friends and anyone a little queezy about bugs, beware. Carmine doesn't contain lead, however, does contain crushed beetle shells!!! It is a red pigment that is very safe and has been used for hundreds of years. 

Click here for more names used for carmine on an ingredient list.

Wipe it Off
Remove your lipstick before you eat to reduce the amount you ingest. 

I looked up many natural companies and companies strong in ingredient transparency. I only came across 2 that guarantee their products are lead free. I list them along with my Amazon Affiliate links for your shopping pleasure.

Many say their ingredients are pure but don't come out and official say they are lead free on their sites. 

Truly Lead Free Lipstick Brands

Gabriel Cosmetics
Gabriel Cosmetics confirms on their website that their lipsticks are lead free. The ZuZu Luxe collection is also part of Gabriel Cosmetics. There products are vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and lead free. Made in the USA.

Shop for Gabriel Lipstick

Red Apple Beauty
Red Apple Beauty confirms on their website that their products are routinely tested to ensure that there is no lead in their products. These products are gluten free,GMO free, toxin and chemical free, lead and talc free, petroleum free and are vegan. Made in the USA.

Visit Red Apple Lipstick

I will always keep looking for more brands that guarantee they are lead free and add them to the list as I find them. If you know of a truly lead free lipstick brand, please let me know!

Have a Beautiful Healthy Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

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