Kiss of Death: Is Your Lipstick Leaded?

How many times would you say you reapply your lipstick during the course of the day? According to Psychology Today, three quarters of women use lipstick on a daily basis; Most women simply apply it twice a day, but 13 percent of women reapply their lipstick more than eight times a day, on average. Myself, I probably reapply my lipstick about three to four times a day.

In 2004, a survey was conducted which found that 63% of girls under the age of 11 were reported to use lipstick — and most women who start using lipstick on a frequent basis, will use it for the rest of their lives. Not a big deal, until you find out about the lead content in your average lipstick. About 60% of lipsticks today contain lead with levels ranging from 0.09 to 3.06 parts per million. To put this into context, this is up to three times higher than the FDA-recommended limit for lead in candy. (To be fair, candy is intended for ingestion, while lipstick isn’t – however, studies show that women inadvertently eat about 4 lbs of lipstick in a lifetime.)

[poll id=”7″]Lead is a highly dangerous neurotoxin that can lead to learning and behavioral disorders such as lowered IQ, increased aggression, seizures, brain damage, anemia, and even damage to the kidneys. Pregnant women, women who are trying to conceive, and young children are the most vulnerable after being exposed to lead, because it has been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility, hormonal and menstrual irregularities and could also lead to delays in the onset of puberty. For pregnant women, can easily cross the placenta and enter the brain of your unborn child, which interferes with their fetal development. Both of my sisters are currently pregnant, so I hope they read this.

Unfortunately, no level of lead exposure is considered to be harmless, because it builds up in your body over time. Even the currently perceived “low” levels of exposure in children are associated with mental deficits. Women aren’t the only ones in danger! Ladies, if you’re in a relationship (or even if you’re not); even the most innocent of smooches can expose your man to the lead in your lipstick. I know I’ve spent a fair amount of time wishing a couple of my exes were hit by a bus, but I certainly don’t want to be the cause of their unexpected demise.

Not all lipsticks have lead in them, but the majority of lipstick brands out there still have lead in them, even after all these studies were conducted. Almost none of them actually list lead ingredients on their boxes. Here’s a list of lead-free lipsticks that you can use without any worry:

  • Avon Ultra Color Rich: Cherry Jubilee
  • Body Shop Lip Colour: Garnet
  • Clinique Long Last Lipstick: Merlot
  • Dior Replenishing Lipcolor: Red Premiere
  • Estee Lauder: Maraschino
  • MAC Matte Lipstick: Viva Glam 1
  • Revlon Superlustrous: Love That Red
  • Revlon Superlustrous: Bed of Roses
  • Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor: Red Velvet
  • Tarte Inside Out Vitamin Lipstick
  • Wet N Wild Mega Colors: Cherry Blossom
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  • barbaraleskiw

    February 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm
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    The Brands which contain lead are: I. CHRISTIAN DIOR 2. LANCOME 3. CLINIQUE 4. Y.S.L (Yves St. Laurent) 5. ESTEE LAUDER 6. SHISEIDO 7. RED EARTH (Lip Gloss) 8. CHANEL (Lip Conditioner) 9. […] Read MoreThe Brands which contain lead are: I. CHRISTIAN DIOR 2. LANCOME 3. CLINIQUE 4. Y.S.L (Yves St. Laurent) 5. ESTEE LAUDER 6. SHISEIDO 7. RED EARTH (Lip Gloss) 8. CHANEL (Lip Conditioner) 9. MARKET AMERICA-MOTNES LIPSTICK. Here is the test you can do yourself: 1. Put some lipstick on your hand. 2. Use a Gold ring to scratch on the lipstick. 3. If the lipstick color changes to black then you know the lipstick contains lead If your lipstick stays longer, it is because of the higher content of lead. The higher the lead content, the greater the chance of causing cancer. Read Less

  • barbaraleskiw

    February 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm
    Reply

    The handy home test for lead in lipstick touted is bogus? Quote: "Certain metals, including gold, may leave a dark streak when scratched on […] Read MoreThe handy home test for lead in lipstick touted is bogus? Quote: "Certain metals, including gold, may leave a dark streak when scratched on various surfaces, but this is an artifact of the metals themselves, not an indicator of a chemical reaction with lead or any other substance" ??? Read Less

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