Makeup companies earn billions of dollars every year. Personal care companies are constantly releasing new products, but the federal government does not require any testing before these products are sold in stores.
Even if you are extra cautious about the food you eat, what you drink, and the cleaning products you use in your house, dangerous chemicals may be hidden in a place you would never expect: your makeup.
You most likely check the labels on your food, but have you thought to read the labels on your makeup or other personal care items?
Typically, personal care products such as lipstick, shampoo, deodorant, and others do not need to go through any testing prior to being sold. Many of these products do not even list their complete ingredients on their labels.
If you reapply your lipstick throughout each day, you may be consuming large amounts of lead in your lifetime. In addition to being ingested, chemicals can also get absorbed by your skin. This means makeup can be potentially dangerous to your health.
Heavy Metals Found In Makeup
An Environmental Defense group based in Canada performed tests on 49 separate makeup products in a study titled “Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals In Face Makeup.”
Here’s a breakdown of the 49 different makeup products they tested:
- Four powders
- Two eye liners
- Eight lipsticks
- Seven mascaras
- Four concealers
- Five foundations
- Fourteen eye shadows
- Five bronzers and blushes
Among the items tested, researchers discovered heavy metals in almost all of the products. Almost 100% of the products contained lead, 90% contained beryllium, 51% contained cadmium, and 61% contained thallium. 20% of the items also contained arsenic.
As if that was not bad enough, the majority of the items contained four out of eight of the metals tested. Worse yet, each of the items contained 2 of the four most toxic metals (arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury). These metals have been linked to a variety of severe health effects.
A recent FDA report stated that over 400 lipsticks contained trace levels of lead. The report said that the levels of lead were so low that they did not pose a health threat.
Dr. Mark Mitchell, a member of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association, disagreed with their findings. He stated that “lead builds in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.”
Heavy Metals Exposure Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer
The Canada study also revealed that over 50% of the items tested contained cadmium. This material is a known carcinogen (a substance that contributes to the formation of cancer). Cadmium has even been found in breast cancer tissue. During lab trials, cancer cells use cadmium to multiply.
One of the biggest concerns is that the health issues that result from these metals do not occur immediately. Instead, these problems develop over time. Consistent exposure may raise your risk of reproductive issues, cancer, and other health troubles.
Top 18 Worst Lipstick Offenders
If you are looking to make your beauty routine more natural, the following lipsticks should be avoided:
- Avon Beyond Color in Mad for Mauve (#558)
- Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Toffee
- CoverGirl Continuous Color in Warm Brick (#025)
- CoverGirl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues in Ruby Remix (#580)
- L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic (#410)
- L’Oreal Endless in Mauve Amour(#530)
- L’Oreal Colour Riche in Tickled Pink (#165)
- L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor in Heroic (#748)
- Maybelline Color Sensational in Pink Petal (#125)
- Maybelline Color Sensation in Mauve Me (#475)
- NARS Semi-Matte in Red Lizard (#1005)
- NARS Semi-Matte in Funny Face (#1009)
- Revlon Matte in Fabulous Fig (#009)
- Revlon ColorStay in Ripened Red (#375)
- Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl in Satin Plum (#643)
- Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl in Luminous Pink (#631)
- Stargazer Lipstick (#103c)
- Sonia Kashuk Luxury Lip Color in Mauvey (#27)
7 Safer Lead Free Lipsticks
Below are some of the options that are safer than the brands mentioned above:
- Maia’s Mineral Galaxy Lipstick
- W3ll People Extreme Lip Gloss
- Bella Mari Pure Mineral Lipstick
- Organic Infused Lip Love Lipstick
- Rejuva Minerals Pure Lips Lipstick
- Isoi Bulgarian Rose Lip Treatment Balm
- Coastal Classic Creations Canyon Lipstick
Lead Free Lipsticks + My Favorite Finds
To learn more about lead-free lipsticks, check out this excellent video.