After reading about this study conducted by the fda in which they stated that 400 lipsticks were found to contain lead, I’m a little in shock and immediately think back to all those evenings when I walked home, stood in front of my vanity, ready to wash away that day’s face paint and my lipstick had all but vanished, worn off over cocktails, appetizers and main courses, with some of that color going right into my mouth with my food.
“We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics.” – FDA
Though this is disappointing, it should come as no surprise, as lead is allowed in candy and other digestible items that we eat. However, The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is all over this debacle and disagrees with the FDA about the harm that lipstick lead could cause especially to pregnant women. They believe that the lead could build up over time – which is understandable since we reapply our lipsticks multiple times a day and some women start wearing lipstick as young as 16 years old – and that this buildup could lead to problems in the future. Lead poisoning has been reported to cause problems ranging from low IQ and slowed grown in children to memory loss, mood disorders, and miscarriages.
“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.” Mark Mitchell, Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association
Wondering where this leaves you? Well, if you are a WetN’Wild Mega Mixers Lip Balm wearer, you are still getting lead, but the least amount according to the FDA study. The top 10 lead leaders are:
1. Maybelline Color Sensational, Pink Petal (7.9 ppm)
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Volcanic, (7.0 ppm)
3. NARS Semi-Matte, Red Lizard (4.93 ppm)
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection, Ruby Remix, (4.92 ppm)
5. Nars Semi-Matte, Funny Face (4.89 ppm)
6. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Tickled Pink (4.45 ppm)
7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor, Heroic (4.41 ppm)
8. Cover Girl Continuous Color, Warm Brick (4.28 ppm)
9. Maybelline Color Sensational, Mauve Me (4.23 ppm)
10. Stargazer Lipstick, #103 (4.12 ppm)
The FDA-recommended upper limit for lead in candy is 0.1 ppm, but the agency said lipstick, which isn’t intended for ingestion, cannot be compared equally since it is only ingested in small quantities.
“It is not scientifically valid to equate the risk to consumers presented by lead levels in candy, a product intended for ingestion, with that associated with lead levels in lipstick, a product intended for topical use and ingested in much smaller quantities than candy.” – FDA
California has the strictest laws in the nation about lead in consumer products with an imposed safety limit of 5.0 ppm for lipstick. To see which colors made the FDA’s list and what to look out for the next time you are out shopping for lipstick, check out the FDA’s Expanded Survey.