I love makeup! For the most part, I practically wear some sort of makeup every day; mascara, tinted moisturizer, lipstick. But can using these makeup products on a day-to-day basis actually cause bodily harm?
I started doing some research with a particular focus on lip stick because it is something almost all women wear, and it is a product women wear where it can easily be accidentally ingested.
According to The New York Times, nearly all lipsticks on the market contain a small amount of lead. If you’re wondering why this is a problem, take a look at this site that details some of the dangers that consuming lead can have on the human body. Lead is considered very toxic to humans because it have extreme and continuous negative implications on our internal organs.
Researchers discovered these small amounts of lead in a 2011 FDA study. The FDA was suspicious over growing rumors regarding lead in the makeup industry, and were surprised when their study proved the rumors to hold some truth. When the FDA made the executive decision to do a follow up study, they were shocked to discover that over 400 brands of lip stick included the dangerous metal. They also discovered, that along with lead, there are other metals within the lovable product, such as cadmium and aluminum. Although less damaging than lead, those metals can also be lethal to the body.
According to Snopes, lip sticks in the USA with the highest concentrations of lead are the more brighter, pigmented colors. This post also notes a correlation between how long the lip stick lasts and the lead concentration within it, stating that lipsticks that are marketed to last longer have a higher concentration of lead.
The FDA advises all lip-stick wearers not to panic- the lead is not harmful immediately. Instead, the FDA’s main concern is that over time, the lead from the lipstick will be absorbed into the body and accumulate. After a while, theoretically, enough lead will have compiled in the body to cause the harm mentioned above. The New York times article (previously linked above) explains that lead is a material that will “sit” in our body’s organs until there is enough of it in one crevice to be harmful. For more information, here’s a link for a page about lead poisoning.
But, if you are still curious, here is an interesting video showing how you can use a gold ring to test your favorite lipstick for lead! If you get results you may not like, here’s another video where a you-tuber shares her favorite lead- free lip sticks on the market!