January 27th, 2011

Lipstick Love Without the Lead

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I am a lip balm/lipstick junkie. I can’t get enough of the stuff.  I have lipstick containers stashed everywhere-in the car, drawers, coat pockets, bathrooms-no space is spared.  I love lipstick.

FDA finds lead in most lipstick

I began to have second thoughts about my addiction to lipstick when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new study in September 2009 finding lead in all brands of lipstick tested.   This was really bad news for me and all other lipstick lovers since health experts have found there are no safe levels of lead.

What really worried me was the number of times during the day that I licked my lips or lipstick got on my teeth, food and tongue and made its way into my body.   The lips are one of the most sensitive and absorbent parts of the body.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Tania Saiz

Lead is not something to be messed with.  It can build up in your body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.

It is pretty scary stuff to know that currently the FDA does not regulate the lead, or any other toxin, in lipstick.  The companies producing the lipstick are not required to list lead as an ingredient.  These companies are completely in compliance with the FDA’s regulations and can continue to use lead in their products.  So there is no way of knowing if a product is truly lead free.

How do you know if there is lead in your lipstick?

One option is to contact the company directly to ask if their lipstick has lead.  The Daily Green came up with a great list  back in 2007 of  11 lipsticks that don’t contain lead. Great to know that these lipsticks are lead free, but some do contain other toxins that could be ingested and most didn’t score very well on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

My list of safe lipsticks:

I decided to create my own short list of lipsticks  that I either use or have used that don’t contain lead.  I contacted each of these companies to verify they are lead free.  An added bonus-3 of these  received a low hazard score on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

What can you do to promote safe cosmetics?

Get involved in The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and take action to spread the word that safe is in and toxic is out.

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*Top photo used under Creative Commons from May Cristof

*Disclosure: If you buy anything through the Amazon links in this post  it will put a few pennies in my pocket-thanks!

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14 Responses to “Lipstick Love Without the Lead”

  1. Love this post. I have just become more aware of the dangers in lipstick/lip balm too. In fact, I decided the only safe way to provide my children with lip balm was to make it myself! Which was very easy BTW!

  2. But but but I love my Burt’s Bees pomegranate lip gloss.

  3. Hi Robin. I just checked on Skin Deep and Burt’s Bees lip gloss scored a 3 on the hazard score key-not bad. Unfortunately, Burt’s Bees probably does contain lead. Check out Burt’s Bees for more info. Time for some new lip gloss??? Sorry!

  4. Hi Kristina! ok-you need to share your recipe……another great product idea! What a great solution DIY lip balm.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Lee and Lynn Fang, Lori Popkewitz Alper. Lori Popkewitz Alper said: Before you put on your lipstick boys and girls-Lipstick Love Without the Lead http://t.co/owbUoqz [...]

  6. I love your site – always a go-to for tips on living a greener life! Cheers!

  7. You are so sweet Shoshana. Thanks so much for the lovely complement. So nice to have you on board.

  8. [...] while back I confessed my obsession with lead free lipstick. I have a similar obsession with cool ‘green’ bags. I was thrilled to receive an Ecolution hemp [...]

  9. [...] while back I confessed my obsession with lead free lipstick. I have a similar obsession with cool ‘green’ bags. I was thrilled to receive an Ecolution hemp [...]

  10. [...] on lip balm to keep my lips from chapping. Many over the counter lip balms contain all sorts of toxins and long ingredient names that are impossible to pronounce, so I’m hesitant to put them on my [...]

  11. the paleo diet cookbook…

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting ….

  12. [...] told you this before-I am a lip balm/lipstick junkie. I can’t get enough of the stuff.  I have lipstick containers stashed everywhere-in the car, [...]

  13. […] my house, car and purse. I know this isn’t very green, but we all have our vices.  Lipstick and lip gloss (all non-toxic of course!), sunglasses and maybe a few pairs of jeans are my not-so-green […]

  14. […] For a few more options take a look HERE. […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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