Women endure a lot of things in the name of beauty: Long and sometimes painful beauty shop appointments, “cute” heels that hurt your feet, and now lipstick, which is supposed to enhance your beauty, could be slowly hurting you. Watchdog groups have found that there are a great number of lipsticks that contain way too much lead. Sometimes double, triple and even more times the recommended daily amount.
Metals are often used in mineral dyes, which give lipstick its pigment, and are also often found in soil and groundwater. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has estimated that in 2013 lead exposure accounted for 853,000 deaths due to long-term effects on health. IHME also estimated that lead exposure accounted for 9.3% of the global burden of idiopathic intellectual disability, 4% of the global burden of ischemic heart disease and 6.6% of the global burden of stroke.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics calls lead a neurotoxin and says any amount is too much. “Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels,” said Dr. Mark Mitchell, co-chair of the environmental health task force for the National Medical Association.
They found that women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Depending on the lipstick, in some cases, women who refreshed their lipstick more times, were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese too!
With that said, here are some lipsticks that you may want to avoid or at least only use very rarely–for the sake of your health.
7. Stargazer Lipstick 103 c
Lead content: 4.12 parts-per-million
6. Maybelline Color Sensational – Mauve Me
Lead content: 4.23 ppm
5. Cover Girl Continuous Color – Warm Brick
Lead content: 4.28 ppm
4. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor – Heroic
Lead content: 4.41 ppm
3. Cover Girl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Color – Ruby Remix
Lead content: 4.92 ppm
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche – Volcanic
Lead content: 7.00 ppm
And the number one lipstick with the highest lead content is (*drumroll please*)…
1. Maybelline Color Sensational – Pink Petal
Lead content: 7.19 pp