Like the look of luscious lips created by lipstick? If you have multiple chemical sensitivity or are concerned about your health in general, you may want to think twice about putting on that lipstick coat. Research done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of California-Berkeley has found lead in many lipsticks – some at potentially toxic levels – as well as other metals that may be harmful to human health.
Lead in lipstick is ingested or absorbed into the body when lipstick is applied. Repeated applications of lipstick increase the accumulation of lead in the body, which may consequently lead to lead poisoning, a dangerous and very harmful condition. Chronic lead poisoning can cause neurological damage like memory loss and behavioral changes or gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or abdominal pain among other adverse effects.
At present, the FDA has no regulatory standards to determine acceptable levels of lead and other metals in make-up. Since the acceptable levels of lead exposure in cosmetics are unknown, lipstick users and users of other cosmetic products may be inadvertently putting themselves at risk for lead poisoning or poisoning from other toxins found in make-up.
To fully protect oneself from lead and other harmful make-up toxins, the best action one can take is to avoid wearing lipstick and other cosmetics altogether. If going au natural is not desired, then check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, which ranks cosmetic products based ingredients that may be toxic to human health. By choosing lipsticks and other products that are low in toxic ingredients, not only will you be saving your health but you’ll also be reducing the environment’s exposure to toxins as well.