Lead in Lipsticks: Kiss Me Deadly?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Lead in Lipsticks

I’ve read the entire FDA Analyses of Lead in Lipsticks Initial and Expanded Surveys and spotted 4 shades that I have out of the 400 listed:

#5 NARS Semi-Matte 1009 Funny Face (I originally purchased Manhunt, also on the list at #184 with a lead content of 0.95) with a lead content of 4.93 (expanded survey)

#34 CoverGirl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Color Q582 Cherry Bomb with a lead content of 2.27 (expanded survey).

#292 CoverGirl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Shine Q920 Shiny Port Wine with a lead content of 0.49 (expanded survey).

#396 MAC Cosmetics Satin MAC Red with a lead content of 0.03 (expanded survey).

Lead in Lipsticks: Killing Us Softly

The FDA said that their studies “have found no lead levels that would pose safety concerns when lipstick is used as intended.” Of course, this study is not new. It’s been brought up several times during the years, but it’s discomforting that it remains a hot topic today.

However, my favorite industry watchdog, the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (or the Environmental Working Group) is on the case. “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,” says co-chairman Mark Mitchell of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association.

Furthermore, lead is not only in your lipstick, but in your food too! What angers me is the FDA can still put out such a ludicrous statement. They don’t take in account that lead is not only being digested through our makeup, but also in our meals. What about those precocious girls who have been cosmetic converts since 13 or even younger? What happens to the lead buildup in their systems?

If you want to see which lipsticks contain lead, check out the expanded survey. Also check out the symptoms, risk factors and complications of lead poisoning.