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An Update on Lead in Lipstick

A lot of you have been concerned about the claim that many lipsticks contain lead, a harmful neurotoxin. The more I researched the issue, the more torn I became. On the one hand, cosmetics would ideally be completely lead-free. On the other, we're all exposed to larger quantities of harmful chemicals in our day-to-day lives; and since people don't generally ingest lipstick except in trace amounts, I decided that the risk was reasonably small.

Now, the New York Times has weighed in, and the results will relieve those of you who have been worried: "Studies have found that lead in lipstick is not a cause for concern, but research is continuing." For now, I think it's safe to keep using lipstick—but if you really want to be on the safe side, try an all-natural brand such as Josie Maran or Sukicolor.


Join The Conversation
jJuliet jJuliet 9 years
Since I read about this lead in lipsticks thing, I decided to only wear Burt's Bees, unless want a long-wearing lipstick for a special event. I love the new Burt's Bees lip balm with pomegranate oil. It makes my lips soft, pink, and shimmery, plus it tastes good and I am not worried about ingesting lead.
Lippy Lippy 9 years
It's funny how medical studies are always contradicting each other...I actually saw a news clip the other day saying that being just a "little" overweight may combat heart disease or something like that (don't quote me)... all this proves that aside from obviously unhealthy things like binge drinking or unprotected sex, nothing is certain as to who will get cancer, heart disease, etc - so we shouldn't worry so much about little precautions
GibsonGIrl GibsonGIrl 9 years
There's a post about this topic at I love that site :)
sofi sofi 9 years
I only use it because they obviously got it from somewhere with some research behind it.
cosmetics-queen cosmetics-queen 9 years
I love how we are getting our information from Glamour magazine.
sofi sofi 9 years
here, here chatnoir! We are exposed to harmful substances day to day, so WHY do we need to have it in lipstick too if it doen't have to be? From the original study and Glamour mag: A 2004 survey of cosmetics use by 5,856 U.S. girls aged 7 to 19 found that 63 percent of the girls aged 10 and younger reported using lipstick. When we lick our lips, eat and drink while wearing lipstick, or kiss someone who is wearing lipstick, we can ingest the lipstick’s ingredients. Glamour magazine’s June 2002 “Beauty Quickie Tip” repeats a commonly quoted statistic, “Women inadvertently (but harmlessly) eat about 4 lbs of lipstick”in a lifetime. Unfortunately, the latest science shows that no level of lead is “harmless.” I got that all from that study last month. Kids play with their mothers lipsticks and lead in any levels is harmful to them. I don't know how practical it is to lock up lipstick like you do medicines. I'll stop there, but you know if they can make lipstick without lead, why not? they may have a good answer, but I haven't heard it yet.
chatnoir chatnoir 9 years
I don't want to be a negative Nancy but this story is like saying.. "well something else will get you so why worry". It's lead and it should not be allowed in toys, paint or cosmetics. Trace amounts don't equal safe. We have to be responsible for our own health and not just take someone like the NYT word as gospel. There are alternatives as Bella mentioned.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea I rarely use lipstick sooo....
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Good to know...
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