February 23, 2012

Is There Lead in Your Lipstick?

In case you missed it (because I did): Last week the FDA released test results for 400 lipsticks containing above average amounts of lead. Although the FDA says there’s no safety concern because lipstick is used topically and ingested only in very small quantities, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics disagrees: “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.”

While there’s no specific lead limit for cosmetics, lipstick contains an average 1.11 ppm (parts per million). The top 10 worst offenders are below, with Maybelline, CoverGirl and L’Oreal guilty on multiple counts. The list of all 400 lipsticks is available here.

  1. Maybelline’s Color Sensation in Pink Petal (Lead content: 7.19 ppm)
  2. L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic (Lead content: 7.00 ppm)
  3. NARS Semi-Matte in Red Lizard (Lead content: 4.93 ppm)
  4. Cover Girl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Color in Ruby Remix (Lead content: 4.92 ppm)
  5. NARS Semi-Matte in Funny Face (Lead content: 4.89)
  6. L’Oreal Colour Rich in Tickled Pink (Lead content: 4.45)
  7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor in Heroic (Lead content: 4.41)
  8. Cover Girl Continuous Color in Warm Brick (Lead content: 4.28)
  9. Maybelline Color Sensational in Mauve Me (Lead content: 4.23)
  10. Stargazer lipstick in shade “C” (Lead content: 4.12)

See any of your favorites? Not to worry. The Daily Green has a lovely guide to the 11 lipsticks that tested lead-free. And of course there are many more, most of them naturally-minded. We’re working on a round-up of our favorites—stay tuned!

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