Dangerous Beauty: Lead in Your Lipstick

Eighty-one percent of American women swipe on lipstick before heading out the door, unknowingly subjecting their bodies to lead exposure.

Recent findings by the FDA, to be published in the 2012 May/June issue of “The Journal of Cosmetic Science,” reveal that more than 400 lipsticks contain an average of 1.11 ppm (parts per million) of lead. We are not just talking about the inexpensive drugstores lipstick either, timeless favorites including L’Oreal, Maybelliene, Revlon and Cover Girl made the top ten, along with high-end labels like Chanel, NARS and Lancome.

Officials and health safety experts are arguing about the true hazard of the “minimal” amounts of lead found in the lipsticks.  The truth is, a normal, healthy woman may not be at a significant risk, but pregnant women or women who may become pregnant or women whose daughters play in their make-up, should swap their lipstick for something organic and all-natural.  The dangers of even tiny amounts of lead exposure are exponential for an unborn fetus, babies and young children. Lead exposure can lead to learning disabilities, blood and brain disorders and certain cancers.

The Today show and NBC news recently covered this story and spoke with co-founder of the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics, Stacy Malkan, who is petitioning for the FDA to step in and create strict guidelines for lead in cosmetics – pushing for zero lead as the maximum content level. Catch the NBC news report by clicking below:


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