If you’ve ever worn lipstick, lip gloss, or chapstick at some point in your life, then you know how difficult eating and drinking can be. Of course some of the application goes onto your food, but where does the rest go? That’s simple: into YOUR mouth. That’s right, you are EATING your lipstick every day. But, it can’t be that bad, right? WRONG. In fact, you may be ingesting more lipstick in your lifetime than you actually realize.
According to independent laboratory tests of 33 brands of lipsticks sold in the U.S. finding the right red isn’t the only thing to worry about. 61% of the brands tested were found to contain potentially hazardous levels of lead.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics issued the shocking press release on October 11, 2007, and has reminded everyone to check their labels. Justifications by cosmetics companies, for the sometimes startlingly high proportions of lead in their makeup include shovelling the blame onto the FDA, and the claim that lead occurs naturally in many makeup ingredients and wasn’t intentionally added.
So how is it then, that 39% of the brands tested managed to produce products that were below the maximum allowed for candy, and some even lead free? Of course, because it is not necessary to use lead based chemicals in makeup.
You can read the full press release from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
You can also find out about the safety level of specific products here.
Bear in mind that words like “safety” and “toxicity” can be somewhat relative. Some people have a higher tolerance for certain chemicals than others. Those with hypothyroid, for instance, should avoid soy based products. Those vulnerable to seizures should avoid anything with clove oil. People with cats should be very careful of using tea tree oil anywhere that cats might lick or rub against. What may be reasonably safe for others may be poison for you or your loved ones.
So as a consumer, you should be looking for products from companies that are doing the best they can to provide you the best product possible.
Generally, products that are not tested on animals are going to be on the safer end, but not always. You may also want to read the label and ingredients to find out whether they also say that they’re mercury and lead free etc.
Quite a few private businesses and makeup artists on the net make mineral makeup, and fragrances based on oils that are properly skimmed or gathered using reasonably safe methods. The best products often come from people with the same concerns as you.