National Lipstick DayJul 29, 2019
While I do realize that some of you weren't even born, do some of you remember the year that LEAD PAINT was banned from being used in homes IN THE U.S.? 1978. It was found that exposure to lead based paints and lead dust created from these paints were hazardous to our heatlh. There were even concerns that children might lick the paint and therefore further their exposure.
But did you know that LEAD can still be found in everyday lipsticks?
For those of you who know me, you know that I don’t wear much, if any, make-up. Although, I am a LIPSTICK/LIPGLOSS 💄 DIVA. I fell in love with lipstick in college when my roommate shared a Clinique lipstick with me before a party one night. I had really never worn lipstick until college. When I got into Natural Medicine over 20 years ago, I realized that the ingredients in lipstick were less than optimal, but it was one thing I just wasn’t willing to give up right away. However, one of the first things I learned when I began doing advocacy work for Beautycounter almost 3 years ago was the real story on lipstick. 🤦♀️ This awakening had me throwing away most of the lipstick I owned!
In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released the report “A Poison Kiss.” They had independently tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks for lead content. The results were alarming. Over 61% of the lipsticks tested contained lead, with levels ranging up to .65 parts per million. Some of the companies that had less than favorable results were big, popular companies like L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Dior Addict (commonly found in Nordstroms). So when this study was brought to the attention of the FDA, to say they moved slowly would be an understatement! With tireless efforts, pressure from consumers, and letters from 3 U.S. Senators, the FDA FINALLY did their own follow- up study TWO YEARS LATER! TWO YEARS!! Their study was even more alarming. They found lead in ALL samples of lipstick tested, ranging from .09 to 3.06 ppm- which is 4 times the amount found in the first study by the Safe Cosmetics Campaign. Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), Revlon, and L’Oreal were the 3 manufacturers with the highest lead levels detected. You can read more about the article on the www.safecosmetics.org website.
The recent evidence shows there is NO SAFE LEVEL of lead exposure. The FDA knows it is a problem, but NOTHING has been done to ensure more regulation. This is incredibly disturbing to me. This isn’t just a problem with lipstick, this is also a problem with toys, home repairs, and even high exposure in some areas of the soil. But today, in honor of National Lipstick Day, I am just focusing on lipstick.
Daily low exposure of lead can add up to significant exposure. I think about the million times a day women lick their lips that are smothered in lipstick! We are swallowing trace amounts of lead several times a day. Lead has been linked to learning, language, and behavioral problems. Lead exposure has also been linked to reduced fertility in men and women, hormonal changes, and menstrual irregularities. It has even been thought to delay onset of puberty in children.
According to the FDA, our exposure to lead in lipstick is minimal so it shouldn’t be a problem. I am quite certain if someone from the FDA took note of how much lipstick I apply and reapply on any given day, they would reconsider that statement! Can somebody (like ANY WOMAN WHO LOVES LIPSTICK) please educate the FDA on how many times we lick our lips and swallow during the day?! And why is it that we are NOT allowed to have lead paint on our walls but it is fine to use it on our lips? 🤷♀️ I definitely lick my lips more than I would lick my walls! That just doesn't make logical sense to me.
What can you do to avoid lead in your lipstick?
- Download the EWG Healthy Living App on your smartphone. One thing I LOVE to do if I have to buy stuff from a department store is scan the products for their safety ratings. Scan barcodes until you find one that has a good rating- 1 is ideal, 2 is doable, possibly a 3 if you had no other choices. Once you learn more about ingredients, you may realize that some things that are labeled a 3--may really be ok. It just takes practice. Read more HERE on EWG’s site about ingredient safety. Do you love chapstick? Fun fact... Beautycounter’s Calendula Lip Conditioner is EWG verified- which is even a stricter, cleaner certification than the numbers EWG uses to rate products. Most Burt’s Bees chapstick products usually scan around a 1! 😊 If you know me, you know that lipstick is my jam- I have no less than 10 tubes in my purse at all times. My favorite type of lipstick from Beautycounter would have to be our Lip Sheers. My favorite colors are Rose, Poppy, Currant, and Raisin. These lipsticks are also super safe on EWG’s rating scale.
- Make a conscious choice to choose safer products. Do the research.
- Stick with companies that you know test their products and don’t just rely on the manufacturer to tell them they are safe. Ask questions, don’t just assume you are protected. When it comes to items I consume or put on my skin, I only use companies that are rigorous in their testing and transparent about their ingredients.
- Help companies like Beautycounter fight for safer! I am sure there are other companies out there that are fighting for safer laws, but I do advocacy work for Beautycounter so that’s the company I know inside and out. You can CLICK HERE to follow our advocacy efforts and be alerted when there are laws we will be proposing in DC (even if you NEVER buy a thing!!!).
Thanks for all YOU are doing to VOTE with your dollars for safer products. I always say that McDonald's never carried a variety of salads until we demanded it. We all deserve better! Your voice matters!
Cheers to Safer,
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