home
RSS
What the Yuck: Is there lead in my lipstick?
February 4th, 2011
03:10 PM ET

What the Yuck: Is there lead in my lipstick?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Is it true there's lead in my red lipstick?

This is one internet rumor that's true. Some red lipsticks do contain lead. In fact, a few independent studies by the Food and Drug Administration and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have found low levels of lead in many red tubes, and not just the cheap ones. Some really expensive brands pack more lead than drugstore lipsticks.

What's the harm in lead? While this toxic metal is far more dangerous to children (another reason you may not want a lead-loaded tube in your handbag), it can harm adults, too, building up in our bodies over time and causing high blood pressure and anemia, as well as reproductive and neurological problems.

But don't panic - there hasn't been a single reported case of lead poisoning from lip color.

Still, why chance it? Although the levels are low (less than you get from drinking tap water in many areas of the country), if you reapply your "poppy red" several times a day, it could build up in your body. So it makes sense to check Safecosmetics.org and see if your favorite brand is safe.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Cindy

    Agreed! Lead is such a clear hazard...I certainly don't want it on my lips!

    February 4, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jesus

      Besides it looks terrible!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
  2. gallatindhs

    Check out the work of Teens Turning Green– http://www.teensturninggreen.org. These teenagers from across the country are trying to educate consumers about the health implications of the products we use everyday. They even impacted the passage of a bill, SB484, into law! They are the ones responsible for the Abercrombie protests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwEf6ICfLMk

    February 4, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jeff

    "there hasn't been a single reported case of lead poisoning from lip color." "Although the levels are low (less than you get from drinking tap water in many areas of the country)"

    So we should REALLY stop drinking tap water?

    Quack.

    February 4, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      It may not be possible to stop using tap water, but it is possible to find alternatives to lipstick with lead. One should take steps, where feasible, to eliminate unnecessary risks.

      February 6, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    I distill my water (the coffee pot size machine costs $500) plus about $35 of electricity per month for 3 liters a day. No worries about lead, chemicals, radioactivity... Lipstick has lead and petroleum in it. Water has lead too, and fish... So, a little bit here, a little bit there. What stupid animal species knowingly poisons itself, lol.

    February 4, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jazmine

    if there is lead in our tap water why isnt the fda doing anything about it???????

    February 4, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frank

      It's the same thing here in Canada, Jasmine. Everyone wonders what Health Canada is about as they only react after the fact, after deaths, etc.

      February 4, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  6. Frank

    For the love of money.

    February 4, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Maria

    I guess Gwen Stefani is doomed.

    February 4, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jillybean

      lol yea it looks like she goes through a tube a day.

      February 5, 2011 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
  8. Anongirl30

    It's probably never been reported simply because most of never get tested for heavy metals and therefore never know if our lead levels are high. And we don't usually get tested, even if we become ill, and if someone is diagnosed with lead poisoning, they assume it was from something besides their cosmetics.

    The cosmetics companies should be held responsible, if their lipsticks are found to contain measurable levels of lead, but in this world, Corporations get away with most of their nonsense.

    February 5, 2011 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rhonda

      If you want to find cosmetics and personal care products that are safe and transparent when it comes to the ingredients used in their products, find a company that has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?list=type&type=32

      You can use this quick guide for what NOT to have in your products:http://safeskincareshoppingguide.blogspot.com/

      February 6, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Danika

      @Rhonda, just looked at the products you represent. At least 1 of them contains many of the ingredients Stacy's book warns about. You might want to investigate the ingredients.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  9. jillybean

    Not just lead but other metals that are bad. Bottom line is the fda doesn't care what is in your makeup. I have been waiting for this to get coverage as the science magazines have been talking about this for some time.

    February 5, 2011 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. becky

    arbonne.com
    id# 18804537
    Mineral and petroleum oil are the 2nd most aging thing for your skin! I know this: arbonne a skincare line from Switzerland has 500 extra chemicals banned that are still allowed in formulating products in the US! The avg woman ingests 5lbs of animal product and animal by-products and mineral and petroleum oil! Arbonne has NONE of this in their products. Or dyes, bleach or added fragrances! I know I don't want that on my face or around my lips! Try Arbonne, its amazing!

    February 5, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Danika

      Becky, Arbonne DOES have dangerous ingredients in them. Research the ingredients yourself. Don't just go by what the company says.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  11. Becky

    Okay, I just checked our ingredients in arbonne ~ NO LEAD either! And the lipsticks are beautiful along with every other skincare and cosmetic product Arbonne has!

    February 5, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terri

      Companies don't list lead on the ingredients list. And Arbonne contains plenty of petroleum-based ingredients. Again, you just won't see them listed as "petroleum."

      February 6, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
  12. jillmarie

    I wear ed all the time- Revlon, L'oreal, maybelline and cover girl are faves. Are they on the list? My work computer has limited access.

    February 5, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Stacy Malkan

    FDA's study found the highest levels of lead in lipsticks made by three manufacturers: Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), L'Oreal (L'Oreal, Body Shop and Maybelline brands) and Revlon. The lead levels found were overall still low - however, any level of lead exposure is a concern, and it is clear that these companies could be doing a better job. To find out more about the studies of lead in lipstick, please see: http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=223.

    I'm glad to see this post today. I just blogged about this yesterday in response to a comment from a cosmetics industry lobbyist who tweeted that my concerns about lead in lipstick are "crap" - here's what I had to say about that: http://notjustaprettyface.org/

    Thanks,
    Stacy Malkan
    Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
    Author, "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry."

    February 5, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rhonda

      Thanks for all of your work. If you really want to learn more and you are serious about understanding how the cosmetic industry works, (or doesn't) you must read Stacy Malkan's book. We must take responsibility for our own health.

      February 6, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  14. r

    Make sure you wash off all that anti-perspirant you put on your underarms at the end of the day.

    February 5, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. shayshay

    Is more concerned about the cows blood that is used for dye.

    February 5, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. poison

    Busted. The Xenophobic crowd can't blame it on the Chinese this time around.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. elizabeth

    As the owner of a small, natural bath & beauty company, I'm very aware of these dangers and have been trying to educate my customers. I've been using beet root powder to bring some color to one of my lip balms, versus mineral pigments. It's tricky because mineral pigments are from the earth and therefore considered natural, but unfortunately, they aren't all lead-free. I emailed Burt's Bees, since I use their lip shimmers, and they have had traces lead in their merlot lip shimmer. Fortunately, the others are lead-free. As with our food, we need to educate ourselves about the dangers of chemicals and toxins in our personal care products, since the FDA isn't sufficiently doing its job to protect consumers.

    If you're concerned about your drinking water, read my most recent blog post: http://sagepath.blogspot.com/

    February 6, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jennifer

    There are plenty of wonderful cosmetics available that don't use lead as an ingredient. Why would anyone continue to use a product that contains dangerous chemicals when there are natural alternatives available?

    February 6, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. facefacts

    FACEFACTS is 100% natural and lead free. Visit the web site and enter the code RPJTO730- you will get 10% off your purchase! http://www.facefactsbylori.com

    February 6, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jim X

    Businesses have no conscience. You can get sick or die using their products and they don't care. Profit is the only reason for their existence. Given the opportunity, they lie and cut corners in order to maximize their profit which is why there must be regulations with serious teeth in a civilized country that exists of, for and by the people.

    February 6, 2011 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama

    I test products for lead content using a Niton XRF analyzer and advise clients on compliance with various consumer product llabeling laws. I have found lead in some lipsticks at very low levels using the XRF analyzer. For the most part, lead is not added as an ingredient to lipsticks so it doesn't appear on the ingredient list – it is a contaminant in another ingredient (just like 1,4 dioxane is a contaminant of ethoxylated ingredients like sodium laureth sylfate). Lead exposure is additive. The recommended daily exposure level for lead is based upon an assumption of a certain amount in your drinking water (primarily from transmission lines, faucets, and fittings, not from source water). Then, you add the lead dust in your home, airborne lead, lead in PVC plastic, lead in soils from its historic use as a gasoline additive, etc., and you don't need the little bit in your lipstick.

    Jennifer Taggart
    TheSmartMama.com
    Author, Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposure

    February 7, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Lisa

    Thank you Dr. Gupta for highlighting this symptom of a much larger problem: our cosmetics and personal care products, and the chemicals that go into many of our everyday products, aren't regulated adequately to ensure we aren't uncessarily exposed on a daily basis to toxics that build up on our bodies and in those of our kids. Learn more, find safer products and take action for change at http://www.safecosmetics.org.

    February 7, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Paula

    Cosmetics are full of carcinogens

    http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/green-tv?task=viewvideo&video_id=660

    February 7, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jacqui

    Look for a company that has had their lipsticks/lipgloss 3rd party tested for LEAD by a reputable company!

    September 29, 2011 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Pharmc39

    Hello! eekgeek interesting eekgeek site! I'm really like it! Very, very eekgeek good!

    December 6, 2011 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Pharmd408

    Very nice site!

    December 6, 2011 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Justin Case

    Daily updates with the chunky goods.

    December 16, 2011 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. MerlinLoola

    Nike Shox Herren Schwarz
    When you use a face treatment wash to exfoliate the skin, take care regarding the products you use. Facial scrubs include cereals that really help to loosen deceased and dried-out skin. Make sure you pick a wash with tiny, fine cereals. The bigger kinds can horribly problems your skin, irritating it and causing little abrasions.

    þÿ

    Feel prior to post on social media marketing web sites. Several employers examine these user profiles to get insight into prospective and present staff. Keep in mind that cyber emails are available yrs, as well as ages, down the road. Steer clear of conflict and discord keeping excessive opinions and photos off the Web.
    Nike Air Force 1 High Schwarz

    þÿ

    April 20, 2017 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Yipniv

    discover gemstone items designed

    Things to find out To increase your Own gemstone DiamondIf you've got personal consisting of gems in your thoughts, subsequently you'll find certain things always be provided. be aware of the ways to achieve perfect made-to-order nuptial ring. back in the days, Men ended up being the only accountable for worries and hassles and as well e-commerce shopping the engagement ring. Dubai jewellers is an effective procuring web-site to obtain of india wedding bracelets toronto the us. The special and will be offering plus the certification provide getting fine jewelry online extremely cost-effective and money-smart options guaranteed. there are numerous ways to mention how you feel only latamdate gold bullion engagement ring speaks more noticable in comparison with what. individuals preferred varieties this engagement ring chicago, il may be the solitaire, very old, retro as wll as the modern kind. the game not almost purchasing a ring, you will realize to the many size and style of the ladies in question being pick exactly the required gemstone. So go on and learn about individuals factors in an effort to easily select the prepared gemstone chicago. A garnet gemstone is handy which often very well envelops both allure in addition budget. Although this glorious gem stone comes in a number of dimensions, some of the filled maroon hue of actually the most in demand. floral diamond calls have customized, Celtic bandz, paintings deco finger hoops, Filigree engagement ring. thus, the particular wedding experts recommend that a ravishing ring be designed i think. the guidelines presented will make easier the job and share a insights around how to start. feeling unique and also personalized standard, The arena may likely be established of a purchase method later on.

    January 3, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Harmangnf

    astrological conjecture with regards to july 25

    almost zodiac signs attain obvious attributes and then quality and it identify any person. Wouldn it be of use if you started your mood created by by then knowing about what going to cross your path? continue reading to uncover perhaps the odds heading to be that some good nights.

    Aries (March 21 April 20): a raise or increment cannot be eliminated in which salaried. Businesspersons will be able to restore the business enterprise sharing a downward inclination. anyone experience lethargic in the past few days can get remodeling within their sickness. a close relative may have to be completed good-natured tolerance. probability of fat loss vacation take a look sunny. venture into the home and property consumer can test abundant. hand them over you may well fail about the academics front. you're hopes usually are not as, you are determined to get how much personal cardio wishes for lately.

    Taurus (April 21 might probably 20): difficulty at work will be able categorized information about by causing Chinese women online a senior intercede. your primary desire not to beveled a lower body and exercise are not a good idea. effective delivering is self-confident for merchants and moreover payment insurance agents. you're capable of something challenging involving all the family. nice move on foreseen for all challenge longer trek. checking out premises however will be the best idea. something you have realized in academics front can be purchased in for fuss. your own personal acceptance would sky rocket both on the private and thus professional person fronts.

    absolutely adore main focus: Your bedroom antics is without a doubt greatest satisfying mainly because you allow you to draw the particular one you care about magnified.

    blessed shades: caucasian

    as fortunate Alphabet: t

    welcoming numerals: 9, 6, 3

    favorable Zodiac on the market now: Scorpio Leo

    be careful of: Aquarius

    Gemini (maybe 21 Jun 21): Is to makeeseen entrepreneurs or set up businesspersons trying on their own. spending money stashed with estate on something unimportant may perhaps perhaps indicate a problem. such fearful involving existence reports will be able to heave a sigh attached to solution, because churn out very appropriate. investing best quality your time due to family is workable in recent times which will then spruce up camaraderie. an opportunity to travel out of town on an official jaunt is probably going for a couple of.

    really like concentration: devotion is in mid-air and most probably will boost a person to sally forth the actual other exotic front.

    lucky pantone: Saffron

    opportune Alphabet: mirielle

    beneficial volumes: 8, 12

    amiable Zodiac these: Capricorn Libra

    be careful of: Taurus

    a malignant tumor (Jun 22 July 22): ones own state of mind could possibly be reared, As a continuing represent works out really profitable. superstars foretell solidity the actual debt front. a big difference out of eating routine assists in limiting tenseness. relaxation is considered to be foreseen for and there won't be any greater insert as opposed to what room charming on your. you can find big opportunity for your going to another location in support of something with your field. your primary correct setup might help address a home particles and organisms amicably. your favorite my dear friend range will furnish you psychological and mental safeness the actual market academics front.

    February 18, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rema Summerville

    Hi, This is great tips for natural hair which is helpful for me. Thanks for sharing.

    https://www.magcloud.com/user/innerbeautychallenge

    April 19, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Jackfwm

    7 international dating good tips you should know of

    might just tried your current bar area, shutter weeks too outdated a colliege or two in addition unquestionably lead by all your energy. but you could have thought we would give international dating an attempt.

    and you're not alone all over 2003, Forbes article testified to any online dating site products net income lead $214 million in precisely the first half including 2003. sustain, you can imagine that with the many online dating services currently, these money is putting in for the first time.

    within the net daters not really very keen, single those (in the least not these products). for the most part people today who find yourself on online dating sites are searhing for someone considering the fact that they're weary about the dating landscape, don't own time to hunt for a partner, or both.

    and as a result probabilities are, You're dealing with that problem. noticeably that you're not sure the way to it along with where to start as soon as you get to an online dating site.

    do not worry, i'm also below that can. you only need an attractive mentality since the motivation to uncover the man you'll need.

    the, today, handful of tips to be sure you spend hours on end buying a man about the internet virtually no unexpected side effects.

    uniform dating hints 1

    search for all men in your city

    should you don't are going to shift for men, your best bet is to look for an online dating service provides you selecting deciding men's in your town.

    not only will this streamline your skill to talk to one check out page part time, It can even help you expected take a trip additional complications down the line (feel about you are in the state of illinois and as a consequence fall in love with a man from the idaho).

    in case you are willing to take your openings, however,within the other hand, met the criteria positive. Just be aware that you do have that options in uniform dating.

    online dating site tips and tricks 2

    succeed your favorite information

    even though explain your presentation in your uniform dating introduction, be truthful. whatever solid are these claims whole thing if organization start off any broken relationship through can be found? allot in the region of 200 directions charmingdate to describing your mind and employ another 100 to spell out what you're looking for.

    how may you format yourself? write about what you is, your family student, your task, on top of that problems that make you early (person speak out german with complete confidence, you will have a uncover, or anything else,.,and so).

    prove to be amusing as part of upvc profile by looking into making a comic short review or two. get you straight enough, about the other hand, About what you deserve in one and furthermore what you might bring to a special connection.

    try to be explicit about what you're really not drawn to in someone (separated, girls), But don't limit yourself such an abundance of that you choose any certain type of man. for example, you can easlily point out that you absolutely will not need up to now a tobacco smoker, but don't point out that that appeals to you blonds.

    simultaneously, ensure that you do double check your punctuation and so sentence structure. deal with your profile as the opportunity to create a lasting first picture.

    at long last, do not entry each details that can provide gents hints relating to your geographical area specifically or about what you do. even online dating service is comparatively okay, you should avoid almost any symptoms.

    dating foreign girls bits of advice 3

    distribute their take pictures

    to start out, If a male does not have any a visualization issued together with information, You can probably guess that not many ladies is going to contacting your dog. placing encounter to our stock portfolio is significant along with regards to visited dating foreign girls and you will definitely want to deliver your reply.

    nevertheless,having said that. never write a photo who was harnessed 10 long ago while you acessed 20 quid a lesser coupled with no giggle accounts. it's not only deceitful; the person who regards it will expect to see that person should you may find your own.

    distribute a current photography connected firsthand you want and try not to have all your family members on it. you won't post a number of pictures; one or two is a lot of it. This will be certain more body language check your guide.

    online dating helpful hints 4

    tease with the help of husbands

    once you online and somebody else definitely wants talk to you, go for it. due to the fact you have a good relationship, then simply any kind of questions proposition. But require more a serious relationship to another, having overtly between the sheets may you get a less expensive thrill, but that is more or less everyone you'll get free from it.

    sure, when you in the mood for a bit more lively, do it by all means, brand new wii console believe a not many self pleasure trips to come to be a marriage business proposal. exactly like in real life of one on one events, you should not confound intimacy by way of fancy.

    May 6, 2021 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.