An analysis commissioned by the FDA of 400 popular lipstick products has alarmingly found at least some lead in every single product. The amount of lead found in 380 of the lipstick products tested was greater than the maximum 0.1 parts per million (ppm) allowed in candy bars – in some instances as much as 70 times greater. However, the FDA stated that it did not consider the lead content to represent any danger because lipstick is not intended to be ingested.
Apparently, the FDA chose to ignore the obvious fact that eating, kissing or drinking with lipstick can lead to ingestion of some of the lipstick. Likewise, the FDA also chose to overlook the fact of how easily items are absorbed into the skin – which is why so many medications are applied transdermally in skin patches, creams and oils. One obvious example is the nicotine patch used to help wean smokers from cigarettes.
In recent years, health destroying toxins have been increasingly identified in beauty and body care products and reports of lead in lipstick date back to the 1990s. The recent FDA analysis is an expansion of a previous analysis performed in 2007 which was spurred on by testing performed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics on 33 shades of red lipstick. The campaign found that 20 of the tested shades contained lead in excess of the maximum amount allowed in candy bars.
95percent of lipstick products tested had more lead content than is allowed in candy bars
In the initial 2007 analysis, the FDA tested the same 20 red shades of lipstick that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found had lead in greater amounts than were allowed for candy bars. The FDA analysis found that 19 of the 20 exceeded the 0.1 ppm maximum limit for candy bars and the average lead content was found to be 1.07 ppm. The new expanded analysis confirmed the previous results, finding lead content in all 400 products tested with 380 of the products exceeding the limit for candy bars.
To put the two sets of analyses in perspective, both found lead in 100 percent of the products tested and 95 percent of the lipstick products lead content exceeded the maximum safe amount of lead allowed in candy bars.
The latest analysis reviewed top lipstick brands sold to children and adults alike and was performed by Frontier Global Sciences, Inc., a private laboratory based in Seattle, WA. The new analysis is due to be published in the May/June, 2012, issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Science. The 400 lipstick products were all purchased at retail stores between February and July 2010.
Of the 400 lipsticks tested, the top five offenders were:
1. Maybelline’s “Color Sensational 125 Pink Petal” at 7.19 ppm of lead.
2. L’Oreal’s “Colour Riche 410 Volcanic” at 7.00 ppm.
3. NARS’ “Semi-Matte 1005 Red Lizard” at 4.93 ppm.
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection’s “Vibrant Hues Color Q580 Ruby Remix” at 4.92 ppm.
5. NARS’ “Semi-Matte 1009 Funny Face” at 4.89 ppm.
The full list of lipsticks tested and manufacturers can be viewed at:
Though the FDA maintains that the amounts of lead found are not dangerous, their site does note “Although we do not believe that the lead content found in our recent lipstick analyses poses a safety concern, we are evaluating whether there may be a need to recommend an upper limit for lead in lipstick in order to further protect the health and welfare of consumers.”
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group “S.A N.E.Vax. Inc” which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone “Ask Tony Isaacs – featuring Luella May” forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group “Oleander Soup” and he serves as a consultant to the “Utopia Silver Supplement Company“.