An article in Reuters revealed that more than half the lipsticks of popular brands such as Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Christian Dior contain lead. Over 33 red lipsticks were tested in conjunction with The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and it was found that 61% contained detectable levels of lead (0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm)).
While 0.03 ppm may not seem like a lot, the concern with any lead content is that it is not easily detoxified and is readily stored by the body. Additionally, estimates indicate the average woman consumes up to 1kg of lipstick each year. This is where lead levels become serious cause for concern.
As a toxic metal, lead can cause all sorts of issues such as behavioural problems, aggression, learning disorders. It has also been linked with miscarriage in women and infertility in men.
Lead is not added to lipsticks intentionally. It is actually found in some colourants, particularly red shades. At this stage lead content in lipsticks is unregulated however there are calls for the FDA to do. In addition there are also calls to the cosmetic industry to reduce levels or eliminate lead from lipstick all together. It is definitely possible to make lipsticks without lead so there is really no excuse for continuing with the current practices.p: 0px;"> Contrary to the popular urban legend, applying lipstick to a gold ring will not indicate the presence of lead. Lead is not a listed ingredient on lipstick labels so it is difficult to know if you using products that contain lead without independent testing. Of those tested, the brands listed above were shown to contain the highest levels. To find out if the brand you use contains lead, visit SafeCosmetics.org.
Lipstick is something women refuse to go without, even in tough economic times. An affordable luxury, it is even more important that the lipstick used is safe. The Minerelle brand of lipstick is 100% natural and contains no lead. This is just one of the natural brands that you can choose from.