This ad from 1964 say’s it all, and now the FDA have released a new study in the US, which found that 400 lipsticks on the market tested positive for lead. Maybelline Color Sensation by L’Oreal USA was the worst-offending lipstick of the group tested. It contained more than 275 times, 7.19 parts per million (ppm), the amount of lead that was found in the least-contaminated product. Currently there are no FDA standards in regulating the amount of chemicals in products.
So what do we think? Lead was banned from household paint and from children’s toys. It is thought to be particularly dangerous to young children because it can cause blood and brain disorders in developing bodies, this becomes more of a concern as young girls start to embrace make-up from a younger age. Although often argued that it is present as a contaminate rather than an added ingredient, and that it is safe in topically applied products – apparently we only ingest a small amount of lipstick – we still don’t want to be eating it, when we can avoid it.
The top ten list of leaded lipsticks are
- Maybelline Color Sensational, Pink Petal (7.9 ppm)
- L’Oreal Colour Riche, Volcanic, (7.0 ppm)
- NARS Semi-Matte, Red Lizard (4.93 ppm)
- Cover Girl Queen Collection, Ruby Remix, (4.92 ppm)
- Nars Semi-Matte, Funny Face (4.89 ppm)
- L’Oreal Colour Riche, Tickled Pink (4.45 ppm)
- L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor, Heroic (4.41 ppm)
- Cover Girl Continuous Color, Warm Brick (4.28 ppm)
- Maybelline Color Sensational, Mauve Me (4.23 ppm)
- Stargazer Lipstick, #103 (4.12 ppm)
To view the full FDA results list and the commonly asked questions about this research click here. To avoid these brands altogether try Ilia, Rms Beauty, Nvey Eco, Inika and other natural/ organic brands. Although these haven’t been tested we think they are less likely to contain lead due to the base ingredients not being as likely to be contaminated.