Lead and Lipstick: Shades of Darkness

Coloring our puckers can come at a high cost - luxury-branded lipsticks aside. It's the health cost that is causing more women concern as they think before they don the latest shades from global beauty brands. 

A Food and Drug Administration study from 2012 showed that several hundred lipsticks from 20 popular brands all contained lead from the mineral pigments that color lipstick. 

Lead is a nervous system toxin and can enter our bodies through drinking water, old paint and cosmetics. 

If you're pregnant, lead is particularly dangerous, and can cross into the placenta. When levels are high enough, permanent brain damage, learning, language and behavioral difficulties can occur. 

EWG's Skin Deep® database can help steer you in the right colorful direction. We can't avoid all toxins, but we can be selective about some of the health and beauty brands that we put in and on our bodies. 

Oh, and since manufacturers don't have to label products with toxic ingredients, you might want to sign EWG's petition and tell the FDA to update the law (largely unchanged since 1938) to protect us from unnecessary beauty toxins!

Please add your name to EWG’s petition and tell the FDA to protect us from lead in cosmetics!


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