Friday, November 21, 2008

Is your lipstick safe? - LEAD IN LIPSTICK

I am sure that by now you have heard about the buzz about the report released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics about potentially toxic amounts of lead in lipstick. Or must have come across the email claiming that many lipstick brands have high lead content that can cause cancer and even named about ten brands that contain lead (it said you could check this with a Gold ring, if your lipstick turns black if you scratch with your Gold ring then it has lead).
Many articles on the internet claimed that 'this was a email hoax'. But IT WAS NOT A HOAX (except of course the gold ring bit in the email).

Think twice before putting on your lipstick
Indeed many cosmetic giants use high lead content in their lipsticks and considering that lipstick is a make-up staple of millions of women this was very alarming.

From a news article on reuters: "The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said tests on 33 brand-name red lipsticks by the Bodycote Testing Group in Santa Fe Spring, California, found that 61 percent had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm)". It further says, "One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy -- a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead, the group said. Thirty-nine percent of the lipsticks tested had no discernible lead, it said."

Higher Levels of Lead were found in lipsticks from:
- Cover Girl
- Arbonne
- L'oreal
- Christian Dior (yes even I was appalled to know that such big brand can be on the list, and we pay them exorbitant amount to play with our lives, just so their lipsticks last longer. What a shame!!!!)

Lipsticks are best avoided by pregnant women: Experts say pregnant women should be extra aware when it comes to lead-tainted products. "Lead is a proven neurotoxin. It can cause learning disabilities. It's also linked to miscarriage and infertility," said Stacy Malkan of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I would advice pregnant women to consult their physician before choosing their cosmetics (though I am not sure how many Indian physicians will be able to help you).

Be aware of what you are putting on your lips. If you have a doubt or are concerned write an email to the company requesting them to send you the information on the lead content of their lipsticks. Most good brands will provide you all the details.
After all what's in a lipstick
Don't be stingy on your lipstick and only buy good quality products. Cheap lipsticks available in the market maybe easy on your budget, but they can cost you your life.

You cannot not be sure of even the good brands, so a cheaper brand will contain what not. And as you know lipstick is something we women cannot live without. So please don't buy cheap quality lipstick.

List of companies you can consider buying:
Here are a few brands which have no lead or very low level of lead as per the legal limit that you could buy:
1. Clarins
2. Aveda
3. Suki
4. Shiseido
5. Kiehl
(will keep updating the list after getting the lead content info)

Liquid Lipsticks and colour lip glosses are safer than the lipstick candy in terms of lead content. And I love the glosses, it makes the lips look so delicious. So why not pick them?

I came across an article that gave a list of lipsticks with less than 0.02 parts per million (ppm) lead:
1. Avon Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee
2. Body Shop Lip Colour Garnet
3. Body Shop Lip Colour Garnet
4. Clinique Long Last Lipstick Merlot
5. Dior Replenishing Lipcolor Red Premiere
6. Estee Lauder Maraschino
7. MAC Matte Lipstick Viva Glam 1
8. Revlon Superlustrous Love That Red
9. Revlon Superlustrous Bed of Roses
10. Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor Red Velvet
11. Tarte Inside Out Vitamin Lipstick
12. Wet N Wild Mega Colors Cherry Blossom
13. Wet N Wild Mega Colors Cherry Blossom

There is no harm in knowing both the arguments
Contrary to this campaign claiming that lipstick contain lead, some experts are still claiming the authenticity of the report by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Well we would not know how much truth is there unless we do the check ourselves. My advice is to be an educated consumer and be cautious. There is no harm in switching brands if you are doubtful.

Read Paula's Report in which she cites the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as "swift in crafting a press release that is the very definition of fear mongering."

For more information check out the following links:The Campaign of Safe Cosmetics
60% of Lipsticks contain Lead
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1 comment:

  1. i know i came across this email and had stopped using the big brands. I am using suki lip colours and lipchick and pure earth lipsticks. They are safe and use only natural and organic ingredients. I like them. in fact my lips were chappy most of the times earlier, but after using suki lip colour my lips stay moisturised and i dont need to redo lips again.

    really these companies using lead shud be penalised by the government.


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