Are you using lead-free lipstick? If you’re using commercial lipstick, you very well could be eating lead–along with a number of other not-so-yummy ingredients.
“Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?” That’s a line from one of my favorite belly-laugh movies Tommy Boy.
While it’s a funny punchline, it’s based on a pretty disturbing trend in the 20th century — growing up in old homes full of lead paint, children were prone to chronic lead poisoning from (inadvertently or maybe purposefully–some kids are pretty adventurous) eating paint chips.
I think we’re all pretty up to speed on the fact that eating lead = not good. But what if I told you that you’re swallowing lead every day without realizing it?
Are you using Lead-Free lipstick?
You may have heard the rumor a woman might ingest 4-7 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime. While those numbers may be exaggerated, it’s certainly true that if you put it on your lips, some of it’s going to end up going down the hatch. There’s no way around it: you’re eating your lipstick.
So what if I told you that 75% of lipsticks commonly used were found to contain lead? And other potentially toxic heavy metals like cadmium and aluminum? Don’t take my word for it: go read about the studies that found heavy metals in lipstick here.
Just take a look at this chart from Mother Jones listing the 20 lipstick brands that contained the most lead out of 400 samples. Is your lipstick on this list?
Ouch. I don’t know about you, but I was pretty bummed to see Burt’s Bees on this list. It just goes to show you that “natural” isn’t always enough. After all, lead definitely occurs in nature–but that doesn’t mean we need to eat a bunch of it.
I mean, when I buy lipstick, I know it’s not the most crunchy-hippie thing in the world. But this is too much for me to stomach (kind of literally). I just don’t want to be eating any extra lead if I can help it. Do you?
So here are some lead-free lipstick choices you can make in order to avoid putting lead on your lips.
And, by the way, I think all of the below options are perfectly acceptable–it’s just up to you which works best in your life.
Option #1: Drop It
Forgo the lipstick. Why not go au naturale? There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable with the lips that nature gave you. The best natural lipstick might just be no lipstick at all.
I actually do this on most days–I’m not in the habit of using lipstick daily. Nature blessed me with naturally pink lips, so lipstick for me is something I use to glam up for fun occasions.
But okay. I understand you might not want to give up lipstick entirely! No problem. Neither do I. I’ve got a couple more options for you.
Option #2: Make It
I’m not above making my own organic lip balm, but as for mixing fancy colors? I’m going to leave that to the pros. Maybe you are more confident in your DIY skills. I just know my limits.
Option #3: Find Lead-Free Lipstick You Can Trust
What if you’re like me and missing the uber-crunchy gene? I can be a little crunchy, but making my own lipstick is a tad beyond my skill set. Plus, I’m at a place in my life where I like to feel a little spoiled now and then. I really don’t think lead-free lipstick is too much to ask, right? But if I’m going to be putting money in someone’s pocket, I like it to be a company I trust.
There are a few trustworthy companies out there who do test for heavy metals so you can have lead-free lipstick. I just recommend doing a little research. But lead isn’t the only problem with lipstick–there are also parabens, formaldehyde, the list goes on.
I personally like to use Environmental Working Group (EWG) as my source for learning which personal care products are on the safe side. You can do a search there for specific products you’re interested in, or do some research about what you should be avoiding in the first place. They have an easy 1-10 scale to follow to get an idea of where a product’s ingredients land.
As for me? Lately, my go-to lipstick is the from Savvy Minerals. They have a long “never” list of unsafe chemicals they simply won’t use in their products, period. I love that they refuse to use the 1,300 ingredients banned by the European Union, even though they’re perfectly legal to use here in the United States. When “crunchy” isn’t on the menu and I want something high-end and trustworthy, I shop with Savvy Minerals.
Let’s clean up our beauty routines together! Share this post to spread the word. We might just change the world.
Nourish Your Lips:
- Cocoa-Mint DIY Lip Scrub Recipe
- Vegan Tinted Lip Gloss Recipe
- Chocolate Mint Lip Balm Recipe
- Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm Recipe
- Herbal-Infused Lip Balm Recipe
- Organic Lip Balm Recipe that Costs 60 Cents a Tube
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Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.