What the Frick’ Is In My Lipstick??

lipstickTurn on your TV or open a fashion magazine, and chances are that one of the first ads you’ll see is a gorgeous young model with fabulous pouty red lips.  We want those!  We know you do too, so let’s take a look at what’s on those pouty lips.

Lead-ing Me On

Most consumers are shocked to find that the majority of lipstick brands, drug store and department store alike, contain lead.  The FDA has even released a detailed report of the lead contents of major lipstick brands.  Because lipstick is applied to the lips, there’s a good chance that you’re ingesting it – ever seen someone with lipstick on their teeth?  Bingo.  There’s also the danger of small children  or pets getting ahold of your lipstick and eating it all in one go.  Worth the risk?  We think not.

Once lead enters the body, it stays there for a good long while, so the small amounts absorbed every day could potentially accumulate to cause major problems.  We hardly need to discuss the dangers of lead here, but according to the NIH lead poisoning can cause kidney disease, mental retardation and hearing loss among others.

You’re Preserving What??

Like food, your lipstick can spoil, so manufacturers use preservatives and antimicrobials to make sure your lipstick with the perfect red color stays fresh.  Unfortunately, these preservatives can also create havoc with your body.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common preservatives found in lipstick:

  • Methylparaben – linked to breast cancer, skin damage, eye damage
  • Propylparaben – British study surveyed 20 women with breast cancer and found propylparaben in every tumor.  A small sample for sure, but is this a risk you want to take?  This preservative sticks around in your body.
  • Phenoxyethanol – a toxic esther alcohol that frequently causes allergic reactions and is linked to cancer

Color Me Cancer?

Preservatives and lead aren’t the only dirty little secrets lurking in your lipstick.  Many other ingredients found in lipstick have also been linked to cancer.

  • D&C Red 36 – It may create a great looking color, but it’s associated with nervous system damage, cancer, other toxic effects
  • D&C Red 22 Lake – Like its cousin, this colorant is associated with endocrine dysfunction and cancer

The “Brains” of the Operation!

The major beauty brands are mass-produced, and lipsticks require a source of cheap fat to hold the above chemical cocktail together.  Fat derived from the brain and spinal cord tissue of old cows has long been used in lipsticks and other cosmetics.   Google this and you’ll find that the FDA has banned this process; however, dig deeper and you’ll find that it’s still permissible to use cows younger than 30 months.  Now that’s BS!  We need to ban that abusive practice!

To avoid the hazards associated with many cosmetics products, become an informed consumer.  If you’re reading this blog you’re off to a good start, so keep it up, and be sure to check out our book as well.  There’s also no need for your face to go naked.  Many responsible manufacturers produce safe beauty products that live up to the claim of being “all natural.” 

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Posted in Beauty Ingredients, Beauty Products
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