Make-up Crisis of the Moment: Lead In Red Lipstick

As you might all know, a recent study found varying quantities of lead in red lipstick. Different brands had different levels. I am posting this after some thought because I don't know how alarmed I should be. However, I'm posting the gist of the finds here and the list of lipsticks that were tested.

Here's an overview of the test:

  • More than half of 33 brand‐name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from .03 to .65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient.
  • One‐third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy – a standard established to protect people from directly ingesting lead. Lipstick, like candy, is ingested directly. Nevertheless, the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick – which fits with the disturbing absence of FDA regulatory oversight and enforcement capacity for the $50 billion personal care products industry.
The side effects of lead:
Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ, reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure because lead easily crosses the placenta and may enter the fetal brain, where it interferes with normal development. Lead has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in both men and women, hormonal changes, menstrual irregularities and delays in the onset of puberty. Lead builds up in the body over time and lead‐containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, combined with lead in water and other sources, could add up to significant exposure levels.

Lipsticks with less than 0.02 parts per million (ppm) lead (lower than the FDA‐recommended limit for candy
Avon Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee
Body Shop Lip Colour Garnet
Clinique Long Last Lipstick Merlot
Dior Replenishing Lipcolor Red Premiere
Estee Lauder Maraschino
MAC Matte Lipstick Viva Glam 1
Revlon Superlustrous Love That Red
Revlon Superlustrous Bed of Roses
Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor Red Velvet
Tarte Inside Out Vitamin Lipstick
Wet N Wild Mega Colors Cherry Blossom

Lipsticks with detectable levels of lead but less than 0.1ppm lead (the FDA‐recommended limit for candy)
MAC Matte Lipstick Viva Glam
Revlon Love That Red
Cover Girl Queen Collection Ruby Remix
Clinique Long Last Paprika
Dior Replenishing Lipcolor Red Premiere
Body Shop Garnet
Wet N Wild Cherry Frost 0
Clinique Angel Red
Burtʹs Bees Lip Shimmer Merlot

Lipsticks with lead levels higher than 0.1ppm
Maybelline NY Moisture Extreme Scarlet Simmer
Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red
Peacekeeper Paint Me Compassionate
Maybelline NY Moisture Extreme Midnight Red
Maybelline NY Moisture Extreme Cocoa Plum
Dior Addict Positive Red
Cover Girl Continuous Color Cherry Brandy
LʹOreal Colour Riche True Red
Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red
LʹOreal Colour Riche Classic Wine
LʹOreal Colour Riche True Red

If you ladies have some extra info about this, feel free to share. I'm undecided. It's scary, but should I start panicking? I'm very paranoid about these things and I don't know if I should start weeding out my stash.



I♥M·A·C said...

I have MAC VG1 and VG2, rumors like these surface every once in a while, don't worry about it. I'll forward u another email I have, there r some more lipsticks in there as well. But, dont worry Im pretty sure if u use it once in a while. It's ok. Me, I'm more of a lipgloss girl, so I don't care much for lipsticks

10:55 AM
Anonymous said...

hey anu good article ,u never replied to my comment :-( I asked ur review abt ysl touch eclait ........

5:47 PM
Anu said...

hey saniya!
see, i know about the email forwards etc, but this stufy was actually featured on etc, which is why i'm giving it more thought. the fact is i'm a huge lipstick girl.

8:08 PM

Anu said...

hey anonymous.
sorry i didn't get back to you. i must have missed it, my bad.
anywas ysl touche eclat was too light for me. i read that parminder nagra uses it, but i wonder how she could because i can't use it, and i think i'm close to her colour. if you're fairer than me, it migt work for you. one thing i do is, if i wear concealor and even if i don't i use this trick anyway, i dust a VERY light layer of a shimmer, soft champagne or vanilla eyeshadow under my eyes. It really helps brighten up the area. just be sure to dust it lightly. also, if you want a cheaper version of ysl's touche eclat, you can try the body shop's version of this. i think the products perform slightly differently, but overall are pretty darn similar. i hope this helps. let me know if i haven't answered any questions.

8:12 PM

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8:15 AM

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