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by Wendy Stackhouse · August 19, 2013

Lead in Lipstick: Is Beauty Worth the Risk?

Woman applying lipstick Image by Ambrozoi via stock.xchng

We all spend time thinking about how to avoid known health risks. Quitting smoking or never starting, eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise and improving our environment all help us to maintain wellness. At Alliance, we try to keep you informed about products linked to lead like:

Food products like candy, seasonings, baby food and hot sauce which may have lead in them

Jewelry which may not be up to standards for lead content

School supplies which may contain toxins like lead

Recalled toys and other products which test positive for lead

In today's New York Times, we learned about the fact that some lipsticks contain lead and other metals which may cause health and developmental problems.

According to the article, we already know that most lipsticks contain lead in greater or lesser amounts. But what we didn't know is they also contain other metals which come with the same risks: cadmium, cobalt, aluminum, titanium, manganese, chromium, copper and nickel. The metals were found to be in lipsticks and glosses often used by teens. And not only that, teens reapply their lipsticks and glosses up to 24 time a day.

Although the lead in the lipsticks is not at what is defined as a dangerous level by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), combined with the other metals, there could be a problem. Another factor is the frequency of exposure.

Recommendations?

Wear lighter colors--Higher levels of metal were found in darker pigmented lipsticks.

Lipstick is not a toy--It's fun to have makeovers at birthday parties, but lead is a bigger problem for younger children. And they are more likely to eat it. Don't let them play with lipsticks.

Give up glitter--Frosted and glittery lipsticks use lead and other minerals to make them that way.

Keep touch-ups to a minimum--Frequency of application is definitely affecting how much lead and other metals get into your body from cosmetics. Resist the urge to have perfect lips every moment of the day.

My daughter started high school today. Now I kind of hope she forgets to touch-up her lip gloss!

If today is your family's first day of school, have a great one!

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