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by Wendy Stackhouse · September 17, 2014

Tips for Avoiding Lead in Lipstick

JBHS MusesAvoiding known health risks is smart and we are all doing it. By eating more organic food and reading food labels, quitting smoking or never starting, getting enough exercise, and even improving our environment, we can all gain greater wellness. Preventing exposure to lead is another way to protect your and your family's health.

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

Lipstick is another common source of lead exposure, but we are more likely to concentrate on finding the perfect shade than read the list of ingredients. Mother Jones has kindly given us a list of lipsticks currently on the market that contain lead. The list includes colors from L'Oreal, Revlon, Cover Girl, Avon, and even Burt's Bees!

I know our family has purchased lipsticks in all those brands to get that perfect color. How about yours?

And it's not just lead. Lipstick can 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. Did you know that teens reapply their lipsticks and glosses up to 24 times a day?

Our 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.

I have a showchoir kid at home and they have very strict makeup requirements that often include red lipstick. I'm going to be extra careful this year about what brand we choose and the ingredients in it.

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