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Stop – It’s the ‘there’s lead in my lipstick’ story again.

February 13, 2012

I am the kind of person that believes that the world spins on an axis of pleasure rather than a pointy stick of pain and as such I don’t tend to get my knickers in a knot about things like lead in lipstick.  Call me stupid (and plenty do) but I am pretty sure that a tiny (and I mean tiny) bit of lead in a product that is made for topical application only (I don’t chow down on mine as a rule) probably has less chance of killing me than many of the other things I choose to do each day.

Just so that you don’t get the wrong idea and think that I’m an insane maniac here are some of the things that are quite risky that I do daily:

  • Drive my car.   Each year in Australia approx 1,700 people die and 22,000 are seriously injured.  With only 20 million people in Oz the odds are pretty high.
  • Drink 3 cups of coffee.  A little can be very nice but too much may kill us. Too much Caffeine can give you heart problems!
  • Eat Chocolate – too much to be healthy.  At best this plays havoc with my blood sugar, at worse it could lead to me dying of a heart attack due either to obesity or because my rotten teeth have let bacteria in.
  • Stand/ swing on my chair – I am short and can’t reach stuff. I also fidget.
  • Text while walking around the house/ shops/ streets.  This is just plain silly. I could step out in front of a car, fall over or generally end up in a mess but I just can’t help myself sometimes,
  • Touch my face – Oh yes, I touch my face and I sometimes even lick my fingers!  This is a bad idea for anyone who follows the ‘precautionary principals’ of life as our hands are just dripping in bacteria and we all know that bacteria can kill.
  • Kiss people – In an average day I will kiss 1 man, 2 girls, at least 4 guinea pigs and 1 dog. That’s a lot of opportunities for bugs to infect and kill me.
  • Take a shower – All of that water plus a tiled floor makes for a huge hazard and according to some dodgy google search figures over 15,000 people actually died one year (I think it was 2008) from slipping while showering.  That’s nearly as many as die behind the wheel of a car.  Blooming nora!

Life is risky but every day we have to weigh up the risk with the reward and make a decision. Oodles of hours of research time has gone into establishing just how much lead is in our lipsticks and while the FDA (and others) have managed to find some the overwhelming consensus is that those levels are safe if the product is used as intended.  There is a good chance that ALL lipsticks have some lead in them as the lead isn’t added, it comes from the pigments used to produce the colour so going natural or organic won’t help.

The bottom line is this. Lipstick is not essential, if you don’t like the idea of it having lead in it then don’t wear it. Oh and I’d probably lay off the strawberries too as they also contain lead as do many other fruits including some grown in your organic veggie patch but that’s another story….


For more info on why cosmetics won’t kill you visit Personal Care Truth. Here is their facebook page:


7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 9:23 pm

    There are actually a lot of lipsticks out there that don’t contain lead. Eco Bella and Lavera are two. I mean…c’ with out lipstick??

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      February 13, 2012 10:56 pm

      Being natural and/ or organic doesn’t mean that there isn’t lead. Lead is present in the natural pigments used for lipsticks and so is likely to be present in pretty much all brands. We are talking teeny tiny amounts that you could only find if you did some pretty full-on analytical testing. I might just do that…………

      • February 14, 2012 10:05 am

        Eco Bella and Lavera are two that advertise no lead as they use botanicals and caramine (if you don’t mind bugs on your lips 🙂

  2. September 2, 2012 10:49 am

    I used to have your mentality. I think the problem with there being toxic chemicals in our everyday products is that we use hundreds of products, each with different small levels of ingredients. The issue is not THAT there are chemicals in the products, but that the companies work tirelessly to deny that those products will have an affect on our health. If you think people should just say whatever to all companies being allowed to LIE to the public than you need to think about someone whose cancer could have been avoided. Think bigger than lip stick! Think everything is slowly poisoning us, it’s very very very slow, and like you said there are a lot of other ways to die, but I don’t think the one you would pick is in a hospital bed with cancer because of the aluminum in your deodorant.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      September 2, 2012 11:18 am

      I do think bigger than lipstick and understand that there are risks involved in using hundreds of different products every day. However, I still don’t think that lipstick is a problem and would rather spend my time thinking and doing other things. It’s about personal choice and correct info really.

      • Jordan Johnstone permalink
        December 8, 2012 1:43 am

        If you actually think it’s about correct info you should read There’s Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon or Ecoholic Body: by Adria Vasil. They both tackle the larger issue of all products. Lead is just a contaminant in lipstick, not even an ingredient and by all means use it.

        Also saying you don’t ‘chow down’ on your lipstick is redundant, everything we out on our skin we absorb.

      • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
        December 19, 2012 12:40 pm

        Hi there, thanks for your comment. I am aware that lead is not added to lipsticks, I make lipsticks and the chow down comment was in relation to an often quoted google fact about how many lipsticks women ingest each year! Finally to the point of exposure and our skin absorbing everything – there are many places for topically placed ingredients to end up – most are rubbed or otherwise removed from the surface, others penetrate into the epidermis top layers, some make it deeper though and a very few will reach the dermis. Hairy areas provide more opportunity for ingredient pooling as ingredients can slip down the hair shafts but this still doesn’t automatically mean that the chemicals will end up in our brain, liver or other tissue. The process of dermal delivery is highly complex and one that would take a lifetime to fully understand. My point was that there is a bit of lead in lipsticks but that doesn’t mean that it is going to kill us. That was all.

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