Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Truth or Consequences: Lipsticks and Lead

The following is an update on the lipstick/lead controversy. One study found that, "more than half of the 33 brand name lipsticks tested (61%) contained detectable levels of lead - ranging from 0.03 - 0.65 parts per million (ppm)." One third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the US FDA's 0.1 ppm (parts per million) limit for lead in candy. Many say comparing the ingestion of candy with lipstick is not a fair comparison but according to a fact reported by Glamour Magazine (2002), women inadvertently eat about 4 lbs of lipstick in a lifetime.

Although the FDA has not set a lead-limit on lipstick, the following is a list of top brand lipsticks that tested the highest for lead content (2008):
• L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” – 0.65 ppm
• L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine” – 0.58 ppm
• Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” – 0.56 ppm
• Christian Dior Addict “Positive Red” – 0.21 ppm
Note: Most samples tested were red lipsticks which addresses an important question, . . . is there lead in the red dyes?

Lead is unnecessary as an ingredient in lipstick and entirely avoidable. Case in point . . . 39% of lipsticks tested had no detectable levels of lead. The study showed the most expensive lipsticks not boding well. Dior Addict was one of the most contaminated samples, selling for $24.50 tube while Revlon lipstick contained no detectable lead levels and retailing for $7.49. It is important to note, the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association report, "the average amount of lead a woman would be exposed to when using cosmetics is 1,000 times less than the amount she would get from eating, breathing and drinking." Who do you believe? The best advice is to err on the side of caution and make sure the lipstick you wear is, "legally produced and sold in the U.S. and is not an unauthorized import or a counterfeit cosmetic."