Earlier this year, several major media outlets published stories about the level of lead in lipstick following an updated Food and Drug Administration study. The FDA found trace amounts of lead in all 400 lipsticks and lip glosses they tested.
Similarly, one recent Canadian study of 49 popular beauty products, lead was detected in 96 percent of the products, arsenic in 20 percent, and cadmium in 51 percent.
The U.S.-based Environmental Working Group has found that more than 80 percent of all lip balms contain harmful impurities linked to cancer and other serious health impacts.
The FDA says there is no cause for alarm. “Our initial findings, as well as our expanded findings posted in December 2011, confirm that the amount of lead found in lipstick is very low and does not pose safety concerns,”
The web site explains that cosmetics themselves are not subject to pre-market approval by FDA, but the color additives used in cosmetics (including those in lipsticks) are. While there is no set limits for lead in cosmetics, there are specifications for these color additives: “typically no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) for color additives approved for use in cosmetics.” Certain color additives must be batch-certified by the FDA, which includes testing each batch for lead, before they may be used in cosmetics.
“Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. Therefore, in the interest of public health, we urge the Office of Cosmetics and Colors to take action to reduce the amount of lead in lipstick,” wrote Janet Nudelman of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in a Feb. 7, 2012, letter to the FDA.
BodyVerde offers a lead-free lip gloss alternative for those who would like to avoid potentially harmful ingredients. Lip Perfect Smoothing Serum is made of 16+ hydrating, anti-aging plant and berry extracts plus beeswax – no artificial ingredients.
This divine-smelling blend hydrates dry lips, smooth upper lip lines and help repair damage due to dry conditions, aging and hormonal changes. It may even reduce the need for products with artificial colors. According to our testers, using Lip Perfect visibly enhances your own personal lip color.
Image: Flickr / _Frankenstein_