Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate. Sound familiar? Just take a look at your lipstick! The listed ingredients are all considered “hazards” according to the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and range from moderate to high risk. Some chemicals may not even be listed on your products packaging and require further investigation in order to determine the true ingredients that we apply to our lips several times a day.
These hidden lipstick ingredients have been linked to cancer, skin and eye irritation, endocrine disruption, nervous system damage and other health concerns. Retinyl Palmitate, a synthetic form of vitamin A, may be toxic to pregnant women due to studies that link the substance with reproductive toxicity among other health hazards. Lead has also been found in lipstick and in 2007 the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) tested 33 lipstick brands and found 61% of them contained lead. Among some of the worst offenders were Cover Girl (Procter & Gamble), L’Oreal (Body Shop, Maybelline), and Revlon. The FDA has found lead in many more products than the initial CSC, yet considers the levels of Lead per lipstick too low to cause concern.
Lead is a hazardous neurotoxin and linked to numerous health and reproductive problems. No exposure is safe for children and although the amount of lead per tube of lipstick may be considered low for the FDA, the study doesn’t take into account the amounts active lipstick users are ingesting and absorbing on a daily basis or long term exposure to lead for those of us who have been using lipstick since our early teen years.
We as consumers of cosmetics need to stand up to the FDA and companies that are poisoning our communities through the manufacturing and marketing of toxic makeup. There is no safe level of exposure, regardless of what the FDA says. We don’t need million dollar studies to tell us that long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals does have adverse affects on human health (although we do need them in order to prove what is clear as day). We don’t need to wait until the women in our communities are being plagued with cancer, oh wait, hasn’t this already happened? Toxic chemicals in any amount are, TOXIC and need to be removed from our cosmetics (and all products) for the health and well being of women, children, all cosmetic users and the people who love them.
There is a petition on change.org asking Revlon, a huge player in the manufacturing of chemically laced lipsticks, to remove harmful chemicals from their cosmetics. Signing a petition is one of many steps we can take in order to ban harmful chemicals from being sold to women. If you need to change up your lipstick routine for a safer alternative, try to find products that are lead-free, have ingredients that are Organic and plant based, or better yet, give the company a call and ask what chemicals are in the product you want to use (hopefully the answer is NONE!). For starters, check out www.bladesnaturalbeauty.com for a charming lip pencil by Jessa Blades and other natural make-up products that will celebrate your beauty without damaging your health.