Do you use lipstick on a daily basis? Multiple times a day, possibly? If so, I have a health warning for you recently reported by The New York Times.
As a product liability attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, many of my clients are women who have been injured by consumer products.
Research has shown that most lipsticks contain a trace of lead. New studies have also shown that eight other metals are often found in the makeup, including cadmium and aluminum. Experts are concerned about consumers swallowing or otherwise absorbing these metals on a daily basis.
The issue is important because it is chronic and long-term, not a one-time exposure.
Researchers aren’t saying the public should immediately panic about the health concerns of lipstick, but they are recommending that the FDA more closely analyze the product. In 2001, the FDA published an extensive report that showed traces of lead in 400 lipsticks.
In this analysis, the highest lead readings were found in deep floral pink lipstick and the lowest in neutral lip balm. Still, there remain a wide variety of metal concentrations across brands and colors.
Some of the metals are certainly absorbed through the mucosal tissues in the mouth, according to the article. People also swallow lipstick, which is one reason it needs to be reapplied so often (more than twenty times a day for some people).
Given this information, many are pushing the FDA to create regulations on the cosmetic.
Steps you can take to protect yourself and others include applying lipstick only two or three times a day and not letting children play with it at all (ingestion of metals like lead can seriously harm kids).