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Lead in Lipstick – Another Reason to Go Organic

There used to be a time when we thought that lead in lipstick was an urban myth. Women bought bright shades of lipstick and dismissed all notion that this proven neurotoxin, which accumulates in human body over time, is hiding in their favourite red tube.

But then the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report in October of 2007. 61 percent of brand named lipsticks tested contained lead! And of course, none of them listed it as an ingredient.

How’s that for busting the “myth” part of this “urban myth”?

Among the top brands that were found to contain lead where L’Oreal (with L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” coming in with a whopping 0.65 particles per million), Cover Girl (Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” – 0.56 ppm), Christian Dior (Addict Positive Red – 0.28 ppm) and others…

Lead is a proven neurotoxin. It also easily crosses the placenta, making pregnant women and their children especially vulnerable. But how many women stop using their favorite lipstick when they are pregnant?

Health Canada followed up the study with their own tests. The lipsticks in their samples contained levels of lead from 0.079 to 0.84 ppm. One lipstick had 6.3 ppm! Though, naturally, the brand was not disclosed. Go figure.

The Canadian government had the audacity to claim that the amounts were safe. Despite the fact that there is a growing amount of scientific evidence that there is no such thing as safe amount of lead. Because lead builds up over time. It doesn’t disappear. And when it comes to lipstick – women don’t apply it once in their lifetime. Some estimate that women eat about 4 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime.

As “safe” as lead is supposed to be, the acceptable level for candy is 0.1ppm. But there isn’t much regulation for lipstick.

And when somebody tries to regulate it, the big lobby guns come out. Despite passing the full California Senate, a bill that would ban lead in lipstick was defeated in the Assembly Health Committee, caving to the mega pressure from the cosmetics lobby. The swarm of lobbyists and big name executives from the likes of Revlon, Estee Lauder and Johnson & Johnson proved to be too much.

What a brave new world we live in. Where a few dollars here and there trump any health concern. Cause dollars must be so much more important…

So where does it leave the consumer?

Doing our own homework. Searching, sharing information, supporting those who try to do well by us.

Seeking out organic makeup and organic lipstick is a way to protect ourselves, our friends and our kids. Chasing the mighty dollar these companies forgot that their customers are human with biological bodies and health concern. They feel no responsibility towards us, but feel secure that we’ll let it stand and use their products cause we need it.

They are wrong. We value our health more than their over marketed poison tubes. And we know there are better options. Truly organic and natural makeup products are popping up everywhere. It’s just a matter of doing some digging to find the right product. But when it comes to health – digging is worth it.

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1 mary { 03.26.09 at 6:53 pm }

Thanks! I’ll try them out…

2 Zaru { 03.30.09 at 8:45 am }

There are many natural lip sticks in the organic makeup market now. To name a few, Nvey Eco, Inika, Lavera, Dr Hauschka. We do have a choice now. Stay away from the lead, its toxic

3 Atelier de Soyun { 04.08.09 at 9:28 pm }

Absolutely you’re right~ Going organic is wonderful thing!

4 patty, GH { 04.10.09 at 3:53 pm }

since makeup is unregulated, it’s scary what manufacturers are allowed to put in (and in our bodies).
please check out my KISS MY FACE review and contest-

5 All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume Forty Three | Focus { 09.14.09 at 1:25 pm }

[...] presents Lead in Lipstick – Another Reason to Go Organic posted at Organic Makeup and Skin Care. Julena says, "Another reason to choose organic makeup — [...]

6 Alex { 11.10.09 at 9:44 pm }

When i find out that organic product has no toxic as petroleum derivatives, from that time i didn’t use cheap, non-organic makeup as it’s damaging my skin and health.

7 Sally { 03.07.10 at 2:17 am }

Totally agree. Nvey Eco is very good. Get it at

Anyone who can tell me where to get Lavera makeup. I can’t find anywhere in Australia, including online shops to buy it.

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