FDA Aims to Limit Lead Levels in Lipstick, Other Cosmetics

In a move that’s been a long time coming, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to limit lead levels in various cosmetics, including lipsticks. The new rules won’t apply to “topically applied products” that are drugs or hair dyes, according to Time.

Past research by the FDA has identified 400 different lipsticks with levels of lead in them, including seven other “trace” metals with greater relative risk of ingestion than lead, including heavy metals and known carcinogens. Unfortunately, this is the norm because the $55 billion-a-year cosmetics industry so far has no mandatory testing rules for products like lipstick, deodorants and shampoos.

What this means is that women who apply lipstick several times a day could easily be ingesting high amounts of lead over their lifetimes, along with other unknown chemicals. When you consider that the average woman will apply up to 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime and swallow 30 percent of it; and that 65 percent wear lipstick daily and 40 percent own more than 20 different lipstick tubes, the importance of the new FDA rules become clear.

Considering that everything you put on your skin and lips will enter your system, it would be wise to clean up your beauty regimen by replacing commercial products with all-natural compounds you can make yourself. Olive oil and coconut oil, for example, can replace commercial moisturizers and some hair products. Pure essential oils can add scent to homemade products.

DIY recipes can be found online for lip balms and lipsticks using ingredients like beetroot powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon and turmeric as coloring agents.