That Kisser is Toxic!
Most Lipstick is Toxic… Really!
As a clinical nutritionist who spends much of her time educating others about gluten intolerance, I thought when I discovered that lipstick was not a major source of gluten contamination that I was done with that aspect of cosmetics.
But a dear friend shared with me that a recent blood test revealed high levels of the heavy metal lead and she attributed the source to be her lipstick. I was quite surprised and I did my own research to ensure that this really was a situation that needed to be addressed with my patients. I’m sorry to report that it is indeed a problem.
There are no safe levels of lead ingestion, yet 61% of all lipsticks tested, and they tested quite a lot, had detectable lead levels. 33% of them exceeded the US levels of what is considered safe to be ingested.
Do we ‘eat’ lipstick? Yes, we do. Not in the way you eat food, granted, but it is definitely ingested. The lipstick brands tested were name brands, not off label ones and likely your ‘favorite’ is on there, unfortunately.
It is the bioaccumulation (accumulation of a toxin in the body that occurs over time) of the heavy metals and toxins that we are exposed to that create health problems for us. Sure, if the only thing you ever did was consume lead from lipstick that might not be a problem, but what about lead in paint, gasoline, water distribution, and hobbies?
We were all exposed to lead from automobile emissions at a significant rate prior to 1976 and fortunately, it then declined rapidly over the next decade. Lead exposure is often cumulative through low-level exposure over a period of time.
Why Didn’t I Know that my Lipstick Contained Lead?
Is it illegal that lead is not listed as an ingredient in lipstick? At the moment it is not. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list the lead content and the FDA has set no limits on what a safe or unsafe level would be when it comes to cosmetics.
Ladies, do you remember playing with your mother’s makeup as a little girl? Most of us did at one time or another. Lead is known to lower IQ levels in children under 5 years old. So please, if you have youngsters around, hide the cosmetics, especially lipstick that could be ingested.
What are the Symptoms of Lead Toxicity?
The list is long but here are some common symptoms you should be aware of:
◊ Hyperactivity – yes, the opposite of fatigue but still a symptom
◊ Weight loss
◊ Nausea or abdominal pain
◊ Reduced cognitive abilities (brain fog, poor memory, trouble thinking clearly)
◊ Reproductive problems
◊ Poor appetite
◊ Metallic taste in the mouth
◊ High blood pressure
Get Tested to Find out if You Have a Heavy Metal Toxicity
If you’re concerned about your lead or other heavy metal levels we can run easily urine tests on you. It’s simple and well worth it to find out if there are any toxic levels occurring.
Heavy metal toxicity can affect the body in a multitude of ways and it’s certainly worth finding out if it’s a problem.
If so, we will institute a clinical nutrition program to help remove the heavy metal from your system.
Finding Lead-free Lipstick
Personally, I have to admit that I’m saddened by this one. As a clinical nutritionist, I practice what I preach – I don’t eat gluten, I don’t eat dairy products, I drink ample amounts of water, exercise 6 days a week, and get my requisite 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Isn’t that enough? I guess not.
The sad truth is that lead is a heavy metal and extremely toxic. Realizing that I’ve been exposing myself to that toxin, unknowingly all these years, is upsetting. But fear not, there is always a solution. So, the search for lead-free lipstick replacement begins!
I know some ladies look great with no lipstick, but I don’t happen to be one of them. What can I say, I’m a pale red-head! For those of you in the ‘must-have lipstick’ category, what follows are some options. The brands that I have uncovered thus far that are known to be safe are:
• Coastal Classics
• W3LL People – yes, that’s really a ‘3’ instead of an ‘e’
• Johnny Concert (never heard of this one but the website is: Johnny-concert.com)
• Hemp Organics – a San Francisco based company. I believe I’ve seen this at Whole Foods
• Jane Iredale – an internet search for Jane plus the town you live in should give you assistance
• Ilia Pure Matte Lipstick – www.iliabeauty.com
• Vapour Organic Beauty Lipstick – www.vapourbeauty.com
• Nvey Eco Organic Lipstick – www.nveymakeup.com/
More Websites to Check Out
Once you find some colors you like, double-check that the exact color you choose is safe. Some companies, like Revlon, had lipsticks that were very high in lead and low, all depending on the color and exact formulation. Personally, I plan to stick with the brands that are overwhelmingly ‘clean’, otherwise, if it’s not their policy to be lead-free then you can change colors and be in trouble again. Some websites to check out:
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse.php?maincat=makeup¬hanks=1 – this one is good because it’s a cosmetic database and you can search for specific products and see how they’re rated
I don’t know how you feel, but in my opinion, lipstick is not easily ordered on-line. I guess if you looked great in candy apple red then maybe it would be easy. I am not so fortunate. I plan to find some local shops where I can try on colors and I’ll let you know how that goes.
Please write back and let me know about any great places that you find. I’ve heard the expression that it’s ‘hard to be beautiful’ but it shouldn’t be hazardous to your health. As a clinical nutritionist, I always delight to see how much prettier (and handsome) patients look as they get healthier. Let’s work together so beauty and health can go hand in hand – as it should!
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.