Lipstick is considered an essential part of a daily makeup routine. However, lipstick or lip gloss is one makeup component that is typically applied multiple times throughout the day. As a matter of fact, a recent study showed that lipstick or lip gloss can be reapplied more than 20 times in a single day. The ingredients in lipstick have become questionable because of the fact that lipstick is worn on the mouth and elements can in fact enter the body through the mouth by consumption or through mucosal tissues in the mouth by absorption.
Recent research has shown that the most dangerous chemicals in lipstick include an array of metals that are present in a variety of lipsticks. There are traces of lead along with an array of 8 other metals. A study performed by Dr. Hammond that was published in the May Environmental Health Perspectives journal found traces of the following 8 metals in 8 lipstick brands and 24 lip glosses:
The metals with the highest concentrations included chromium, manganese and aluminum. Interestingly, aluminum is used to keep lipstick colors from bleeding while titanium oxide is used as a lightening agent to soften colors such as red into pink. Dr. Hammond reveals that both uses are approved by the F.D.A., but the other metals should be considered as unwanted toxins.
The F.D.A found that the average lead level found in lipstick is approximately 1 parts per million which is generally not considered a health risk. The highest level of lead concentration was found in a deep floral colored lipstick and the lowest concentrations of lead were contained in neutral lip balms. However, the concern lies with the fact that lead can accumulate in the body.
The fact remains that research is quite limited on just how much of the harmful metals enter the body. Therefore, Dr. Hammond recommends that people utilize lipstick sensibly. First and foremost, due to the lead content, keep lipstick away from children at all times. Also be conscious of how many times lipstick is applied each day. There is no need to reapply lipstick or lip gloss 20 times or more each day when 2 to 3 times would be equally sufficient.
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