A federal analysis of 400 popular shades of lipstick showed each contained trace amounts of lead. Still, the amount of lead found in 380 of the products tested was greater than the maximum 0.1 parts per million (ppm) allowed in candy bars. In some instances, as much as 70 times greater. For years, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been pushing the government to set limits for lead levels in lipstick, but the FDA states it does not consider the lead content to represent a threat because lipstick is not intended to be ingested.
Opponents of that point counter that eating, drinking or kissing with lipstick on can lead to the ingestion of some lipstick. Children and babies also have been found to eat lipstick if they find a tube. Opponents also say that lipstick can also easily be absorbed into the skin.
Of the 400 lipsticks tested, the top five offenders were:
- Maybelline's "Color Sensational 125 Pink Petal" at 7.19 ppm of lead.
- L'Oreal's "Colour Riche 410 Volcanic" at 7.00 ppm.
- NARS' "Semi-Matte 1005 Red Lizard" at 4.93 ppm.
- Cover Girl Queen Collection's "Vibrant Hues Color Q580 Ruby Remix" at 4.92 ppm.
- NARS' "Semi-Matte 1009 Funny Face" at 4.89 ppm.
To see all the lipsticks tested, log on to: http://www.fda.gov
While the FDA believes the trace amounts of lead found in lipstick are not dangerous, it did release this statement on its website: "Although we do not believe that the lead content found in our recent lipstick analyses poses a safety concern, we are evaluating whether there may be a need to recommend an upper limit in order to further protect the health and welfare of consumers."