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Why lead is still allowed in lipstick is beyond me. This heavy metal is a toxic chemical, yet it is frequently found in the pigments used to color lipstick and make it shimmer. Even though it’s been removed from paint and gasoline, lead is still allowed in cosmetics. Says Health Canada:
Exposure to lead may have subtle effects on the intellectual development of infants and children. Infants and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead because they are undergoing a period of rapid development; furthermore, their growing bodies absorb lead more easily and excrete lead less efficiently than adults. In addition, infants and young children are more likely to ingest lead because of their natural habit of putting objects into their mouths… Lead can stay in the body for over 30 years following exposure.
FDA found noticeable amounts of lead in over 400 brands of lipstick. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found noticeable amounts of lead in over 400 brands of lipstick, including those most commonly sold in grocery stores and pharmacies. FDA says that it is not concerned because lipstick is a “topical” product that is not intended to be “ingested.” In other words, the agency is acting as if lipstick stays on lips. But if you wear lipstick, you know that’s not true. We lick our lips all day long, which means that we’re eating lipstick all day long, and reapplying it all day long, too.
Shouldn’t the message be, don’t allow lead in lipstick, and especially don’t eat it?
Until lipstick manufacturers get the lead out, here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
1. Choose lighter colors over darker ones, and matte over shimmer.
Research has found that darker reds and browns often contain more lead and other heavy metals than lighter hues. Shimmery lipstick usually contains tiny particles of mica, which is made up of lead and other metals, so use those on special occasions rather than every day.
2. Buy healthier lipstick.
It is almost impossible to read the tiny print on the label of a lipstick tube or package, but even if you could, you wouldn’t find “lead” listed as an ingredient. Your best defense is to get to know cosmetics companies that manufacture products primarily from plant-based materials (including coconut butter, shea butter, essential oils and colors derived from plants rather than mineral pigments and even insects). Check the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for rankings of lipsticks according to the safety of their ingredients.
3. Use less lipstick, more plant-based lip balm.
If your goal is primarily to keep your lips moist, use a plant-based balm rather than a traditional lipstick. I sometimes apply a lipstick with some color, then overlay some balm, and then reapply the balm throughout the day. Resist the urge to re-color your lips every hour or so.
4. Keep lipstick out of the reach of kids.
An advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that there is no safe level of lead for children and stressed the importance of preventing lead exposure for kids and pregnant women. Avoid “kiddie lipstick” and don’t let your children play with your “grown up” lipstick.
What natural ways do you color your lips? Or have you given up on lipstick altogether?
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."