Lead-Free Lipstick

Earlier this month The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for a reduction of lead levels in lipstick because there there is no safe level for lead.

That lipstick contains lead has been known since 2007, when the CSC tested 33 lipsticks, including selections from top brands, and reported that “two-thirds of the 33 samples we tested contained detectable levels of lead; of those, half were above the recommended limit for lead in candy.”

There is much you can read about lead in lipstick, here is an article that sums up the issue: Consumer and environmental groups concerned with lead levels in lipstick.

I was asked, “Are there any lipsticks without lead?”

I want to say “yes” but I stopped myself because you can’t just look at a label and assume if lead isn’t listed as an ingredient, it’s lead-free. There is a list of lipsticks that tested lead-free in 2007, but that’s too old for me.

What’s needed is to make a bunch of phone calls to the natural brands and see what they say, or a whole bunch of lipsticks need to be tested anew to confirm they don’t contain lead.

I’m not even sure the Skin Deep database covers this as they are only looking at ingredients.

As I started looking at this, I found some brands that use organic ingredients and say their ingredients are “all natural” are using artificial colors, which may contain metals themselves, and those contaminants wouldn’t be on the label.

For example, I was searching “lead-free lipstick” and clicked through to an article that claimed to have a list of “lead-free” lipsticks, only to find that the first brand on the list had been crossed out because it contains lead. A natural brand, too, that you would think would be lead-free. I thought so. No harmful ingredients on the label. I have that brand of lipstick sitting in my purse.

This subject needs more research than I can give it today. We should all pitch in and figure this out together. Please post any research or questions here.

One lipgloss I am sure has no lead is Evan’s Garden Heavenly! Anti-oxident Skin Treatment. I’ve known Evan personally for about five years and there are NO synthetic ingredients of any kind in her products. I just got off the phone with her and we both think that the lead is coming from the artificial colors that are made from coal tar, such as the “red lake” colors with various numbers. So any lipsticks you have that are colored with natural pigments would be more likely to be lead-free

I’m going to keep checking and add more brands here. You check too.


Debra :-)

More brands that have natural colors and told me they are lead free:

Ava Anderson Nontoxic

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