by Margot White Saturday, July 29
In honor of National Lipstick Day, we're aiming to educate women on some of the questionable ingredients found in most mainstream lipstick. We know the FDA does not regulate cosmetic products, so the industry is allowed to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products even if those chemicals are linked to serious health concerns. The beauty industry argues that because they only use a little bit, the public shouldn't be concerned. The truth is nobody really knows the health impacts of these chemicals when used regularly, and when combined with other chemicals over a long period of time.
There are varying studies that indicate the amount of lipstick women ingest in their lifetime. The average of these is 3-5 pounds! Lipstick is not only ingested from eating and drinking, but absorbed through the skin via lips and membranes inside the cheeks.
We found an interesting study done in 2008 by researchers at Tufts University in Boston that makes a connection between women that wear lipstick and the incidence of the rising auto-immune disorder - Lupus. The results showed a significant incidence of Lupus in women that wear lipstick 3 times per week. Researchers believe this to be caused by the chemicals found in lipstick. Since I have been "watched" for Lupus for a long time now, this study really resonated with me.
Most lipsticks are made up of a conglomerate of synthetic plastics, solvents, oils and waxes derived from petroleum.
Our team did an ingredient survey from 5 popular lipstick brands spotted in drugstores. Unfortunately none of the brands listed the ingredients on the package labels, so we had to refer to the manufacturer websites.
Here's what we found in most of them*
- Synthetic Fragrance – The undisclosed “cocktail of chemicals” that typically includes phthalates. Many of the ingredients used are petroleum derivatives and some are associated with hormone disruption, diabetes, cancer, fertility issues, birth defects.
- BHA/BHT – preservatives found in skincare and some foods. BHA is a probable carcinogen and listed on California's Prop 65 as a Carcinogen. These ingredients are linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity.
- Polyethelene Glycol (PEGS) and Propylene Glycol – plastics used for industrial manufacturing/cleaning and in skincare products. They typically contain contaminants that are linked to various forms of cancer and can be harmful to the nervous system.
- Parabens – Hormone disrupting preservatives
- Synthetic Dyes – Can be noted on the label as "Color with a number". These are coal tar dyes and studies show their connection to ADHD and some dyes are linked to forms cancer.
We visited Scott and Kara at Better CT to share our information with CT viewers. Click on picture to watch.
None of the brands we stock at The Choosy Chick contain the above ingredients and are instead made from natural and organic oils, shea butter, and colorants derived from minerals, flowers, fruits, herbs and spices. Furthermore, ingredients are clearly identified both on the labels and our website. A few brands we recommend are Nudus, Lily Lolo and INIKA.