Lipsticks without lead are increasingly popular, even though the FDA says the addition of lead in lipstick pigments is safe. Discover popular choices for lead-free lipstick and find out more about the effect lead can have on your health.
Outlawed in 1978, lead-based paint was the most harmful source of lead poisoning in both adults and kids. Lipsticks containing lead are becoming similarly controversial, even though authorities say the risk of poisoning is slim to none.
Most lipstick brands use lead in the pigment in a concentration that can be even 70 times higher than safe lead levels for candy. What does this mean? Women who constantly lick their lips may be at risk for lead poisoning, but for most lipstick users, the lead in the pigment is considered harmless.
Symptoms of lead poisoning aren't immediate. For adults, they can include anemia, hearing problems, kidney disease or reproductive issues. For children, lead poisoning is more dangerous, causing permanent damage to the central system and delayed development.
Can You Test if Your Lipstick Contains Lead?
The most common misconception about lipsticks containing lead is that you can test for it at home. The so-called "Golden ring test" is nothing more than a hoax, according to experts. Rubbing a gold ring on the lipstick applied to your skin can destroy the pigment and alter its color, but metals do not directly interact with lead to cause any visible way of detecting it.
Lipsticks containing lead make up most of all varieties available today, but some makers have also put out completely lead-free lipsticks. The consumer advocacy group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has released test results which highlight some of the best lipsticks without lead.
Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor Red Velvet, Revlon Superlustrous Love That Red and Revlon Superlustrous Bed of Roses are your safest best when looking for a Revlon lipstick without lead.
Other top choices include: Bobbi Brown Black Berry Lipstick, Avon Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee, Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Pink Parfait, Body Shop Lip Colour Garnet, Clinique Sugar Bean Long Last Lipstick, Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Clinique Long Last Lipstick Merlot, Dior Replenishing Lipcolor Red Premiere, Fashion Fair Magenta Mist and Fashion Fair Earth Red, Tarte Inside Out Vitamin Lipstick, Iman Red Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick and Wet N Wild Mega Colors Cherry Blossom.
Does Mac Lipstick Contain Lead?
No MAC lipstick made the top 10 lipsticks with lead published by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Lead-free lipsticks from this brand include MAC Matte Lipstick Viva Glam 1, MAC Satin Red Lipstick and MAC Lady Danger.