The Lead in Lipstick Scare-are you dead yet?

This blog is in reaction to Meanniekitty's comment about Lead in lipsticks.

This rumor circulated a few years back:
Lead is present in lipsticks and this will kill you.
And my reaction to it then was  - NOTHING.

You see, I know when I am bullshitting and I know when I am covering up things that are foul.

This is not one of them.

But since it seems to continue troubling some of you, I write here about what the big deal is, where it came from.
Yes, LEAD is bad for you.
Yes, LEAD could be present in some of the dyes that we use for some lipsticks.
But- here's the whole story.

Any brand that sells legally are controlled by regulations.

These regulators are devil incarnates, they sit at the right hand of Satan - which is bad for us, good for you.  They are very strict in the ingredients that they allow.
 If my life as the priestess of bullshit were to be made into a movie, and I will be the heroine (in my make believe world), they will surely be one of the bad guys- perhaps played by Gary Oldman as he played that villain in The Professional. 

They allow lead in lipsticks BUT in very, very, very miniscule proportion.
Something like 1/10 parts per million- that's like a lepton, really, you might get more lead in your lungs breathing air than having maxi-servings of your rich-colour lipstick with coke and fries.
To give you a point of comparison- with candy, something that children actually eat, they allow about 5X more than that they allow in lipsticks.  Or something like that.  You get my drift.
So- NO- there has been no incidence of anyone getting cancer from lipsticks because of lead and I doubt if there will ever be one.

You have far more chances of dying from natural causes than from lead in lipsticks.

Speaking of, natural cause is the leading cause of death- so you are better off eating chunks of lipsticks, hand gliding, parachuting, rather than just sitting on your ass, cross-stitching while waiting for natural causes to happen.

And what about that test, about the gold being dark with contact to the lipstick.  It is actually the gold leaving that mark, not the lead.  But quite a nifty touch to this legend eh?

So, women of the world- continue to be glamorous and use lipsticks without fear.
And while you are at it- why not try paragliding?

(Note to self- talk about all this natural ingredient hooha in the next few blogs).


  1. heehee. yeah, the natural ingredients ... when I hear something like that, I use to say "yes, and when the yogurt companies produce strawberry flavor out of mouldy hay or icky mushrooms, it's also a natural ingredient. and if I put belladonna or fly agaric into something, this might very well kill you, but it's still a natural ingredient."

    some people confuse "natural ingredient" with "good and/or healthy" ... but then, when they are only believing in the advertisements, who can blame them? ^^

  2. Hi Caitlyn- Come sit by my side as a co-sniffer of Bullshit.

    Seriously- you have a knack to sniff them BS out- you go girlfriend!

  3. Well, i intend to be sitting on my ass and eating a large sandwich made of lots of things, including mac and cheese, as i wait for natural causes to take me out. I don't know about you guys...

    Yeah, there is so much BS out there that people just run to and then run away from... few people take the time to actually RESEARCH anything. (and if they do, its usually research from whatever company owns the product)


    I'm looking forward to your natural ingredients post for sure!


  4. The rumors only stop people who want to be stopped and are usually started by people looking for easy money via the lawsuit route. These days, when the internet is at everyone's fingertips, it's a pretty safe bet that if you can't find hard data to back this kind of BS up you will find the story being debunked on Snopes...if in fact it's being given any attention at all.

    ETA: My verification word is preploy. Does that mean we're all in a conspiracy to poison lipstick lovers? LOL

  5. "Speaking of, natural cause is the leading cause of death- so you are better off eating chunks of lipsticks, hand gliding, parachuting, rather than just sitting on your ass, cross-stitching while waiting for natural causes to happen."
    Yes! I thought this when I first heard about the whole lead fiasco. It's ridiculous.
    The next post sounds pretty exciting, am curious about that

  6. Hi Vonzi-
    Add a bottle of red wine and I just might join you and bring my cross stitching project along. Gawd- do I have fear of heights!
    Anyway, I think I inadvertently deleted your comment when i brought back the Marie Antoinette blog. It wasn't intentional- sorry about this.

  7. Hey Sandi- yes, snopes is good. In fact my informant from the lab (who we shall name deepthroat until the time she is comfortable to be named) quoted this site as reference.
    I had an experience as well where my virtual check on a person was all good but was actually a high flying con-woman. Gawd, it gets harder, i swear.

  8. hey Georgia- lurved your stat analysis of the latest British Vogue issue!

  9. hmmm it's ok. I may just deny you the red wine! KIDDINNNNG

    I was thinking, a helpful followup post would be what ingredients to actually attempt to avoid in lip products, since we eat so much of it and it's on our face. don't know if that would be too much of a daunting task though!

  10. The "all natural" hype drives me crazy. I know too many women who have driven themselves into a tizzy with imagined fears of anything not "all natural", "organic", or "100% pure", whatever those terms mean. I used to try to reason with them, but they only got confused and then defensive.

    They're quite happy to read the marketing and believe it completely, and get quite pissy when their beliefs are challenged.

    I have to wonder with these "all natural" people, if they hold to that belief when it comes to medicine. Do they really want to rely on willow tree bark instead of aspirin? Pffft.

  11. Rowena, thanks for answering my question. Now I'll assume the position for not reading your blog as often as I should have.

  12. Hi Meanniekitty- you are welcome!

    Haha, yes do visit often as I will be checking attendance! We talk about people who are not present here;-)

  13. Ah, the attack on the "natural" cosmetics.

    First, I don't see how your statement about dying of natural causes led to the commenters going off on alternative cosmetics. It's sad to watch people throw out all reason to say "But natural is bad for you too!" and suddenly anyone concerned with what goes on their body is somehow a much bigger fool than people who believe Olay moisturizers can firm up your cheekbones.

    If a person is unhappy about the ingredients in most mainstream lipsticks and they find a suitable alternative then let them. What's the purpose of the ridicule? Why is that person confused? Yes, of course there's a lot of marketing hype behind some alt brands because they are out to make money. But just as you've pointed out with your own experiences, some ingredients do perform as the companies say they will. Why do so many people get on some insecurity-based high horse to tell them how fucked up they are for either believing one kind of marketing hype over another?

    Frankly, in my experience the worst thing about those products is that they often don't perform well and have a pretty short shelf life. That's usually because they won't use state of the art ingredients and certain fillers and preservatives either because they can't afford them or those ingredients go against their standards for "naturalness."

    And yes, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe for everyone. Who says it is??? Of course some people will have bad reactions to certain ingredients used by those companies, but it's good to have a choice. Personally, many synthetic fragrances do a number on my sinuses so I try to stay away from them. Alternative brands rarely use them so that's enough for me to support them.

  14. Hi Ms.!
    I didn't see this comment till now.
    I am glad to see your level approach on natural and that not because it is natural means it is good and then the counter natural critique. It is true that this natural-anti-natural question can take a heated discussion more than if it concerns religion.
    As of my stand, this blog is to pinpoint all the BS whether in the high tech or the natural route (and yes, there is more coming). Then, it will be up to you to decide. Borrowing from the words of Buddha "Doubt everything you hear, including this one".
    If you would read this blog and will lead you to question - even if you disagree with me, then I would be happy that you have had the openness of mind to have at least read, and questioned and decided on your own.
    Yes, guilty as charged- I do have an insane propensity for pork barbecue and anyone who tells me otherwise is bound for a very passionate attack of the nerves.
    But other than that, hit me- I am open and willing to learn.


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