Lead in lipstick getting more notice

Lead in lipstick

It looks like we will be hearing more about the issue of lead in lipstick officially because US Senators John Kerry, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein were reported to have urged the FDA Commissioner to investigate products reported by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) and to rid lipsticks with higher-than-legal limits of lead content in them. 

And in another consumer news, Lipstick Lead Lawsuit Filed, a woman who bought a Christian Dior Addict Positive Red lipstick from a Nordstrom store is seeking class-action status in a lawsuit against the makers of the lipstick because the product has dangerously high levels of lead.

I know many, including The Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association Trade Group have said that lead is a naturally occurring element and is not intentionally added to cosmetics.  Some cosmetics experts have even gone on to argue that amount of lipstick that is actually ingested is minuscule and there is nothing to fear.  However, as a consumer, I would like to have the option of using a lead-free lipstick because  I don’t need my makeup to add on to whatever harmful elements I’m already exposed to daily.  What’s more, manufacturing lead-free lipsticks is possible and it doesn’t cost more according to CSC.

One-third of the lipsticks tested had no detectable amount of lead, so lead-free lipstick is possible. And, the amounts of lead in the lipsticks tested didn’t correlate with the price of the product, so we know that manufacturing lipstick without lead doesn’t break the bank.

Additionally, you might also want to know we can no longer rely on brand names alone to determine the ingredients or if their lipsticks are safe as I’ve examined in my earlier post Not All Natural Lipsticks Are Lead-Free.


  1. tiff says:

    My question is: is the lead very harmful. Please do not E-mail but if posted on your website that would be great.

    tiff: If you ingest in great amounts over time. Some will say that we don’t eat lipstick or that the amount we lick is very little to do harm. Well, if you accumulate over the years, it can be quite a bit. Do a search over the Net and you should find out how lead is harmful.

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