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Should You Be Concerned About Lead in Lipsticks?

November 08, 2007 | 47,881 views

Personal care products are a $50-billion industry in the United States, yet the U.S. government doesn't require any mandatory testing for these products before they hit store shelves.

What this means is that women who apply lipstick several times a day could easily be ingesting high amounts of lead over the course of their lifetime, along with any number of other unknown chemical additives.

In fact, women who use make-up on a daily basis can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into their bodies each year.

And reviewing the label won’t help. None of the lipsticks tested by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics listed lead in their ingredient list.

What Kinds of Chemicals are in Your Personal Care Products?

Plenty. Even though the government doesn’t require any testing, independent organizations have found the following dangerous chemicals in your shampoo, mascara, perfume, lotion, and other personal care products:
  • Paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Phthalates, plasticizing ingredients (present in nearly three-quarters of 72 products tested by the Environmental Working Group), which have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
  • Musks, used as fragrances, can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and cancer in laboratory studies.
  • Artificial fragrances, which are among the top five known allergens, and can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.
Healthy Cosmetics ARE Out There

When it comes to personal care products, I like to use the rule: if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your body.

That said, there are many natural personal care products out there, not only in health food stores (although you still have to search through natural store offerings to find the purest items they carry), but in your own kitchen.

Coconut oil, for instance, makes a great moisturizer for your skin, and you can use olive oil to deep condition your hair. As for deodorant or antiperspirant, I recommend ditching the commercial varieties and using plain soap and water to keep your underarms clean -- it works, and you don’t have to worry about absorbing any chemicals.

I know many people are loyal to their favorite brands of toiletries, but I urge you to check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep report. It allows you to enter the products you use, then see what chemicals they contain, and the impacts they can have on your health. It can be very eye-opening, and give you just the motivation you need to switch over to safe personal care products for you and your family.

Additionally, I am proud to report that my team has been researching this topic extensively this year and we are getting very close to launching one of the best skin care product lines out there. It is truly effective, has absolutely no synthetic ingredients, and is packaged in brown glass bottles.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Personal care products are a $50-billion industry in the United States, yet the U.S. government doesn't require any mandatory testing for these products before they hit store shelves.

What this means is that women who apply lipstick several times a day could easily be ingesting high amounts of lead over the course of their lifetime, along with any number of other unknown chemical additives.

In fact, women who use make-up on a daily basis can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into their bodies each year.

And reviewing the label won’t help. None of the lipsticks tested by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics listed lead in their ingredient list.

What Kinds of Chemicals are in Your Personal Care Products?

Plenty. Even though the government doesn’t require any testing, independent organizations have found the following dangerous chemicals in your shampoo, mascara, perfume, lotion, and other personal care products:
  • Paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Phthalates, plasticizing ingredients (present in nearly three-quarters of 72 products tested by the Environmental Working Group), which have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
  • Musks, used as fragrances, can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and cancer in laboratory studies.
  • Artificial fragrances, which are among the top five known allergens, and can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.
Healthy Cosmetics ARE Out There

When it comes to personal care products, I like to use the rule: if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your body.

That said, there are many natural personal care products out there, not only in health food stores (although you still have to search through natural store offerings to find the purest items they carry), but in your own kitchen.

Coconut oil, for instance, makes a great moisturizer for your skin, and you can use olive oil to deep condition your hair. As for deodorant or antiperspirant, I recommend ditching the commercial varieties and using plain soap and water to keep your underarms clean -- it works, and you don’t have to worry about absorbing any chemicals.

I know many people are loyal to their favorite brands of toiletries, but I urge you to check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep report. It allows you to enter the products you use, then see what chemicals they contain, and the impacts they can have on your health. It can be very eye-opening, and give you just the motivation you need to switch over to safe personal care products for you and your family.

Additionally, I am proud to report that my team has been researching this topic extensively this year and we are getting very close to launching one of the best skin care product lines out there. It is truly effective, has absolutely no synthetic ingredients, and is packaged in brown glass bottles.

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