An Update on Lead in Lipstick


A lot of you have been concerned about the claim that many lipsticks contain lead, a harmful neurotoxin. The more I researched the issue, the more torn I became. On the one hand, cosmetics would ideally be completely lead-free. On the other, we're all exposed to larger quantities of harmful chemicals in our day-to-day lives; and since people don't generally ingest lipstick except in trace amounts, I decided that the risk was reasonably small.

Now, the New York Times has weighed in, and the results will relieve those of you who have been worried: "Studies have found that lead in lipstick is not a cause for concern, but research is continuing." For now, I think it's safe to keep using lipstick—but if you really want to be on the safe side, try an all-natural brand such as Josie Maran or Sukicolor.

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