How much lead is in your lipstick?


SARASOTA – For many women, their morning routine includes putting on makeup, but do you really know what’s in those products?

Every day, millions of women put toxic lead on their lips with every swipe of their lipstick. “It’s quite alarming actually,” says Michele Schlossberg, Co-Owner of PAINT Nail Bar along with Mark Schlossberg.

A 2007 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics study called A Poison Kiss found 61% of lipsticks contain lead, but the FDA didn’t do a follow-up study until 2009, finding lead levels were four times higher than the Campaign study.

Michele Schlossberg says it’s disturbing chemicals are allowed in beauty products, when they’re not allowed in our homes.

“You have to disclose if you’re buying a house there could potentially be lead in there, so why is it OK that we can educate people that there’s no lead on the walls, but then we can have it in our lipstick which is on our face,” says Schlossberg.

And it goes deeper than the surface.

“Anything that’s put on your skin and your lips, it’s absorbed in the bloodstream,” says Schlossberg. “You wouldn’t necessarily eat food if you knew that there was something that was really, really harming your body, and that’s what parabens do.”

Chemicals companies used before they knew their impact, but why not change the formula now?

“Probably just more out of fear-base that something’s gonna change, and I think it’s just that it’s been in there for years and for whatever reason they’re not willing to change that,” Schlossberg speculates.

The good news? You can change your products.

“There’s an app called Think Dirty,” says Schlossberg. “You can enter in the brand of lipstick so let’s say for example you’re using a brand and you don’t know if there’s lead levels in there and then unfortunately if it does I would dispose of it.”

Schlossberg says it can be overwhelming to start over, so start small. “OK I’m not gonna have lipsticks with lead in it and I’m not gonna have any sort of facial or body products with lead in it and just start there.”

Some products that are healthier to use are Zoya or Smith and Cult, both sold at PAINT.


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