If LOOKS could Kill….?



For a long time – since the dawn of make up (possibly), Lip gloss and Lipstick have been the staple item in our make-up bags and hang bags. Carried around 24/7 for the those quick fix top ups, when we need to perk up our flagging faces and create some much needed glamour. So it was with alarmed concern, when I came across a news article  talking about the dangers of the chemicals used in these products and possible links to stomach cancer.

Apparently, worrying levels of toxic metals linked to stomach cancer and nerve damage have been found in lipsticks and lip gloss. Chromium, lead, cadmium, aluminium and five other metals were discovered in tests on 32 brands in the US.

The levels of lead, were found to be safe, but researchers have expressed concern for young children who sometimes play with ‘mums’ make-up.

However the levels of cadmium, chromium and lead have been deemed unacceptable by the European Union who feel these ingredients are risky at best in any quantity when used in cosmetic products.

Before you all go and bin your lipsticks and lip glosses, study leader Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences at the University of California, says ‘ Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter. Some of the toxic metals are  occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term’.

Lipstick and lip gloss are the main items of worry because they can be ingested or absorbed by the wearer.

On average, lipstick users were said to ingest up to 24mg each day – but those who regularly reapply could be ingesting up to 87mg.

Based upon these findings, it has been established that a larger, more thorough survey of lipstick and cosmetics in general is warranted. The findings on this issue were published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

So a final thought… It might well be worth investigating what actually goes into the products/brands you buy – lipstick or otherwise.

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