Is Lead In Lipstick a Health Hazard?

Most posts on this (newer) blog are about direct sales, card campaigns and video emails to help promote your direct sales business, and other out of the box direct sales marketing ideas. However, I’ll be saying goodbye to my skin care blog soon and would love to save some of the better and more popular posts, so one by one I’ll be putting them up on this blog because hey—- my main direct sales business IS all about skin care! And some of you are subscribing to my list not because you’re a direct seller but because perhaps you’re interested in skin care tips. (I post them at my fan page and on twitter with the hashtag #freeskincarehelp).

Whether you’re a skin care lover or a direct sales marketing lover, you’re welcome at this blog. So without further ado, here’s one of my past skin care posts.

I was just thinking about this post this morning– I was at a playdate and there was a kid’s nail polish there and the kid’s mom said “oh gosh, there’s probably lead in it.”
Remember the big flap about recalling Chinese toys with lead in them? Have you seen the disclosure requirements on homes that might have a little lead in old layers of paint on the walls? What about plastic mini blinds which may contain lead? Some reports indicate that this same lead is lurking in our lipsticks. That’s right! Something we smear right on our lips. Today, we will take a look at the history of these reports and wade through what is true and false about lead in lipsticks.
In May of 2003, first reports of lipsticks with lead began to circulate widely via email. According to that first frightening email, not only was lead in our lipsticks but “…lead is a chemical which causes cancer.”  Then the email went on to claim you could test lipsticks for the presence of lead by using gold or silver rings to scrape through the lipstick. If it turned the lipstick black, it was supposed to contain lead. Let’s look at these three issues:
True: Claims of trace amounts of lead in lipstick have been proven true in a variety of research settings. According to, “In October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks at an independent lab for lead content. The results: 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with levels ranging up to 0.65 parts per million.”
In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration released a follow-up study which found lead in all brands of lipstick they tested with the quantity ranging from 0.09 to 3.06 ppm.” These are much higher levels than those found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
According to Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., Dermatilogist, Mayo Clinic, “FDA regulations for approved color additives allow trace levels of heavy metals, including lead. ..Meantime, there is no recommendation from the FDA that restricts the use of lipsticks because of lead.”
False: It has not been proven that lead causes cancer.
But, lead has other well-known risks. According to Dr. Sean Palfrey, a professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University and the medical director of Boston’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, “Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ, reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, because lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain where it can interfere with normal development.”
Ladies, don’t we all kiss our spouse and child(ren)every day with our pretty red lips?
Ring Test?
False: The gold or silver ring test the email advocates is not an accurate test. According to Barbara Mikkelson of, “The streaks that supposedly herald the presence of lead in one’s lipstick are in reality dark marks produced by the testing agents themselves. Gold, silver, copper, and pewter leave these trails no matter what they’re rubbed against, in the same way that pencils make marks on whatever surfaces they are trailed along.”
Are you interested in knowing which lipstick I use and promote?  Lead free!  Email me!
Snopes; “Easily Lead”, Barbara Mikkelson, November 2008


Mayo Clinic; “Is it true that lipstick contains lead?”; Dr. Lawrence E Gibson, M.D.; June 2009; “What’s in Your Products?: Lead in Lipstick”; 2009


Aside from parenting special needs twins, Heather Price represents three direct sales and network marketing companies. She started with a popular skin care/ cosmetics company in 2000, and added the greeting card and video email companies in 2008 and 2012 specifically to encourage other direct sales professionals to use out of the box tools to promote their businesses. Heather enjoys selling the products and building teams with these companies. Do you need extra income? You can find out more from the “work with Heather” pull down menu at In 2012 she added social media services to her portfolio. For a limited number of clients, she tweets, pins, posts, connects, curates content, uploads videos, and generally explodes the social media presence of small businesses. Heather’s businesses can be found at , , and . To ask Heather about her social media services, simply email her at

Leave a reply