by Aira Krystel Pamintuan
Flirty Fuchsia. Ravish Me Red. Kissable Pink. With so many shades to choose from, it’s no wonder that lipstick has become an essential part of any make-up kit. Women apply lipstick to feel sexy and confident, but what many don’t realize is that lipstick goes beyond the applying — it can be absorbed by the skin and even ingested while eating or drinking.
With all the questionable ingredients found in today’s average lipstick, perhaps finding that perfect shade of red should be the least of one’s concern.
Keep reading to know why lipstick can be harmful, and learn how to choose a safer, non-toxic lipstick to keep your lips naturally beautiful and smooch-friendly.
The Poison Stick Inside Your Purse
You might not suspect it, but that “killer red” lipstick sitting in your purse might actually be living up to its name.
Here are some of the toxic chemicals you may be slathering onto your lips:
Lead – one of the main ingredients used by cosmetic companies to make lipstick appear red and stay on the lips longer. You’ve probably heard about people avoiding lead paint, but it’s much worse to rub it on your lips, especially every morning! Lead is extremely harmful if ingested, and the long-term buildup of lead in the body is notorious for causing brain damage, kidney damage, anemia and cancer.
Parabens – used as a synthetic preservative for prolonging shelf life. When checking the label on your lipstick, beware of long words like methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben. These chemicals are known to wreak havoc on the body’s hormones.
Propylene glycol – commonly used to prevent lipstick from drying out. It is also the same ingredient used to make anti-freeze. Propylene glycol is a known skin irritant that can cause dermatitis at levels as low as 2%.
Synthetic colorants – used to give lipstick its specific shade. Some types of colorants used are lake colors, which are toxic coloring agents derived from barium potassium, strontium and aluminium. Other colorants frequently used are FD & C colors, which are derived from coal tar or petroleum. Stay far away from any lipstick containing these carcinogenic chemicals – they can cause skin irritation, nausea and nervous system damage!
Oxybenzone – ingredient used in some lipstick as sunblock protection. It has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage.
Heavy metals – a recent study has revealed that aside from lead, other toxic heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, manganese and aluminum are present in the average lipstick. Heavy metals can accumulate in your body over time, ending in serious health consequences.
How to Choose a Natural Lipstick
Protect that pout by choosing a lipstick that’s free from synthetic ingredients and other toxins, but still provides the color coverage you need along with protective and moisturizing benefits.
Look for these lip-friendly ingredients when choosing a lipstick:
- Plant-based emollients: shea butter, avocado, cocoa butter or aloe vera.
- Moisturizing botanical oils: jojoba oil, castor oil, or sunflower oil.
- Natural preservatives: vitamin E, vitamin C, tea tree oil, neem oil or cinnamon.
- Natural fragrances: vanilla extract or peppermint extract.
- Natural mineral-based pigments: titanium dioxide, iron oxide, or mica.
- Natural wax ingredients: carnauba, candelilla or beeswax.
Don’t Be Tricked by Fake Organic Labels
Always beware of lip products and other cosmetics that claim to be organic, but actually contain a long alarming list of hazardous and carcinogenic ingredients. These non-organic cosmetic brands will put up an organic façade so they can get away with charging premium prices.
False organic labeling is deceptive and unethical. As a consumer, you have the right to know what you put on your skin. Protect yourself by finding out which ingredients are actually organic, and which aren’t. Being misled will cost you more than money, it’ll cost you your health!
F&F’s Recommendation for a Healthier, Safe-to-Kiss Pout
Switch to the all-natural swatch with COLOURSTICK! It’s packed with natural lip-quenching and anti-aging ingredients like jojoba oil, avocado oil, shea butter and vitamin E. With the added boost of collagen and hyalauronic acid, this lipstick can plump, nourish and soften your lips while giving them a naturally vibrant pop of color. And best of all, it’s entirely free from damaging and toxic chemicals.
COLOURSTICK, the lip lacquer like no other!
Choose natural every time. Your lips will thank you for it!
Axe, Josh. “Is Your Lipstick Toxic?” Dr. Axe. n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2015 <http://draxe.com/is-your-lipstick-toxic/>
Clendaniel, Morgan. “Don’t Look Now, But There is Poison in Your Lipstick.” Co.Exist. 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 9 Oct. 2015 <www.fastcoexist.com/1679284/dont-look-now-but-there-is-poison-in-your-lipstick>
Simmons, Jaime. “What’s In That Lipstick?” Greenopedia. n.d.Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://greenopedia.com/whats-in-lipstick/>