Lipstick Ingredients: 5 Harmful Chemicals to Avoid

Ever wonder whether your beauty products are actually safe to use?

Makeup—as much as you love it—are not always friendly to the skin. Some of our favourite cosmetics contain harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients that are linked to adverse health impacts after long-term use.

The same holds true for the seemingly innocent lipstick. Studies show that about 61% of conventional lipsticks have lead content and those who apply it 2-3 times daily can ingest a considerable amount of contaminants, including lead.

Because there’s little to no regulation in the beauty industry, we are left to figure out which products are safe to use. Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients you should avoid when you’re shopping for a new, bold, red lipstick.

5 Lipstick Ingredients to Avoid

Lipstick Ingredients: 5 Harmful Chemicals to Avoid

1. Parabens

Paraben is a chemical used as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. Its structure is similar to estrogen and is known to increase the risks of breast cancer, even in small amounts. If you find a lipstick with ingredients that list paraben as a suffix (e.g. Benzylparaben, Propylparaben, etc.), do not buy it.

2. Petroleum and Other Petroleum-Based Products

Many lip products use petroleum as their base. While it locks in moisture in the lips and prevents the product from forming clumps, it may also clog the pores, which may result in an unhealthy buildup on the skin. It may also cause premature ageing and increase the risks of cancer.

3. Lead

Lead is a heavy metal and a byproduct of some lipstick ingredients during the manufacturing process. It doesn’t show up on the ingredient list yet it is found in a wide range of lipsticks, both affordable and high-end. Long-term and high levels of exposure to lead can result in a host of health problems such as brain damage, infertility, miscarriages, and seizures. It’s also possibly carcinogenic, too.

4. Artificial Fragrances

Fragrances in lipstick are not regulated, which means manufacturers are not required to reveal what they use. Although it’s not a necessary ingredient, it’s welcome to break the unpleasant smell of lipstick. It may, however, cause a few problems such as hormone disruption, skin rashes, and migraines.

5. Synthetic Dyes

Without dyes, there would be no diversity in our lipstick colours. However, many of the commercially available lipsticks use synthetic dyes that are derived from petroleum-based products. They not only cause increased sensitivity and irritation but are also absorbed into your body where they accumulate and cause even greater damage in the long run.

Why You Should Avoid Toxic Lipstick Ingredients

For the longest time, the cosmetics industry has argued that toxic substances in lipsticks are not a source of concern because the dose per application is low. But, what’s being ignored is the issue of long-term exposure.

Chemicals like lead build up in the body over time. So, while some harmful ingredients may seem insignificant at first, cumulative exposure to them may end up in bad results.

When buying products that make you look and feel good, it’s better to avoid ingredients that can do lasting damage. Your best bet is to find a lipstick that is safe for you and the environment.

What are your thoughts about these toxic ingredients found in lipsticks?