by Marj Melchiors
One woman can ingest up to 4 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime. Synthetic dyes derived
from aluminum (“Lakes colors”) and coal tar can be absorbed into our bodies and stored in our organs and fatty tissues.
For the sensitive individual, the use of coal tar colors is said to cause such symptoms as nausea, headaches, skin problems, fatigue, mood swings, or other allergic symptoms.
Coal tar dyes have produced cancer in laboratory animals.
Certain types of artificial dyes, lanolin, and added fragrances in lipstick can cause drying and cracking of the lips. A condition called cheilitis, dermatitis of the lips, can occur due to an allergic reaction to lip products since the skin of the lips is quite thin. Some believe
that BHA, a commonly used preservative in lipsticks, is carcinogenic and should be avoided.
The cosmetic industry will not tell you that some of the ingredients used in its products are health hazards. But this is no reason to be uninformed. No one wants to be at risk for allergic reactions, irritations, dermatitis, and cancer. Products from lipsticks are going to be absorbed into your body as you moisten your lips throughout the day, and especially when you eat. Let’s face the facts, you are basically eating your lipstick! The bottom line is to pay attention to what the ingredients are on any cosmetic label. Buy those of a natural origin. The following is a partial listing of common ingredients you will see on lipstick labels, and just what this ingredient is:
Beeswax-derived from the honeycomb of bees, this ingredient is safe.
Candelilla wax-obtained from the candelilla plant and used in lipsticks for body. Non-toxic.
Carmine-derived from the shell of the female cochineal insect (beetle). Used to produce a red coloring. Can cause allergic reactions.
FD & C colorings-derived from coal tar (petroleum). Some colors are believed to be carcinogenic.
Iron Oxides-iron combined with oxygen used for colorings. Non-toxic.
“Lakes” colors- derived from aluminum, barium potassium, strontium. Not safe.
Lanolin-a product from the oil glands of sheep. Can cause allergic reactions, and can be harmful to ingest if full of pesticide residue.
Petrolatum-derived from petroleum, this ingredient can cause allergic reactions and ironically can actually dry out the lips, requiring the user to apply even more lipstick.
Copyright © 1999 Marj Melchiors, Cosmetics Without Synthetics, Inc.