While the main concern behind many lipsticks was that several brands – popular brands too – contained shocking levels of the toxic heavy metal lead, it seems there may be more metals lurking in our lip balms, lip glosses and favorite lipsticks.
This is why I stick to only my all-natural lip balm! I use it WAY too much (several times a day) to be exposing myself to toxins at that level. I’d say I apply my lip balm about twenty times a day at LEAST.
This means that if I were applying a toxic mixture with heavy metals and other highly toxic chemicals to my lips this many times a day, I’d be both ingesting it through my mouth as well as absorbing it through my skin via the lips –a double whammy if you will of toxic absorption.
The typical metals that can be found in most brands tested include aluminum, which as you know is a huge concern in deodorants and antiperspirants as well, cadmium, chromium and about five other metals that registered at levels high enough to cause concern. Especially for the many women who are heavy users of these products.
These metals are often found in lipsticks, stains and glosses that are tinted so that they can retain their color longer, or have a better pigment. However, there are natural stains that can accomplish this just as well without exposing you to the same toxins.
While you do have to keep in mind that these metals are also found in nature and you come in contact with them through the foods you eat, it’s still important to remember that topically applying them is a little different. Ingesting them orally at least means that they go through the digestive process and are somewhat neutralized this way through the acids and processes.
However, when you apply something to your skin (your lips are skin too, and are actually more sensitive than the rest of your skin) it absorbs in full potency, and isn’t broken down as efficiently by the body. This is precisely why such high traces of metals, parabens and other toxins like phthalates and artificial fragrance constituents are found in such high levels in the urine and organs of women and men.
Women are a little more prone than most men to test higher because we are of course the bigger consumer of the health and beauty products that typically contain these types of contaminants.
Aluminum has been linked to a variety of health issues, including various types of cancer and alzheimers among other concerns. Chromium has been linked to stomach lesions and various types of bowel and stomach cancer. Lead is very toxic to the brain and organs, and is even more toxic to children since their bodies are still developing, so any of these types of products shouldn’t go anywhere near a child.
The best way to avoid these toxins is to buy all natural lip products. Preferably products with absolutely no preservatives, no artificial fragrances or flavors and labeled as not having any toxic metals and by-products as mentioned earlier. Typically this means shopping online or in a specialty health store for your products, but that’s better than the alternative, especially if you love using lip products.