While you can probably find trace amounts of lead in the water you drink and the food you eat, when significant amounts of this naturally occurring element is ingested or absorbed through one's skin, it can pose a serious health risk -- meaning anyone who uses lipstick needs to check just how much lead it actually contains.
Even the FDA is Concerned
Over the years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received many reports of lipsticks allegedly containing unsafe levels of lead. Given these reports, the FDA has literally tested hundreds of lipsticks and other related products, including several lip-glosses.
As recently as December of last year, the FDA issued guidance to the cosmetic industry regarding recommended maximum levels of lead in cosmetics, including lipstick among others, such as eye shadows, blushes, body lotions and shampoos. Ultimately, the FDA set this max limit at 10 ppm of lead, as any amount less than this often cannot be measured using regular blood tests.
If you would like to see the FDA's lead assessment of several hundred different lipsticks currently on the market, we encourage you to visit the FDA site and review their test results.
Regardless of whether a particular cosmetic product falls under the 10-ppm lead limit, the sad reality is that many cosmetics still contain measureable amounts of lead ― and some actually contain more than 10 ppm of lead. Hopefully, cosmetic manufacturers will be more careful in the future when selecting their ingredients. After all, good manufacturing practices are the best way to keep their customers safe.