We Eat How Many Pounds of Lipstick a Year?!?

red lipstick model
Red alert! Is she in danger?
I hate lipstick. Sorry! I do. Not on you, though, I hate it on me. Thin lips are the genetic legacy that is my lifelong plight, so I've never been one to draw attention to my least favorite feature with lipsticks or glosses. Well now, turns out, the day is mine.

Do you know what's in your lipstick? I hope so because otherwise you're in for a pretty grotesque shock when I let you in on the secret ingredients. Let alone how much of it we swallow each year!

Everything from crushed insects (for real! Like, they're not a mistake and fell in the mix, they're an integral part of the mix) to known carcinogens to lead is found in almost every lipstick on the market in the whole world which you've used your entire life which is on your face right now oh my god you're going to die.

Long live the thin-lipped!


Maybe not today, but you're def going to die someday. Might as well be from lipstick, though, am I wrong? The kind folks at Beautylish pointed out that the red in most lipsticks is extracted from cochineal, which are sessile parasites that produce carminic acid. The acid is mixed with salts to get carmine dye, which is used in lipsticks, clothes, and sometimes food stuffs.

So the insect dye isn't dangerous, just kinda weird to think about. But what is dangerous is that lead is still used in lipsticks and glosses. It's been banned in paint since the '70s, but an FDA study in 2009 found traces of lead in each of the 20 lipsticks they tested. Yikes! Lead is good for no one.

And if you're thinking, well, it's not like I'm eating sticks of the stuff at a time like some of my nephews have done: Think again. It's estimated that we eat five pounds of lipstick a year and that 60 percent of whatever we put on our skin (be it lipstick, Sharpie, face cream, soaps, etc.) is capable of being absorbed into our bodies.

I live an embarrassingly unhealthy lifestyle so, as you can see, I'm getting on my high horse on this one since I've never used lipstick and wouldn't come close to the stuff. My avoidance of course had nothing to do with the lipstick health concerns, but hey, if this is one thing I've done right for my body, I'll take it.

Everything is fine in moderation (says this decidedly non-medical professional), so enjoy your lipstick and eat it, too. More importantly, who's excited for the resultant smoky eye trend? Woo!

What do you think of lipstick?

Photo via Shandi-lee/Flickr

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