Beauty DIY: Do the lipstick lead test

We’ve all heard it: Our lipstick may contain lead. And lead may cause cancer. In fact, lead is a known neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ, reduced school performance and increased aggression. Here’s an excerpt from

In October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks at an independent lab for lead content. The results: 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with levels ranging up to 0.65 parts per million. Lead-contaminated brands included L’Oreal, Cover Girl and even a $24 tube of Dior Addict.

In 2009 the FDA released a follow-up study that found lead in all samples of lipstick it tested, at levels ranging from 0.09 to 3.06 ppm – levels four times higher than the levels found in the Campaign study. FDA found the highest lead levels in lipsticks made by three manufacturers: Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), L’Oreal (L’Oreal, Body Shop and Maybelline brands) and Revlon.

Scary, right? Did you know that there’s no safe level of lead exposure? Lead builds up in your body over time. And lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.

So, how will you know if your lipstick has lead? Simple! Do the lipstick lead test–all you need is a gold ring (14k and above)!

How to do it? Swatch your lipstick at the back of your hand in two rows. Rub one row with your gold ring and wait for it to turn dark, change color, or turn light. The other row is just there for your reference. The darker the rubbed row becomes, the more lead content it has!

Surprisingly even this brand of organic lipstick has lead!

Are you curious which other brands may contain lead? See more after the jump!

I know you’re itching to test your lippies. Bring them out and start testing them today!

Keep safe, everyone. Happy Friday!


5 responses to “Beauty DIY: Do the lipstick lead test”

  1. Pat Avatar

    Sounds a little scary, knowing lipsticks have lead. How about other makeup like foundations or eye makeup?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      A 2011 report found that heavy metals are all-too common in some make-up. In fact, eyeliner and concealers contain cadmium, powders and blushers are not nickel-free, beryllium is found in bronzes and eye-shadow and mascara and foundations even include arsenic.
      So better switch to organic or mineral makeup brands. 😉

  2. Wendy Rose Santillan Avatar

    oh no! but how come some don’t have lead in them?

  3. doseofrain Avatar

    is there any other way on testing leads on lipstick ms jirbie?

  4. Kessie Clay Avatar
    Kessie Clay

    Really informative post, thank you!
    I shared this article on DIY best posts.

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