Eat Your Lipstick

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It’s been said that the average woman ingests four to nine pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. Just pay attention to how many times you taste what’s on your lips in one 24-hour period and you’ll realize that those numbers may actually be accurate.

So what exactly are you ingesting when you accidentally eat your lipstick?

Here are the ingredients found in the 2010 Allure Readers’ Choice Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Softsilver Rose.

Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Ozokerite, Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, C10 30 Cholesterol/Lanesterol Esters, Bis Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate 2, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax) (Microcrystalline Wax), Synthetic Wax, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Serica Poudre de Soie (Silk Powder), Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2 Hexanediol, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163) (CI 77163), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake (CI 15985) (CI 15985), Blue 1 (CI 42090) (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (CI 15850), Carmine (CI 75470) (CI 75470)

That’s a grand total of 34 practically indecipherable ingredients. Can you guess where the last ingredient on that list–carmine–comes from? Would you believe it comes from crushed up beetles? Apparently they give off a really nice red color after they’re boiled in water. Gross, huh?

Not to mention that the FDA recently tested 22 brands of lipstick and found lead in every single one of them.

Maybe you don’t wear lipstick that often so you figure you’re okay. Maybe you just wear lip balm or chapstick to keep your lips from getting too dry. But have you ever stopped to examine the ingredients list on a tube of ChapStick? Here’s what you would find if you did:

Arachidyl propionate, camphor, carnauba wax, cetyl alcohol, D&C red no. 6 barium lake, FD&C yellow no. 5 aluminum lake, fragrance, isopropyl lanolate, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, light mineral oil, methylparaben, octyldodecanol, oleyl alcohol, paraffin, phenyl trimethicone, propylparaben, titanium dioxide, white wax

Let’s take a closer look at just the bolded ingredients above:

  • Camphor: Used as an embalming fluid.
  • Carnauba Wax: Used in automobile waxes, shoe polishes, floor and furniture waxes. It’s the main ingredient in surfboard wax
  • Lanolin: A substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Baseball players use it to break in their gloves and musicians use it to lubricate their instruments.
  • Methylparaben: Studies indicate that when this is applied to the skin it may react with UVB and lead to increased skin aging and DNA damage.
  • Oleyl alcohol: Comes from inedible beef fat.
  • Titanium dioxide: Used to mark the white lines on tennis courts and to coat the exteriors of some rockets.

Whether you use lipstick, balm or gloss, it’s probably wise to break the addiction to anything but an all-natural one. If you need more reasons to make the switch, visit Lip Balm Anonymous and read the section Is Balm Addictive?


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