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Lead and Lipstick: What's the Story?

Wondering whether it's safe to use lipstick? Unless you plan to eat it, the answer is "yes."

Concern about lead in cosmetics—especially lipstick—motivated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a new method for analyzing lead content in lipstick. When the agency tested several lipsticks, scientists found that lead levels were in a safe range for topical use.

As a result of its study, which was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, the FDA concluded that even when lipsticks contain lead the amount is so little that using them would not be harmful. But some lipsticks did contain more lead than would be allowed in candy.

The FDA is planning to test more lipsticks to be sure there's no cause for concern. You can find a list of the tested lipsticks at www.fda.gov/cosmetics