Imagine rubbing well known carcinogens on your lips such as cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and chromium. If you’re using commercial lip gloss, then that’s exactly what you’re doing. It’s a little hard to believe with all of the FDA rules and regulations such as the Delaney Clause (the law that prohibits the sale of known carcinogens in foods and medicine), but what if I told you that ingredients in cosmetics don’t have to be approved by the FDA! Other than color additives, this statement is true. As the FDA’s website states “The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, except for color additives, to be approved by FDA before they go on the market.”
This is something that large cosmetic companies are taking advantage of. According to the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), some commercial lip balms use propylparaben and methylparaben. These are two organic compounds that can cause hormonal and reproductive harm, along with skin cancer. The University of California Berkeley also found aluminum, manganase, and titanium in 32 different types of lipstick, all metals that are linked to brain damage. Not only that, but 75% of the lipsticks they tested contained lead. Granted, cosmetic companies are required to make sure that the carcinogen levels in their products aren’t lethal by following toxicity guidelines. However, some bodies react differently to those chemicals then others; do you really want to take that risk?
There are some ingredients, such as coloring agents, that must be approved by the FDA, but the FDA isn’t perfect. In 2007, a British study concluded that children who consumed a mixture of synthetic dyes became hyperactive within an hour. Many children have bodies that are slightly sensitive to synthetic dyes, and some bodies are very sensitive. Also, chemicals found in synthetic dyes such as benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl have been linked to cancer.
When you make your own lip gloss, you’re not neglecting and risking your health. Instead, you become an aware consumer, because you know exactly what your gloss is made of! There is no reason you need to risk the safety of your body to look beautiful, so don’t take the chance.