Lipstick, To Die For?

Have you ever found a lipstick that was to die for? Did you ever wonder, as it rubbed off on your morning apple, if its ingredients were as nutritious as your breakfast? After reading this New York Magazine tid bit, I began to wonder, are women unknowingly killing themselves for beauty?

LVHM (owner of a long list of beauty companies including Givenchy, Dior, Donna Karen, Benefit, and Guerlain) is currently being sued by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. LVHM is not the only company with toxic ingredients. Sixty-one percent of lipsticks tested exceeded the legally acceptable amount of lead content. LVHM is taking the fall for all of the offenders because their Dior Addict Positive Red Lipstick tested over twice the legal limit for lead content. (To their credit LVHM does a remarkable amount of environmental and social stewardship.)

But let's get real, Lead!?! Are we not past the point in history where lead is still used in well, anything? Here is a list (an 11 page, double-columned list) of beauty companies who, by signing the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, feel we are as society beyond poisoning women through makeup and beauty products.

Personally, I am an organic fanatic but if there is a product that erases wrinkles or makes me look stunning, I will use it - toxic or not. My point is that women, while we may never unilaterally chose health over beauty, should be able to make that decision knowingly. Plenty of educated successful women chose to put toxins in their body on a daily basis, but these are informed choices. Smoking is bad for you, but some days for some people it's what they chose to do. Nowhere on any lipstick I have ever purchased does it say "Contains enough lead to sink a ship."

So what's a girl to do? First, make use of this database of 25,000 beauty products. If you search for your favorite product it will tell you on a scale from 1 to 10 exactly how toxic, carcinogenic, or legally restricted its ingredients are. 10 is the worst rating. L'Oreal's Hydra-Renewal Daily Dry Skin Cream earned this distinction. Intriguingly, not all of the healthiest products are from typically eco-friendly companies. Estee Lauder's Dew Dusting Powder earned an honorable rating of two.

Second, I have added The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and The Database for Safe Cosmetics to the "Links I Love" feature on the side bar. Finally, from now on I will do my best to let you know the ratings of all the products I review. It will be an effort, but in the words of one toxin embroiled brand, You're Worth It.

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