How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”

06:00 PM | 2 Mar, 2020
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”
How the Best Lipstick Brands Could Be “Not So Best”

LAHORE - About 99% of women in Pakistan don't give a damn about what lipsticks constitute. Researches show higher levels of some toxic metals present in some popular lipsticks could be the reason why women could be prone to cancer and other dysfunctional diseases of the human body.

A few weeks back, I was travelling from Lahore to Islamabad. While the train, heading calmly towards its destination, a vendor handed me over a magazine. Everybody asleep, my husband and little kids, I found a little while for myself. My reading malady urged me to turn over the pages of the magazine in my hand. I almost read all of it that I came across this little passage that caught my eye and struck my heart. The caption said, "Lipsticks and lip gloss-a poison kiss."

I read it all, and I was dumbstruck not because of the information that just dawned on me; it was those ignorant years I spent wearing the product never for a moment thinking of researching about. Let me share with you the reality of what you call the best lipstick brands.

How Could Lipsticks Prove Health Hazardous?

Lipstick, one of the essential elements in a woman’s vanity kit, and undoubtedly the most used of all is something loaded with poisonous metals. The metals, clearly not a human body requisite, could easily dissolve into the bloodstream, posing a higher risk to women wearing makeup for long hours.

5 Toxic Metals You Might Be Eating Everyday

Women and young girls named the best lipstick brands and the best lipstick colours they often use in the research conducted by the University of California. After conducting Spectrometry tests, researchers found nine toxic metals out of a sample of 32 products comprising eight lipsticks and 24 lip glosses. The study also revealed women who wear lipstick and apply it 2 to 14 times a day are consuming as much as 87 milligrams of the product a day.


Many of us do not know the presence of the ill-famed metal ‘lead’ in lipsticks. The intake of which may have adverse effects on the nervous system, including brain damage. It may also cause infertility. Even administering small doses of lead is dangerous and is known to be a neurotoxin and hormone disruptor.

But how are we supposed to know after all? No lipstick brand lists lead as an ingredient. Though the amounts are small, its tendency of ingestion and absorption through the skin, raise concerns regarding the safety of a cosmetic product so wildly popular among women and teenage girls.


Researchers worldwide agree to the fact that chromium is a known human carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer in living human body tissues. It has the potential to cause lung cancer and stomach tumours through inhalation or swallowing.


As a trace mineral, manganese is an essential nutrient for the human body in small amounts. It helps in the normal functioning of the brain, nervous system, and other enzyme systems of the body. However, exposure to excessive levels of manganese can cause tremors and other neurological disorders resembling Parkinson's disease.


Excessive levels of Aluminium in the human body can cause Alzheimer's disease. Using the same lipstick colour and lip gloss over a while can raise the amounts of aluminium and manganese to dangerous levels among women.


Cadmium, another known carcinogen, can cause lung cancer and may harm the respiratory system when inhaled. Cadmium can increase the risk of renal failure when taken in high amounts.

Cancer Does Not Suddenly Develop

By now, you must have had an idea of how you could be prone to cancer at some point in your life.

There is a majority of women who wear lipstick most of the time, even while eating out, including me. Some also do not mind going to sleep with it still put on. That is how the poisonous metals are ingested accidentally long after application exceeding the daily intake. As a result, women consume more than 20 percent of their accepted daily intake limits, which accumulate in the body over time and cause toxicity. Formaldehyde and parabens are known carcinogens used as preservatives in lipsticks.

To the irony, dismay, or surprise, whatever you may call, the best lipstick brands, and that is what we grew up thinking, have been found with the highest levels of lead. You may Google them and will be surprised to know how popular lipstick brands have deceived us over the years.

I am surprised they claim to be cruelty-free but, in reality, are not.

How to Find Safe Lipsticks

Always look for non-toxic lipstick ingredients such as:

  • Organic waxes, oils and plant butter
  • Organic castor seed oil
  • Safer antioxidants and preservatives, such as rosemary extract, elderberry extract, neem oil, vitamin E, and organic jojoba oil.

There is also a huge list of non-toxic lipstick brands out there that you may easily find on the internet.

A Note for Pregnant Woman

Dr Ken Spaeth, director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center, N.Y., says, "pregnant women should be cautious as they are at a greater risk of the metals present in the lipsticks with a tendency to cause neurological and cognitive problems for the developing fetus." He also says, "young girls should avoid using such products as their brains and organs are still developing."

During my research on this topic, I found women in Pakistan only search for the best lipstick colour and brands. There was zero search volume for safe and healthy lip products in Pakistan. Is this lack of concern or knowledge? I don't know, but that became the reason and motivation behind penning down this article. To me, this is the right time to educate women in Pakistan. Unfortunately, It has never been an issue, nor did it to me until now. But yes, I do remember my mother saying in my early teens, "don't use those lip colours, they will darken and ruin the colour of your lips" now I realize she was right, they not only ruin the colour but health as well if not chosen wisely.

How much we know about the risks, though, we will continue the inescapable makeup ritual for the rest of our lives. So choose safer and be safer. Say bye-bye to the supposedly best lipstick brands and try out products that are more natural and organic. Do share if you know some reliable and tested chemical-free makeup brands and do comment to let me know your thoughts on today’s read.