What is your lipstick really made out of?


The women (and now, men) all love the use of makeup, especially the lipstick. Not to fool anyone, mind you, but to improve the overall complexion and accentuate the unique lip features in a good way (having a complete and clear complexion while leading a stressful life is near impossible). Keep in mind though, why you’ve been putting on your lips may contain some harsh stuff, or as the FDA puts it: moderate to severe ingredients. Read on.

Our humble tube of lipstick and contains more than a dozen of ingredient, and they blend in secret formula for intended purposes – you know, hydrating, matte effect, vibrant color, lips plumping, and so forth though generally speaking, all lipsticks contain the four major ingredients: oil, wax, pigments and/or dyes to make up the color.

Keep in mind, the tongue-twisting names of the ingredients are to be treated with caution (as it’s quite impossible to avoid them altogether, unless in organic stuff, particularly homemade ones) as studies have indicated that exposure to the listed ingredients indicated negative health effects and not as the whole product that contain some of it, hence the actual reaction is very much based on the amount of exposure, as well as your own susceptibility.

So what are the ingredients that you need to be aware of?

Methylparaben – one of the parabens used in many makeup and skin care products as a preservative. Unlike in the States, the compound is restricted in the Europe because of studies indicating the stuff to be a potential carcinogen and may inhibit the endocrine system. In fact, methylparaben is considered to be “high hazard” in The Cosmetics Database. The same also applies to other kinds of parabens such as ethylparaben, propylparaben (though labeled as moderate in hazard levels).

Though retinyl palmitate is derived from vitamin A, it’s still considered as a moderate hazard in the Cosmetic Database, with toxicity concern is especially applicable to pregnant women, with the effects range from overall health problems, cancer diseases, and reproductive effects.

The same also applied with tocopheryl acetate, derived from vitamin E (the keyword here is tocopherols) and it’s used commonly in skin care and makeup products, particularly for their nourishing effect. Still, the Database considers it to be moderate hazard, with the effects ranging from itching and burning of the skin, and can be potentially toxic.

And of course, the colors that are used to make up the lipsticks (what kind of lipstick that are transparent, unless it’s a lip balm?) such as D&C Red 36 and D&C Red 22 Aluminum Lake have raised some notable concerns as they’re linked to a number of nerve-related damages from the exposure.

Rest assured, this piece is not intended to scare you, just for an extra dose of information so you’ll know what exactly you’ll be putting on the lips (or other areas of your face, really).

About the author /