Lipstick ingredients: What You Need To Know

Lipsticks Ingredients

Lipsticks Ingredients

Many of the ingredients in lipsticks aren't so nice. Heavy metals such as lead and chromium are used to make long-lasting lip colors. Other less well-known nasties are shark liver oil (squalene) and fish scales (guanine).

There are many harmful products out there, especially if you shop online or buy lipstick from an unknown (imported) source. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported in 2014 that up to a third of injuries reported to them were cosmetic-related. Rashes on the lips can be caused by products, including lipstick, according to a study in Dermatitis.

In addition to being absorbed through your skin, lipstick is also ingested through your mouth. Due to these reasons, it is important to use a lipstick that is as safe as possible. What are the health benefits of the formulations? This is even better.

Does anyone make sure your makeup is completely safe? Actually, no...

It is partly due to regulatory differences from country to country that hazardous chemicals are still present in makeup - and these laws take time and pressure to change. It is even more confusing that lipsticks purchased on Australian shelves and online may not be subject to Australian laws. Below is a list of regulating bodies in various countries:

Bodies that regulate

  • The Australian Consumer and Complaints Commission (ACCC) and National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Centre (NICNAS).
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.
  • European Union - The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The Regulation 1223/2009, as amended, must be followed when it comes to cosmetics.
  • A list of banned and restricted ingredients is published by Health Canada.
  • A list of banned and restricted ingredients can also be found in the Standards for Cosmetics published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Over 1300 chemical ingredients have been restricted or banned by European officials, whereas just 11 have been prohibited by the FDA. In addition, makeup ingredients are not required to undergo safety tests in the US. A new US law aims to protect consumers by reviewing makeup chemicals on a regular basis, according to the New York Times. Companies could be ordered to recall dangerous products if the FDA passed the bill. Additionally, they would be required to provide safety data and adverse health reactions reports. There is growing evidence that many ingredients in lipsticks and other beauty products can cause a range of devastating health problems. In addition to its support, the bill has the backing of the Environmental Working Group, one of the best resources if you want to identify the chemicals in cosmetics that you are using. The number of safe chemical ingredients available to manufacturers has risen to over 20,000, plus thousands more options for healthy, natural ingredients. By choosing natural products packed full of vitamins and minerals that nourish our bodies naturally, we are voting with our wallets.

Is lipstick prone to expiration?

Not really, that's the short answer. Since mounting pressure over damaging chemicals has forced many manufacturers to ditch preservatives, it can happen with skincare products that contain water. It is impossible for bacteria to grow on lipstick since it does not contain water (only waxes, oils, and oil-soluble ingredients). Natural antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, are crucial to prevent the oils from going rancid.

When brushes are left in damp, humid bathrooms, other types of makeup can trap bacteria. Replace your foundation every six to twelve months, your lipstick after a year, and your mascara every three months.

Despite the fact that cosmetic products in Australia must be labelled, an ACCC investigation in 2013 found that up to 20 percent of products examined did not comply with labeling laws. Unsafe and unethical ingredients are often disguised as fragrances or go by a variety of names. "Chemical-free' should also be read with caution, as the ACCC notes: "All products, whether natural or synthetic, contain chemicals."

What are the bad ingredients in lipstick?

Lipsticks contain moisturizing oils, wax to maintain their shape, and colours (natural or artificial). We're going to help you make healthier beauty choices by breaking down the baddies that lurk in your lipstick.


Lead, a neurotoxin that causes high blood pressure and kidney damage, was found in 61 percent of name-brand lipsticks tested in 2007. It was found that all 400 lipstick samples tested by the FDA contained unsafe levels of the metal three years later. According to a University of California study, nine toxic metals were found in 32 lip products, including manganese, cadmium (which causes cancer cells to multiply), arsenic, aluminium, and chromium. How can this be resolved? By purchasing lipsticks containing natural vegetable and plant pigments or clean minerals, you can avoid heavy metals entirely


Some red, green, and yellow lip products contain artificial dyes that are linked to health problems such as bladder cancer, immune system issues, and hyperactivity. Studies monitoring the cumulative effects of these toxins in the body over time are not readily available, but experts believe that it would take a large number of applications per day to cause serious harm in the short term. Are you really willing to take the risk?



Often, skin products and lipsticks are made with unhealthy animal fats, such as tallow (derived from boiling carcasses). In addition, petroleum and mineral oil byproducts are eco-unfriendly and dry out lips and skin. You should instead choose lip products that contain wholesome oils made from fruits, vegetables, and plants such as avocados, sesame seeds, and castor seeds. Our bodies can absorb more nutrients if we switch from chemical products to natural, organic, and vegan products.

Cindy Luken, founder and CEO of Lük Beautifood, recommends what ingredients to use in lipstick?

These are all carefully selected ingredients found in her signature Lip NourishTM product. The following are among them:

  • A beeswax product. Lipstick foundation is made from this ingredient. In addition to protecting and retaining lip moisture, it has important healing and antibacterial properties.
  • Pigments derived from minerals, fruits, and vegetables. Colors found in natural foods are often anti-inflammatory and sun-protective. Pigments from fruits (such as cherries) and vegetables (such as beetroot and carrots) are nutrient-dense and (depending on the fruits used) contain antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Oils from natural plants. As well as retaining moisture, avocado, sesame seed, and coconut oils (along with cocoa butter) give lipstick a smooth, silky finish.
  • Seed oil from castor. Lips are hydrated while gaining a beautiful, natural shine with this oil. Aside from fighting free radicals, it also contains antioxidants.
  • Natural preservatives rosemary and Vitamin E provide nourishing antioxidants to your lips while preventing rancidity.
  • 'Active' scents can be derived from essential oils such as juniper, mint, ginger, and citrus.
  • A cinnamon stick. In addition to reducing fine lines and plumping lips, this ingredient contains powerful free radical scavengers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are natural ingredients in lipsticks?

Natural ingredients in lipsticks can include plant-based oils, waxes, and pigments. Examples include castor oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, and carmine (derived from crushed beetles).

What are chemical ingredients in lipsticks?

Chemical ingredients in lipsticks can include synthetic oils, waxes, and pigments, as well as preservatives and fragrances. Examples include mineral oil, parabens, and phthalates.

Are natural lipsticks better for your health than chemical lipsticks?

It is often assumed that natural ingredients are safer and better for your health, but this is not always the case. Some natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions, while some chemical ingredients are considered safe by regulatory agencies. It is important to research the specific ingredients in any cosmetic product and to patch test before use.

Are natural lipsticks better for the environment than chemical lipsticks?

The environmental impact of cosmetic products can be difficult to quantify, as it depends on many factors, including the source of the ingredients, the manufacturing process, and the disposal of the product. In general, products made with fewer synthetic ingredients are often considered more environmentally friendly.

Do natural lipsticks perform as well as chemical lipsticks?

The performance of a lipstick can depend on a variety of factors, including the formulation, the texture, and the pigment quality. Some natural lipsticks perform well and provide long-lasting color and moisture, while others can be prone to smudging or fading. The same is true of chemical lipsticks.

How do I know if a lipstick is made with natural or chemical ingredients?

The ingredients in a lipstick are listed on the product packaging and can also be found on the brand's website or on cosmetics databases like Skin Deep. It is important to familiarize yourself with common natural and chemical ingredients and to read the ingredient list carefully before making a purchase.