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Monday, October 18, 2021
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    Beauty-essential lipsticks contain five types of ingredients: emollients that prevent moisture loss and soften the lips; pigments; preservatives; antiseptics; and emulsifiers that hold these other ingredients together.

    Beauty-essential lipsticks contain five types of ingredients: emollients that prevent moisture loss and soften the lips; pigments; preservatives; antiseptics; and emulsifiers that hold these other ingredients together.

    But these ingredients vary from healthy to toxic depending on the quality of the product.

    Be wary of preservatives, emollients, solvents, and pigments in drugstore lipsticks. Some may cause irritation for women with sensitive skin. Others can cause a phototoxic reaction, leading to ultraviolet (UV) sensitivity and intense sunburns. Many colouring agents and preservatives are known to be carcinogenic.

    Instead, reach for natural lipsticks, which contain herbal antiseptics, vitamin-rich preservatives, seed-based oils, and tantalizing nontoxic colours. Why would you choose anything else?

    Natural Lipsticks

    Cosmetic use Natural ingredients Benefits
    antiseptics

    cinnamon
    goldenseal
    lavender
    rosemary leaf
    sesame oil
    shea butter

    antibacterial, aromatic, flavourful
    prevents contamination
    anti-inflammatory, fragrant
    antioxidant, stabilizing
    curative, moisturizing
    prevents chapped lips
    preservatives vitamin E antioxidant; best in combination with other antioxidants such as vitamin C and green tea
    pigments carmine (derived from dried red cochineal beetles)
    minerals, including iron oxide, ultramarine blue, manganese violet

    gives a rich red colour

    anti-inflammatory; mineral flecks diffuse light and smooth fine lines

    emollients

    carnauba wax

    castor oil
    cocoa butter
    coconut oil
    beeswax

    moisturizing; from Brazilian wax palm trees
    keeps lips supple
    lubricating
    soothing
    used as a thickening agent

    Drugstore Lipsticks

    Cosmetic use Harmful ingredients Negative effects
    preservatives parabens, including methylparaben and propylparaben linked to breast cancer
    pigments bromo acid
    lake dyes, including red no. 21, red no. 27, orange no. 17
    causes dermatitis
    contain coal tar; common allergens; carcinogenic
    emollients hydrocarbons
    mineral oil
    petrolatum
    pollutants; detrimental to marine life
    phototoxic contains impurities that may
    contribute to acne, cancer, and
    other significant health problems
    solvents glycols, including propylene glycol skin irritant; inhibits skin cell
    regeneration

    Research Your Lipstick?

    Find out if your favourite lipstick contains harmful chemicals. Search product names in the Skin Deep database on the Environmental Working Group website at ewg.org/reports/skindeep2.

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