lipstick ingredients to avoid

     Ever looked at a cosmetic ingredient list and noticed colorants such as “Red No. 40” or “Yellow No.5”? We have too and we want to let you in on some important information the beauty industry does not want you to know about these colorants. 

     We'll cut right to it: the colors in your lipstick can contain heavy metals that pose risks to your health. But don't worry, we are here to guide you through all that you need to know so you can keep your body safe and chemical free.


Lipstick Ingredients to Avoid : “Organic” vs. “Inorganic”

First and foremost, lipstick color pigments are classified into two simple categories. There are organic and inorganic colors.

  • Organic colors are confusingly not the kind of “organic” that we are familiar with. Rather, organic colors are synthetically created from chemically refined petroleum oil or are coal- tar derivatives. These colors combine to create the hundreds of lipstick colors available.
  • Inorganic colors are earth colors and are made up of mineral compounds (such as iron oxides). These are synthesized to avoid the heavy metal contamination found in nature.

Okay, just to clarity – you did indeed read that correctly, “organic” colors are made from oil and coal tar, and produce the fiery reds and hot pinks that nature’s “inorganic” minerals cannot produce.


Lipstick Ingredients to Avoid : The Harmful Side-Effects

Because these colors are made from petroleum and coal tar, they contain a significant amount of toxicological properties, such as heavy metals which penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. They can also be absorbed through the oral cavity from cosmetics used around the mouth.

Some of these artificial colors contain such high levels of heavy metals that they are actually considered to be carcinogenic. And considering the heavy metals that are commonly found in artificial cosmetics (i.e. lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and antimony), it really shouldn’t be too surprising.

Over time, these heavy metals build up in the body and can cause severe health problems. Health risks include cancer, allergies, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems, memory loss, mood swings, muscle disorders, kidney and renal problems, lung damage, hair loss, nausea, and headaches. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.


Lipstick Ingredients to Avoid : The Ingredient List

Since heavy metals are a byproduct of the “organic” colors made from petroleum and coal tar, don’t expect the heavy metals to be listed on the ingredients list. The cosmetic industry goes to great lengths to keep these facts out of the hands of the average consumer. Therefore, instead of looking at your ingredients list and reading “lead”, you will see all sorts of strange names, such as “Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake” or “Red No. 6.”

In order to give you an example, we researched “D&C Red 6,” a common cosmetic color ingredient. According to Environmental Working Group, D&C Red 6 has impurity concerns of arsenic, lead, gossypol, mercury, pcbs and pesticides!

Based on the noxious chemicals that are contained in D&C Red 6 and other artificial colors, we recommend avoiding any color ingredients with a number after it.

Here is a brief list of lipstick ingredients to avoid. We recommend you avoid all of these colors (some color ingredients will have the word “lake” attached– avoid those too).

Red 4, Red 6, Red 7, Red 17, Red 21, Red 22, Red 27, Red 28, Red 30, Red 31, Red 33, Red 34, Red 36, Red 40

Blue 1, Blue 2, Blue 4

Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Yellow 7, Yellow 8, Yellow 10, Yellow 11

Green 3, Green 5, Green 6, Green 8

Orange 4, Orange 5, Orange 10, Orange 11

You’re probably wondering why these colors are used at all. The reason is simple, color. With the fashion trends changing, the colors getting bolder, and the reds getting redder, the industry must keep up.

But, we say "no" to industry trends, and do our own, natural thing. Our lipstick is made without heavy-metal bearing artificial colors and vow to only use naturally occurring mineral deposits called Iron Oxide. To learn more about our natural ingredients meet us here.

To access the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database check it out here. Simply type in the name of an ingredient and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) will fill you in on its harmful or safe effects.


natural pigments

Here is our stash of beautiful natural colors! 


For more information about lipstick ingredients to avoid and general beauty ingredients to avoid, check out these articles:,ai.html#.UxbHnf2E9Zl


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