Posts Tagged ‘beauty dangers’

Lead and Lipstick: 11 Brands That Are Pucker-Safe and Lead-Free

Thursday, February 16th, 2012


It is true that women from all over the globe will go to great lengths to look beautiful, but no woman should have to put her own health at risk just to look good. In recent years, it has been determined that many, if not most, of the lipsticks contain trace amounts of lead. Lead is a powerful element that has been known to cause a number of health problems in people of all ages, especially youngsters. Is the hubbub over this nothing more than a smear tactic used to scare women and make investors nervous, or should women of all ages be paying close attention to these findings?

Hot coals were thrown on the debate a few years ago when the Food and Drug Administration released information that stated one out of every three lipsticks sold in stores tested at more than 0.1 parts per million of lead. The FDA was quick to state their opinion that the amounts are so minute they cannot possibly cause any harm to the body, even over a prolonged amount of time.

Several doctors and advocacy groups disagree and have been trying to get the government to address the situation and rid the lipstick industry of lead entirely. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and a handful of senators have recently put pressure on the FDA to establish and oversee a universal safety standard that would completely eliminate lead from lipstick forever. The FDA stated that they are currently waiting for a peer-reviewed journal to make a final decision about whether to get involved in cleaning up lipstick.

An editor of a well known health website brought up the good point that the way toxicologists and advocacy groups evaluate risk to the public is completely different, and this case is simply another example of two groups using two different criteria for measurement. As a result, it is unlikely that there will be able to find common ground in the near future.

But while they debate, it’s good to know that there’s a bright and color-rich side: Several lipsticks have tested free of lead, and we’ve got a list of them for you.

  • Avon Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee
  • The Body Shop Lip Color Garnet
  • Clinique Long Last Lipstick Merlot
  • Dior Replenishing Lip Color Red Premiere
  • Estee Lauder Maraschino
  • MAC Matte Lipstick Viva Glam 1
  • Revlon Superlustrous Love That Red
  • Revlon Superlustrous Bed of Roses
  • Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor Red Velvet
  • Tarte Inside Out Vitamin Lipstick
  • Wet n Wild Mega Colors Cherry Blossom

The discussion is likely to go on for awhile yet, but the rest of us can do our part in the debate simply by staying informed. Not just on the arguments but also on what is in our favorite beauty products – because we should definitely know what we’re putting on and into our bodies.

Read more about chemicals in beauty products and green beauty products here.

What do you think? Should the government get involved in the lead-in-lipstick debate?

The Harrowing Business of Hair Extensions

Monday, January 16th, 2012


If you follow fashion, you have undoubtedly witnessed the parade of starlets sporting hair extensions to boost the look of their own locks. Everyone from Beyonce to Kate Middleton has been photographed wearing the tell-tale swatches of real and synthetic hair. Jessica Simpson has even launched her own line of hair extensions. The idea of transforming short hair to long hair in a jiff appeals to consumers across all demographics, but evidence suggests the growing hair trend may have costly consequences.

Hair extensions cost between $300 and $3500, depending on whether the client chooses real or synthetic swatches. A partial head of hair starts at $150, while a full head of hair starts at $1300. Add to the base price the cost of labor, and the average client spends $800 to $1600. Monthly touch-ups add $20 to $50 to maintain the extensions.

These salon costs are quantifiable, but there is no telling the emotional cost that long-term use of hair extensions may cause. Salons use several methods to attach the extensions to the client’s real hair, including sewing and weaving. The most popular methods involve bonding with a form of hot glue and cold fusing with a form of protein-based glue.

As it turns out, the very weight of the hair extensions can cause the follicle to atrophy and prevent new hair growth. In severe cases, women develop a hair loss condition known as traction alopecia, and it can worsen and become permanent alopecia. Thus far, the only medical treatments available for alopecia have been topical minoxidal or hair transplants.

You can try less expensive clip-on extensions as an alternative, but some experts think the ultimate solution is to avoid hair extensions altogether.

Each generation embraces beauty treatments that are both ill-advised and laborious, according to UK Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, author of The Meaning of Sunglass: And a Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable. After all, the old adage says, “Beauty is pain.” The hair extensions that currently reign supreme are the equivalent of what tanning beds were to the ’70s, hair perms were to the ’80s and glycolic peels were to the ’90s.

With that said, every generation rebels against the previous generation. Perhaps, the coming year will rush to embrace natural hair as the next best thing.