For many women, their makeup look isn’t complete without lipstick. They make sure to apply some color to their lips even if they are not using any other cosmetics because it can instantly make their face look more polished. Lipstick is popular not only because it enhances your natural beauty but also because it helps prevent your lips from chapping by providing a protective barrier. Many lipsticks also include a sun protection factor (SPF) to save your lips from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (via Yoga Journal).
Aside from the aesthetic element, there’s also a psychological reason behind the popularity of lipstick. A study conducted by researchers at the Edith Cowan University in Australia found that wearing lipstick enhances a person’s confidence. “[Lipstick] is perceived by women as an important component in their daily grooming ritual and is considered by many as a necessary addition to their faces to feel presentable, comfortable, and more confident,” the authors of the study said.
While most of us love wearing lipstick, it’s a struggle to keep it on for a long time. This is because you tend to eat your lipstick while you are talking, licking your lips, or eating and drinking. According to Beauty Bakerie, throughout their lives, women who wear lipstick ingest about four to nine pounds of it on average.
Keep reading to know what happens to your body when you eat lipstick.
The dangers of eating lipstick
Lipstick eventually disappears from your lips because you unknowingly eat it. You might think lipstick is harmless — after all, it’s a cosmetic that goes on your mouth — but science says otherwise. According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley (via Environmental Health Perspectives), lipsticks and lip glosses contain toxic chemicals, such as cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, and various toxic metals (via WebMD).
Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley, told HealthDay News that levels of toxic chemicals contained in lipsticks and lip glosses “approach or exceed acceptable daily doses based on public health guidelines,” per WebMD. If a lipstick contains lead and you ingest even small quantities of it every day, it could have serious health repercussions.
According to the aforementioned study, there is no acceptable daily intake of lead because its toxic nature can affect the kidneys, heart, brain, bones, and digestive system. Likewise, metals such as aluminum can also be quite dangerous for the body as it is a neurotoxin, meaning that it can affect a person’s brain and the central nervous system (via The People’s Pharmacy).
Does this mean you should stop wearing lipstick altogether? Not quite. According to Beauty Bakerie, if you look for lipsticks that are paraben-free and smudge-proof, and which are formulated to stay on the lips for longer durations, then you can continue to wear them. However, it’s best to check the ingredients and stay away from lipsticks that contain lead or other toxic ingredients.
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