Beauty Revolution: Ingredients to Watch for in your Lipstick

The past decade has shed some light on concerning research involving harmful chemicals found in many commercial lipstick brands. As we simultaneously ingest and absorb the lip products we use, it is important to understand the health and environmental impact of the lip products we consume. See below for a few common ingredients found in the average lipstick that are proven to be harmful to both people and the planet: 


Once ingested, lead does not get expelled from your body; it is stored in your fat cells. This means that trace amounts of lead in lipstick will accumulate over time to large amounts of lead stored in your body. According to the National Institute of Health, high lead levels can lead to cardiovascular issues, nerve disorders, decreased kidney function and fertility problems, including delayed conception and adverse effects on sperm and semen, such as lower sperm count and motility.

Click here to view a report from the FDA citing over 400 brands who were found to have lead in their lipsticks.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that, “The most-contaminated brand had lead levels more than 275 times the level found in the least contaminated brands, and more than seven times higher than the average found in all the lipsticks. Clearly, some manufacturers could be doing more to protect women from unnecessary lead exposure.”

We at aN work with trusted suppliers and third-party verify that our products and pigments never have an unsafe level of heavy metals present. 


Teflon is cosmetics? Yes, the Teflon found in your non-stick cookware is also found in your personal care products. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Teflon, which is created with PFAS chemicals, can cause damage to the liver, immune system, and delayed development in children. EWG found Teflon in 66 different products from 15 different brands, including a number of household names. Teflon was the most commonly found ingredient for this class of chemicals, but in all, EWG identified 13 different PFAS chemicals in nearly 200 products from 28 brands. These harmful PFAS chemicals were not only found in makeup, but also found in sunscreen, shampoo and shaving creams.

Crude Oil & Fossil Fuel Derivatives 

The petroleum industry cites lipstick as one of its prized products. A typical lipstick is formulated with numerous ingredients processed from crude oil; these ingredients are referred to as petrochemicals. Crude oil, as we know, is unsustainable for the environment. We at au Naturale believe that if a product is detrimental to the earth, then it cannot be considered clean or sustainable. We believe if we can make lipstick without crude oil derivatives, then the rest of the beauty industry can, too. The best way to show companies you don’t support the use of crude oil based ingredients is to take a stand with your dollars! Learn to read labels on personal care products and purchase products that align with your values. See below for a list of common ingredients found in lipsticks and other personal care products that are sourced from crude oil:

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Paraffin wax
  • Mineral oil
  • Toluene
  • Benzene
  • Anything with PEG (polyethylene glycol)
  • Anything with DEA (diethanolamine) or MEA (ethanolamine)
  • Butanol and any word with butyl: butyl alcohol, butylparaben, butylene glycol
  • Any word with propyl—isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, propyl alcohol, etc.
  • Parfum or fragrance—95 percent of chemicals used in fragrance are from petroleum. 

Knowing what’s in your personal care products is absolutely crucial. Read labels before you buy and use the power of your purchase to show large corporations what is important to you as a consumer. Write your representatives and tell them that you support the Personal Care Product Safety Act. People and the planet are counting on you!

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