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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Ins and Outs of Lipstick

I’ve always wondered what happens to lipstick when it wears off—does it just evaporate?

In an article I read about lipsticks, it said that on average, women who regularly wear lipstick will consume (that means eat!) over 3 pounds of lipstick during their lifetime! Where do you think your lipstick has gone when you look in the mirror and have to reapply? You may have just had a glass of wine and a good conversation, but you probably also ate your lipstick. And by unconsciously licking your lips throughout the day, you are furthering the ingestion of this product.

The article went on to say (according to the gastroenterologist quoted) that you swallow so little at a time there really isn’t any harm to your body. He stated that the waxes and polymers in lipsticks are nontoxic and are broken down by stomach acids. Well, if the research for this article is correct, and a woman can conceivably consume several pounds of lipstick during her lifetime, I cannot see anything good about ingesting these substances.

Lipstick contains a lot of questionable ingredients that you may want to think twice about before eating day after day. Whether or not the information about how much you actually ingest are 100% true, no doubt large amounts of lipstick go through your body to be digested, so if you can find alternative products that perhaps don’t have as many bad ingredients in them, then I recommend giving these a try.

Many companies make tinted lipbalms
I’ve been looking for a moisturizing lipstick with sunscreen for years, but lipstick dries out my lips and makes them peel.

I recommend having your favorite lipsticks on hand to wear at night if you are going out and a tinted lip balm with SPF for daytime. This way you won’t have to forgo lipstick altogether, yet you can have protecting products on your lips throughout the day. Tinted lip balms may be the best option for you. They won’t give you the coverage of an actual lipstick, but you won’t have to contend with all the chapping you have now. Less color, but less chapping—hopefully this will be a happy compromise for you.

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, by the way, is a sunscreen ingredient commonly used in lip products with SPF. Avobenzone is also used in many products.

Do treatment lipsticks containing anti-aging ingredients such as Kinetin* and vitamin C really work?
*Kinetin is a plant-based “miracle” ingredient that is supposed to help reduce wrinkles.

Are you confusing your actual facial skin with the tissue of your lips? These two different types of tissue don’t age the same way. You cannot use an anti-aging lipstick on your lips and hope to help the wrinkles you may be concerned about above your lips. Using vitamin C on your lips would come under this same umbrella.

My recommendation is to stop looking for one product to solve many problems. Wear lipstick to color your lips. If it contains special ingredients and you find these helpful, great. But I wouldn’t recommend searching for lipsticks that have “all the rage” ingredients in them and paying the high price for these types of products.

If you want to keep your lips from drying and flaking, you may find a lipstick that helps with that specific concern. But I highly recommend wearing a nonpetroleum lip balm whenever you aren’t wearing lipstick, especially at night before bed. This way you will at least give your lips a soothing and healing balm some of the time.

For information on a good alternative, see:
A bit alarmist, but now you understand
HOT TIP: Lipstick is one of the top offenders in making your lips chapped or keeping them chapped. Try switching to nonpetroleum lip balms whenever possible.