Beginning in 2007, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began researching lead in lipstick based on findings by consumer watchdog group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Lip products in particular are a concern based on their higher risk of ingestion. In 2010, expanded research revealed lead in over 400 different lipsticks by various brands.
In 2016, the FDA issued draft guidance to industry on lead as a pollutant in cosmetics, including lip products.
Recently, researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health found other toxicities besides lead in a variety of lipsticks taken from common drugstores and department stores. Aluminum, cadmium, chromium and manganese were also found to be potential concerns.
Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to research what they are putting on their pucker. Avoid lipsticks that have been found to have high levels of lead contamination.