Why You Might Wanna Make Your Own Lipstick

Apparently men aren’t that into lipstick, and that may be a good thing given that a preliminary new study by Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health at the University of California Berkeley, suggests that the levels of metals in lipsticks and glosses may be cause for concern. Back in 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a study that had us stressing about the amount of lead in our favorite tubes. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has since conducted their own study and holds that the levels of lead found in lipsticks are generally very low and do not pose any health threat.

This new research suggests, however, that we now have to look out for cadmium, chromium, aluminum and other metals in popular lip products, as some occur at levels that may be harmful (and, when applied to your lips, are easily absorbed). In particular, chronic, low level exposure to cadmium has been linked to serious kidney issues. Of course, the study is still in its early stages, and Chief Toxicologist for the Personal Care Products Council, Linda Loretz, dismissed the report, stating, “The finding of trace levels of metals in lip products is not unexpected given their natural presence in air, soil and water. Very low levels are also found in drinking water and food.”

All of this conflicting information has us shaking our heads, and has left us a little skeptical when it comes to shopping for our favorite fall shades. While we don’t see ourselves giving up the stuff anytime soon, there are ways to exercise caution when applying. For one, though we love our Chanel, there are some great all-natural and organic brands on the market that are just as long-lasting and rich in color as your usual go-tos. Or, for you purists out there who want to be absolutely sure that what you’re putting near your mouth is free of any unwanted additives, making your lipstick at home lets you oversee the process yourself, start to finish.

We love this homemade lipstick DIY, concocted by Wellness Mama. Or, if you prefer to “put your face on” while on the go, check out the slideshow above for our favorite ready-to-wear organic and all-natural lip products.

Homemade Lipstick Recipe

For base:
• 1 tsp beeswax pastilles
• 1 tsp shea butter or cocoa butter
• 1 tsp coconut oil

For optional color add-ins:
• For red hues: ⅛ teaspoon of beet root powder or 1 drop of natural red food coloring with no chemical additives. NOTE: Add these very slowly as a little goes a long way!
• For brown/tan hues: ¼ teaspoon (or more for color) of organic cocoa powder, a tiny pinch of cinnamon or turmeric to get the shade you want
• For a more matte texture: ¼ teaspoon bentonite clay—Use this with a color so it doesn’t leave a white tint on the lips.
• For scent: A drop of essential oil of choice (optional)