As a lover of lip products, I’m sure I’ve ingested my fair share of lip gloss over the past few years. But if someone made me a lead salad sprinkled with cadmium, I’d steer clear. Yet, many lip glosses we use are basically chemical salads of poison. And it isn’t just lead, there’s a few more harmful ingredients you should watch out for.

  1. Silicone oil: Sounds healthy right? It really isn’t, especially if you apply lip gloss multiple times per day. Sure, it’ll keep your lips smooth and smudge proof, but it’ll also prevent your lips from breathing – no moisture in, no moisture out! Even lips have pores that shouldn’t be blocked so try something healthier instead. e.l.f.’s mineral plumping lip gloss is a great choice – it contains coconut oil, no chemical dyes, no parabens plus it’s infused with vitamins E and A!
  2. Parabens: Any product with ingredients ending in “paraben” should be used moderately. Parabens are the preservatives of the cosmetic world. However, they’ve actually been linked to causing disruptions with our glands – they mess with our hormones! So say “nuh-uh!” to parabens and go for an all-natural lip gloss.
  3. Metals: Environmental Health Perspectives did a study on metals in lip products and the results are a little scary. They found lead in 75% of the lip products they tested! Aluminum and cadmium were also found in the lip glosses that were tested. Yes, each product had a very small amount but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. I mean, think of how many times you have to reapply because you pretty much ate the last application!
  4. BHA or BHT: These ingredients are similar to parabens – they’re there so your lip gloss or lipstick has a longer shelf life. But they can also mimic the effects of estrogen, cause liver damage and even cancer. So use products with BHA or BHT in them sparingly.
  5. Salicyclic acid: Yep, salicyclic acid is all the rage in acne fighting products, but it’s not good for your precious pout. It can cause lips to dry out and start peeling – not attractive! If a lip gloss contains salicyclic acid, you’d be better off applying it on your zits.
  6. Fragrance: “Fragrance” is a pretty vague ingredient but it is basically a synthetic additive in your lip gloss. There are about 3000 different chemicals that are used to make a “fragrance” and if your lips and skin are sensitive, you’ll want to avoid that stuff because it may cause irritation and headaches even in small doses. On a product label, look out for “phthalate-free” instead.
  7. Menthol/Camphor: You know that minty, tingly feeling you get when you use some lip balms and glosses? Yeah, that’s probably menthol or camphor. Ironically, though these ingredients are meant to refresh your lips, they actually dry them out. They can even be the cause of chapped lips! So re-think your love of that cooling sensation and try a spicy cinnamon lip balm instead.

Consider yourself warned! Even though your lip gloss is FDA approved, it could still be made of some pretty harmful ingredients you shouldn’t be exposed to. Always opt for au naturel!