In this essay and accompanying interview with the founder of Aveda cosmetics, Ms. Kamali says she has given up wearing lipstick altogether. Horst Rechelbacher apparently scared the bejusus out of Ms. Kamali by stating that we ingest liptsick (which is true, to some extent) and therefore we are poisoning ourselves with lead and arsenic and who knows what else.
I did some research, including here, here, and here to find out if Mr. Rechelbacher knew what he was talking about.
Because I’m not going to say that I’m a big fan of putting poisonous things on myself on a daily basis. Monthly, maybe, but daily is a bit much.
I also went here, here, and here to read a bit more from the other side.
We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis, including from our homes, work, and the environment. So there is no escaping toxins, really.
Second, I’m not necessarily a big fan of the FDA, and I do believe that the ingredients in cosmetics should be listed for all to see and that there should be more transparency in that department from the cosmetics industry.
Third, I noticed that almost all of the more “inflammatory” articles were either from sources with a vested interest in people buying their “green” products, or people who are heavily invested in a green lifestyle. Nothing wrong with a green lifestyle, but some of these people are the same ones who believe that children shouldn’t be vaccinated, which I highly disagree with, so there’s that.
The consensus seems to be that in a lifetime, a woman will ingest about four pounds of lipstick. Over a lifetime, not a year, as stated in one of the articles above.
In taking all of this information into account, as well as my love for lipstick, I’m going to say that Ms. Kamali is just slightly overreacting. I’m not going to tell her to put on some red lipstick because she apparently believes that lipstick is toxic, but man, talk about living in fear. I’m thinking that she is exposed to more toxins breathing the exhaust-laden New York air on a brisk walk than she is wearing lipstick.
And Mr. Rechelbacher, while technically being correct about what lipstick contains, doesn’t go into the specifics, which are actually very important. Which is a shame, because I really do love Aveda lipsticks, they smell fantastic. Shame on you, Mr. Rechelbacher. But I’m not sure it’s enough to get me to stop wearing your lipstick.
Do I trust everything companies and the goverment tell me? No.
Am I already being poisoned by lots of other things, including the air that I breathe? Yes.
Is four pounds over a lifetime all that much? I’m thinking no.
With all the research I’ve done and facts at my disposal, I’m going to pick my poison, in a manner of speaking, and continue wearing lipstick.
Wanna join me?