Women beware! The lipsticks you wear are cocktails of harmful chemicals that can even cause cancer


Women love wearing lipsticks, and why not? The shiny, moisturising, dazzle of colours not only accentuates the lips but also gives a glamorous look.

However, lipsticks come under fire for being loaded with harmful substances that cause severe health issues like coughing, eye irritation, wheezing, etc. In many extreme cases, according to doctors, people have also been diagnosed with cancer.

Why is lipstick harmful?

Based on many studies, it has come to light that lipsticks contain a noxious mixture of petroleum-based dangerous chemicals, many of which are not even tested for safety. These chemicals are usually absorbed through the lips and every time you lick them, even if unknowingly, the chemicals are ingested.

Lips are the most sensitive part of the body after skin and due to the lack of hair and sweat glands, they are devoid of any natural defences. Hence, they are more prone to cuts, peel-offs, allergies, etc.

What are the ingredients used in lipsticks?

Apart from lead, a known harmful chemical that causes hypertension and heart issues, other ingredients used in most lipsticks are:


Methylparaben is a commonly used chemical in many foods, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products. It is used as a preservative to protect the product from fungal attacks. It absorbs in the skin very fast but is hardly stored in the body. The chemical, many studies say is carcinogenic.

In many European countries, methylparaben is a banned substance because of possible cancer and the risk of attacks on the endocrine system. Methylparaben has been classified as a “moderate risk” by the Cosmetics Database.


Like methylparaben, polyparaben is also added as a preservative to lipsticks to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. It helps keep the lipstick moist and oily and increases its shelf-life.

Many experts have said it disrupts the functioning of the endocrine glands and also causes grave allergies. However, the cosmetics database lists it as a high-risk product.

The disadvantage of products with no polyparabens is that they are often more solid, to keep them fresher for longer because it is the soft, oily part of the ingredients that turn rancid the quickest.

Retinyl palmitate

It is a synthetic preservative that is added as an antioxidant. Retinyl palmitate is a synthetic vitamin A and is said to be harmful to pregnant women. The cosmetics database lists it as a “moderate hazard” because there is some evidence that links it to some cancers and reproductive problems.

Experts say when retinyl is exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, retinol compounds break down and produce toxic radicals that can damage DNA and cause genetic mutations, which are a precursor to cancer.

Colour dyes

These are mostly used to colour the lipsticks and form the most attractive value of the products.

A lot of lipsticks available in the markets are made with synthetic and fake dyes that are made from aluminum and petroleum products. These dyes are extremely harmful to our bodies as they can cause cancer, skin issues, and even organ failure.

Some would prefer to use more natural and organic lipstick products. These have the advantage of having a minimal environmental impact because they are biodegradable and come from natural sources. If you prefer softer, more natural shades, natural dyes can help you achieve that look. Many use ingredients like beetroot or cocoa, for example.

Important tips to follow

  • Avoid buying dark shades lipsticks as harmful heavy metals are darker in colour
  • Before applying lipstick, apply a base of ghee or petroleum jelly on the lips, as it reduces the side effects
  • Local brands may be cheaper, but they can damage your lips
  • Buy lipstick from good brands
  • Always check the ingredients
  • Scrub your lips with sugar and honey to remove the pigmentation caused by lipsticks

Times Now News, 25 November 2022
; https://timesnownews.com