The FDA Has New Guidelines on Lead in Beauty Products

Image: Brenna Daugherty/Flickr
Image: Brenna Daugherty/Flickr

Metallic eyeshadow may be fall’s biggest trend, but harmful metals in our makeup? That’s where the Food and Drug Administration (and we) draw the line. The FDA announced new guidelines on lead levels in cosmetics, according to an official announcement.

Per the draft guidance, “a recommended maximum level of 10 parts per million (ppm) for lead as an impurity in cosmetic lip products (such as lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners) and externally applied cosmetics (such as eye shadows, blushes, shampoos, and body lotions) marketed in the United States.” Further, that lead level won’t pose any health risks and is “achievable with the use of good manufacturing practices” and is on par with other countries’ guidelines for similar cosmetic products, says the FDA.

According to FDA studies, lead exposure from lipstick occurs from swallowing, “such as after a consumer licks [their] lips.” The FDA determined that the ingested amount “is very small and cannot be measured in routine blood testing.”

Lead in beauty products like lotions or eyeshadow can also be absorbed through the skin, says the FDA, “but the amount absorbed is very small…and also cannot be measured in routine blood testing.”