You Might Have Dead Beetles On Your Lips

by Lindsey Rose Black

Can you imagine leaning in to give your lover a kiss only to discover they have dead beetles on their lips? I, for one, would SCREAM (like, soul-piercing shriek). If you're anything like me, you might want to grab a pillow to yell in, because according to a study on the cosmetic chemistry of red lipstick featured in Daily Mail, chemist Andy Brunning found dead beetles and chilies in lipsticks, among other interesting and bizarre ingredients. Apologies to my man for the shiny red shade I'm wearing.

Andy's study revealed how "a single lipstick contains several hundred different chemical compounds to give it the desired color, glossiness, and indelibility." While the study provides an extensive list of lipstick ingredients (which you should go look at), some of the most common ones include cochineal beetles crushed to create red pigment (called "Carmine Red"), eosin, titanium dioxide, and capsaicin (what makes your spicy food HOT).

While none of the previously mentioned ingredients are obviously harmful, Andy points out others definitely could be:

"A recent study of 32 popular lipsticks found trace contaminant amounts of lead, cadmium, aluminum, chromium and manganese in many of them. This study has come in for criticism in some quarters, as it based its human ingestion estimates on a range of different data for each metal, and also assessed the amounts [assuming] all of the applied lipstick was ingested – an unlikely scenario ... [but] the presence of heavy metals in lipsticks is still a legitimate concern."

Beyond beetles and hazardous metals, the bigger issue is that we as consumers don't often know what we're putting on our skin, which is our biggest organ people! Diving into the world of conscious beauty products can feel confusing and overwhelming at times, but organizations like and Sleigh Bells singer's BeautyLiesTruth are working hard to make sure we know how to make informed purchases. And if the thought of dead creepy crawlers on your lips has your own skin crawling, check out EWG's guide to lip products, look for ethical products like Juice Beauty that clearly and easily spell out their ingredients, or maybe make your own beet lipstick like Shailene Woodley.

Happy (safe) smooching, y'all.

Image Credit: Giphy (2)