The 5 Best Lead-Free Lipsticks

By Marissa DeSantis

Among the call for cleaner and more eco-conscious beauty products, there are some keywords, like "cruelty-free" and "paraben-free," that get all of the buzz. Then, there are identifiers like "lead-free," which are largely forgotten in comparison, but no less important. The toxic metal is deemed unsafe at any level of exposure, and it has been linked to health concerns such as neurotoxicity and hormonal irregularities. Despite those health risks, lead in lipstick is shockingly common, which is especially concerning since it's going on your lips. And while it's not an easy task to find the best lead-free lipsticks, such a thing does exist, and there are resources (like this roundup ahead) you can use to help you on the search for your non-toxic match.

Wondering which lipsticks have lead in them? The FDA conducted an expanded survey in 2010, following their initial report in 2007, which ranks 400 lipstick shades and brands from the highest to lowest levels of lead found (it's worth noting that it's unclear if the brands on this list have reformulated their lipsticks since this survey was conducted). If you can't find your go-to lipstick on the FDA's list, you can do some digging on the brand's site by heading to the FAQs section. This is most commonly where you'll find confirmation that a company's products are lead-free, if it doesn't directly call products out individually.

And don't forget that a lot of language when it comes to "natural makeup" is misleading, because there isn't any FDA-regulated definition of the term. Basically, that means any beauty brand can slap the word "natural" on a product label, even if the formula is largely made of synthetic ingredients. Furthermore, many toxic ingredients (like lead) are technically natural, so calling a product "all-natural" isn't necessarily indicative of its safety. This is why it's important to really look into the products and ingredients you're using on a daily basis. When in doubt, the best way to determine if a lipstick is lead-free is to reach out to the brand directly through their customer service email or even Instagram DM.

To help you on your more conscientious approach to your makeup routine, here are five of the best lead-free lipsticks (brand-confirmed!) to try out.