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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Leading the Way with Lead-Free Lipstick

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

Think of the multitude of products we use each day. For women, these products probably include make up and other beauty products. Many women finish applying cosmetics by adding a splash of color  to their lips. But, did you every stop to wonder what might be inside that lipstick tube besides a beautiful color?

A group of concerned citizens has started a movement to curb the unhealthy ingredients utilized in today’s cosmetic products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics began in 2004 as a way to influence legislators and to establish reforms to eliminate dangerous chemicals and other ingredients in cosmetic products. This is especially important for lipsticks, as most women inadvertently consume approximately four pounds of lipstick during their lifetime.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website (, during October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks for lead content. The study found that 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with some of today’s most popular cosmetic lines having the highest levels. For example, certain lipsticks produced by Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Revlon all contained lead. These products continue to be produced, even though science dictates that there is no safe level of lead exposure.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics stated that exposure to lead can cause a multitude of health issues including: fatigue, sleeplessness, headaches, mental impairment, irritability, hearing problems, and abdominal pain. “Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure,” according to Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.

Fortunately for lipstick lovers everywhere, there are products available that are free of lead and other questionable health ingredients. One Chippewa Valley resident represents a company that contains a full-line of lead-free lipsticks, along with other healthy, natural, and herbal products. Pam Jaffke has been a Sunrider independent business owner since 1998.

For Jaffke, the Sunrider products have been a welcome relief from her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1995. According to Jaffke, her multiple sclerosis was advancing rapidly; however, she feels that the Sunrider products have allowed her to stop taking medications and have caused the multiple sclerosis symptoms to occur much less frequently.

“I have found what a huge difference the skin products make for me,” explained Jaffke. Of course, Jaffke always stresses the natural ingredients of the Sunrider product line. When she is explaining the Sunrider cosmetic products to potentially interested customers, Jaffke is sure to explain the dangers of other lipsticks, which are petroleum-based. The Sunrider lipsticks use bee’s wax, instead of the candle wax that is found in petroleum-based products.

In fact, Jaffke does a demonstration to ensure people note the differences between a petroleum-based lipstick and a plant-based lipstick, such as that provided by Sunrider. “During demonstrations, we actually heat up the two lipsticks. Those that are petroleum-based have a foul smell and people have a better idea of what these types of products can do to their lips and bodies,” said Jaffke.

Jaffke is very pleased that consumers are becoming more health-conscious and aware of what they are using as cosmetics. “For the quality and safety of the products, I believe the products are a bargain,” Jaffke said. The Sunrider line of skin care, personal care, and cosmetics, known as Kandesn, is only advertised through satisfied customers, such as Pam Jaffke. “I really do believe the quality is superior and the products last longer because of the concentration amount in each one,” Jaffke stated.

Although women want to look their best, it is important to remember healthy choices when seeking new cosmetic products. Consumers should research lipsticks and other cosmetics prior to purchase to ensure they are obtaining lead-free products. For

more information, please see

Beet Red Lip Gloss


  1. ¼ cup beeswax

  2. ¼ cup castor oil

  3. 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  4. beet juice

Instructions: Melt beeswax, remove from heat and add oils. Add as much beet juice as desired for color. Store in jar.

Lip Balm


  1. 3 tablespoons grated unbleached beeswax

  2. 5 teaspoons carrier oil (sunflower, castor or jojoba)

  3. 6 or 7 drops essential oil (such as lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit or peppermint)

  4. 1 teaspoon honey, for flavor

Instructions: Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does not clump. To add a little color, stir in a tiny dab of lipstick with a coffee stirrer. Pour the mixture into containers; let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm, use 2 teaspoons wax and 8 teaspoons carrier oil.

Here is a link to the site:

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