Arsenic in Your Eyeliner? Lead in Your Lipstick?

February 23, 2012
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Avoid heavy metals hidden in cosmetics.

The quest for beauty has spanned the history of humanity. Forty thousand years ago, people painted their faces with red ocher crayons to look attractive. Around the time of the Mesolithic Era (10,000 years ago B.C.E.) castor oil and animal grease were the thing for softening the skin. Lipsticks were a hot item 5,000 years ago in the ancient civilization, Ur. And beauty seekers in 1000 B.C. kept their bodies silky smooth with scrubs made out of clay and sand.

Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile—a name we all equate with alluring beauty—kept herself looking good for Mark Antony by placing sesame seed and barley packs on her face. Greek physicians created the first cold creams out of beeswax, olive oil and rose water, while Romans poured beautifying milk from goats into the communal baths. Vigilant beauty buffs, the Venetians dyed their hair with plant color, then covered it with clay and baked in the sun.

While we can all marvel at the efforts of the beauty seekers of antiquity, you would be very surprised to learn that today’s makeup is not only far from natural—in many cases—but it may be far from safe.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across the blog Heavy Metals Found in Cosmetics: Not Listed on Labels. I learned that according to a 2011 report, an Ontario, Canada research group found many heavy metals lurking in common cosmetic and makeup products of average Canadian women. The researchers tested lip gloss, mascara, foundation, blush, eye shadows and eye liner. They found that every single one of the 49 products tested contained at least one toxic metal like arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, beryllium, thallium, and selenium!

Lip gloss—which can be worn daily—contained the highest amounts of arsenic, cadmium, and lead with the name brand Benefit Benetint lip gloss containing 110 parts per millions of lead—a good ten times more than is allowed by the Canadian cosmetic regulating agency.

Heavy metals—like all contaminants—can accumulate over time. Arsenic can affect fertility, causes visual impairment, skin discoloration and loss of nails. I just found the highest levels I have ever measured in a TMA (Tissue Mineral Analysis) with an individual who has been diagnosed with ALS (better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) so this heavy metal is nothing to ignore.

Cadmium has been linked to lung and prostate cancer, as well as kidney damage. Lead, a well known neurotoxin, is connected to a lowered IQ, tumors, twitching, jerking of limbs, confusion, and seizures.

Name brands like Clinique, MAC, L’Oreal, Cover Girl, and Almay all had products with sky high levels of impurities. Find out if any of your beauty mainstays were the worst offenders—read the complete findings here.

The truth is I’ve really had it with manufacturers that incorporate “unclean” and sneaky ingredients in their beauty product lines—ingredients that can actually add years to your appearance, destroy your skin, and harm your health.

These were just some of the reasons that compelled me to create my own natural skin care line. BeauCle is free of synthetic ingredients, harmful chemicals, and heavy metals that are often a byproduct of manufacturing. BeauCle—nature’s key to beauty—delivers everything you are looking for in a skin care program without the risks of impure ingredients.

You’ll be amazed at what several of our satisfied users have to say about BeauCle’s ability to increase hydration, decrease fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles while eliminating brown spots—all of this minus toxins. This is real beauty by nature!





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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Diann

    I thought you were having products to replace mascara, lip stick/gloss. You are obviously
    wearing it in the video. What a come on to make money. Wow, you still can trust no one in this society. It is all about greed everywhere!

  2. liz

    I think you really missed the point completely. Dr. Ann Louise is making us aware of the dangers in our every day make-up. Most of us to not even think about this. I know for a fact that the cosmetics Dr. Ann Louise personally uses are found in health food stores and are the most healthy versions that she can find.

    Because of her own sensitivities and awareness, she formulated the BeauCle skin care products, over many years, to be as pure as can be.

  3. Marie

    My frustration is why are these cosmetics proved safe on humans if tested on animals. So why test on animals, did the rabbits, cat, dogs, and rats give there consent and get paid. Cosmetics has been a public relations machine really what happened to inner beauty that we didn’t have the need to put on cosmetics. Well I will try Dr. Louis, only when I read its not tested on animals. But then again not tested on animals that cosmetics won’t have lead in them.

  4. Ann

    Why does there have to be coffee in these products. I don’t drink coffee and I certainly do not want it on my face.

  5. Marina

    Thank you for sharing the results of the Canadian study and for the caution that even “brand” names can be toxic. As mothers, let us also be watchful of what our daughters are buying and placing on their bodies. Ironically, we may be buying organic foods for our kids but letting them contaminate their bodies with toxic make-up and body products.

  6. administrator

    Dear Ladies: Thank you for your comments. Toxic beauty products are everywhere – which is what motivated Dr. ALG to formulate the BeauCle skincare regimen which was “40 years” in the making based on her lifelong quest for pure and wholesome products to put on the skin. BeauCle is not tested on animals.

    The caffeic acid in the products is included because it is an antioxidant found in various foods which can protect against harmful cell phone radiation.

  7. Stacy

    Thanks for this great blog ALG – I saw this on the news the other day, and I always enjoy your latest studies that come out.

    As far as some of the comments on this blog, my goodness, what is wrong with you people? How unbelieveably rude…learn some online etiquette. First of all, Dr. Ann Louise is bringing this issue to our attention so that we can all be more aware and check to see what is in the cosmetics we wear daily. Diann – you don’t know what kind of makeup she is wearing, I think it’s a little bit presumptious to assume that it’s toxic…there are healthy makeup products out there, and skincare products are just as important, if not more important since we put them on our entire bodies, than makeup. Marie – the website says that they are not tested on animals.

    In this day and age, we all need to remember that just because we are online and not face to face, it is still important to self-edit and think about your tone before you type…we are all in this together!

    Have a great day!!



  1. discovering natural beauty • gold&grace - […] products, aaaand then I discovered Beautycounter. Apparently everyone is doing beauty all wrong. Lead in your lipstick?! I’ll pass. This…

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