A new study of 32 popular lipsticks and lip glosses uncovered nine metals including lead, aluminum, chromium, and cadmium, some at levels that could be toxic, researchers say. The UC Berkeley study found that, in particular, average lipstick users (who apply lipstick an average of 2.3 times a day and are estimated to ingest 24 milligrams of lipstick per day) could be in danger of overexposure to chromium, a carcinogen that has been linked to stomach tumors.
For heavy users (who apply as often as 14 times daily), some lipsticks could also result in an excessive exposure to aluminum, cadmium, and manganese, USA Today reports. Though lead was found in 24 of the products tested, it "is not the metal of most concern," says a study co-author, because in no case did the level exceed the acceptable daily intake. Two takeaways from the study: The FDA needs to "wake up and pay attention," the co-author says, and heavy lipstick users should perhaps "use it less."