Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Not Your Mother’s Lipstick

We’ve all heard or seen stories about young girls sneaking into the bathroom and putting on their mother’s lipstick. For many of us, lipstick was the first cosmetic we experimented with. As we grow up, we go from borrowing Mom’s stuff to making our own choices about which cosmetics to use. We also grow into being able to research and educate ourselves about what we want to put on our bodies. Lipstick is frequently mentioned when talking about dangerous cosmetics. While all cosmetics can be absorbed into the skin, lipstick sits on your lips. Do you ever think about what happened to your lipstick as you’re reapplying it after a meal? Some of it may come off on your cup or fork but much of it is ingested along with your food. Knowing that the ingredients in your lipstick will end up inside your body, it makes sense to pay close attention to what’s in the products you choose. That’s why I recommend seeking out the product lines in our stores that carry our Premium Body Care symbol. These are the most exceptional personal care products available. They meet the strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety. Premium Body Care standards require lipsticks be made without harmful chemicals like artificial colors and fragrances or parabens that many conventional brands contain. A large amount of the ingredients are variations of things you might consume anyway, like fruit extracts.  Brands such as Dr. Hauschka, Peacekeeper, Aubrey, Suki and Burt’s Bees offer selections of bright, gorgeous colors that are natural and safe. Artificial colors are created from chemical combinations, some of which have been related to various allergies and skin irritations. Brands with our Premium Body Care symbol are colored using naturally derived sources like plant extracts and mineral-based iron oxides. Fragrances are used in some conventional brands to cover any unpleasant scents from the other ingredients and to make the lipstick more appealing. These fragrances are most often synthetic, and companies are not required to fully disclose all of the components in the fragrances, leaving the consumer in the dark. While lipsticks from brands with our Premium Body Care symbol sometimes contain fragrances as well, they are from naturally derived essential oils that are not harmful when ingested. Parabens are chemicals typically used in lipsticks to give them a longer shelf life but are thought to be linked to skin allergies. Various natural extracts and preservative blends can be used instead to provide effective preservation. Natural makeup has changed for the better. At one time there was trendy makeup and then there was healthy makeup. Today there is no need to settle for one or the other. Cosmetic brands meeting our Premium Body Care standards provide the best of both worlds! So, fess up, did you borrow your mother's lipstick? What color was it?