Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Not Your Mother’s Lipstick

By Kristy Good, October 5, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kristy Good
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?
Category: Whole Body




Stella Homicki says ...
10/12/2011 7:00:56 PM CDT
Rachael Sperling says ...
I honestly never thought about lipstick being damaging to your body. It's pretty gross to think about ingesting those chemicals if you happen to be eating or drinking while wearing lipstick - and that's the main occasion for the cosmetic - scary. The only make up I've ever worried about is mascara. I've heard the ingredients (supposedly tar?) can be really damaging to your eyelashes. Any info on that? Thanks! Rachael
10/12/2011 7:01:40 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
Yes, of course I borrowed my mother's lipstick! I grew up in the 60's! But I wasn't happy or enamored with her choice of colors. After all, I was a teenager and she was, well, "over 3o". Over my lifetime I have become more and more aware of the ingredients included in various cosmetics. Part of my personal research was prompted by what I now acknowledge as being allergic reactions to various synthetic ingredients in those and in currant mainstream cosmetics. I am the mother of a 14 year old daughter who is very interested in cosmetics. I try to steer her toward cosmetics with natural ingredients without, especially, artificial fragrances. My daughter is very receptive to the information that I provide and that she gets via her own research into the chemical brew that modern mainstream cosmetics include. However, I must comment on your wordage and advertisement assumptions, that today's mothers are not aware of the detrimental ingredients in many of today's cosmetics. At the ripe old age of 56, I feel as though I am fully aware of what's going on and of the availability of safer alternatives. Thank you for considering my point of view. And, remember, my age group still has purchasing power and influence over the upcoming generations. Sincerely, A mother who's "over the hill" and an Austinite who was there when the whole thing started.
10/12/2011 9:12:24 PM CDT
L. Gill says ...
I'm so happy to know about your Premium Body Care symbol for your cosmetic products that denotes they are made from naturally derived sources. I'll be sure to check them out. Thanks for all you do.
10/12/2011 11:07:45 PM CDT
Angie says ...
I've just been diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and am go glad that there is an alternative to the chemically based lipsticks that I have always worn. It's been a challenge to find Organic beauty products. Thanks for the great info.
10/15/2011 11:09:33 AM CDT
Maria says ...
When i was 14 going on 15...my cousin was celebrating her 15 years, her parents invited their friends and relates to celebrated this occasion. So I asked my mother if I could used her lipstick, she replied: Yes, you may. After applied her lipstick few minutes later I have an itchy lip, I immediately remove the lipstick. So later in years I learned about cosometic having chemicals which can damage you skin..., now I use Burt's Bee for my lip.
10/17/2011 8:16:54 AM CDT
Lani says ...
When I was 14 I pocketed one of my mother's light-pink frosted lipsticks. She wouldn't let me wear makeup, so I'd wait 'til I got to school to put the lipstick on. As I got older I found that frosted lipsticks irritated and dried my lips; thankfully by then frosts were out of style. But I found through the years that just about every lipstick dried my lips. In the early-70's almost everyone had an aloe plant in their kitchen. I opened a leaf and rubbed the gel onto my arm. Within a few hours the area became red and itchy! That's how I discovered that I'm allergic to aloe, and aloe is in almost everything these days, especially cosmetics and hair- and body-care products. It makes it very difficult to find products I can use!
10/22/2011 12:59:36 AM CDT
Denise Ready says ...
Arbonne is a great resource for natural make-up products as well as many others too!
02/04/2012 4:29:27 PM CST
linda says ...
burt's bees has lead and junk in there that need not be, purchased by clorox their lipstick made it onto the top 20 list. i do not mind shopping at whole foods and paying the extra money for food and product but if trash foods and lead filled lipstick are in the mix, well ,,whole foods just is not what it use to be that i can say.
05/09/2013 7:56:09 AM CDT
Ellen Geis says ...
I wish you would carry cosmetics that earn a 0 (no harmful ingredients, or very minimal) on the Environmental Working Group Cosmetics Safety Data Base. Burt's Bees lip shimmers, featured on this web site, are rated 1 or 2. Au Natural earns a 0. You do not carry it, as far as I know. Why not contact the company and carry their products, or those of another company that rate a 0??? So many of us are looking to the Cosmetics Safety Data Base to vet our beauty products these days. Just Google Whole Foods cosmetic products and you see will see entries from women who have cross checked your products with the date base and found them wanting. Think of all the women who have checked the data base but have not blogged about it...like me!!
03/10/2014 8:10:19 PM CDT
Gail says ...
I concur with Ellen- there is such an opportunity for Whole Foods to promote completely safe make-up items. Why isn't Au Naturale sold at WF? I have two young daughters who like to play with my make-up and constantly get cheap make-up prroducts via birthday presents and goodie bags. I throw them out! I'd like to set up a special drawer in their bathroom filled with fun, yet SAFE makeup that they can experiment with. Everything sold at WF should be rated a "0." It's absolutely crazy that we live in a world that promotes beauty, beauty, beauty, without an equal emphasis on product safety. And, think about sunscreen- save your skin, save your skin, save your skin- but what kind of chemicals are being absorbed into our body and harming our organs?!
04/12/2014 7:02:20 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@GAIL - Our buying is done at the local/regional level. You can always let your local store know about new brands and they can make sure they meet our quality standards and look in to carrying them!
04/15/2014 1:07:19 PM CDT
monica shurtleff says ...
Is there any natural red lip balm (or any lip products) that doesn't have soy in it. Alot of times the vitamin e is soy based.
12/02/2014 8:53:38 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MONICA - Our exact product options will differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see if they have any soy free options in stock.
12/02/2014 11:25:15 AM CST
Maria says ...
I was just told that Burt's Bees contain lead as well as the other top brands... is this true???... I trusted this brand for a long time and now I feel very disappointed : ( Its just too hard to trust good brands nowadays!!! my dermatologist said not to use this stuff.
12/04/2014 9:57:28 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARIA - We do not manufacture this product so I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly. You can find contact info at http://www.burtsbees.com/Contact-Us/contact-us,default,pg.html.
12/05/2014 5:02:43 PM CST