Breaking Down Your Lipstick
Mar 22, 2019
Breaking Down Your Lipstick: What's Inside?
Since your lipstick is the most likely out of all your makeup products to end up inside your stomach, you should probably know what goes inside it.
What are the ingredients in lipsticks?
The most common ingredients in lipsticks by content are waxes, oils, colorants and alcohol.
- The wax gives structure and shape to the lipstick - the higher the melting point of the wax, the less likely it will be to melt if placed in the sun or a handbag which has accumulated heat.
- Oils act as emollients and add silkiness and shine to the formula.
- Colorants give each lipstick its unique shade and are ground before adding to avoid granules in the formula.
- Alcohol is used in a highly diluted form as a solvent base, a preservative to kill bacteria, as well as an emollient which traps moisture inside the formula - it evaporates as soon as the lipstick is applied, similar to perfumes.
What gives lipsticks their texture?
The ratio of ingredients used in lipsticks depends on the finish. Matte lipsticks use hard waxes with high melting points, such as carnauba wax, which make it harder to rub off; but the downside to this formula is that it may feel dry and brittle. Creamy lipsticks use soft waxes with low melting points, such as beeswax, which melt as soon as they touch your lips due to your body temperature; but the downside to this formula is that the bullets melt and break easily. Satin lipsticks, also known as semi-matte lipsticks (you can shop for Glam Girl's semi-matte lipsticks on our shop), use a combination of hard and soft waxes to create a sturdy bullet with a creamy feel which give lips a softer and plumper look - this formula is the most comfortable to wear and the most worry-free.
Apart from these four commonly used ingredients, various other ingredients in lipsticks include:
- fragrance (which usually constitutes about 1% or less of the formula),
- mica (a mineral which adds shimmer),
- Vitamin E (which makes lips look younger and reduces lip lines), and
- talc (which acts as an absorbent and anti-caking agent).
What to Watch Out For: Harmful Ingredients in Lipsticks
While all the above components have been known to cause no harm, some brands use harmful ingredients as well which you should look out for and avoid. The most commonly-occurring harmful ingredients are:
- lead - increases risk of cancer and neurological problems and causes lips to turn black
- parabens - used as preservatives but are hormone-disruptors and suspected to be linked to cancer
- carmine - a non-halal, red colour additive extracted from crushed bugs and found to be associated with severe allergic reactions
Note: All Glam Girl products are halal and free of lead and parabens.