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Don't gloss over lipstick risks

Jul. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

What do domestic superstar Angelina Jolie and undomesticated rock 'n' roller Steven Tyler have in common? Bright-red lipstick. (Check out Tyler's YouTube lipstick video.) But they might choose differently if they knew how potentially toxic some lip colors are. (Is Gene Simmons better off with black?)

In a follow-up to reports about chromium, cadmium, manganese and lead (to name the most risky metals) in lip glosses and lipsticks, a recent study from The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences confirms the kiss and tell. Of the 300 they tested, 75 percent contained lead; 68 percent had chromium; and 22 percent contained manganese well above safe levels (if you think there is a safe level).

So, if you want a bit of color on your lips, what can you do? Well, nothing makes a face more youthful, cheeks rosier or lips more appealing than daily exercise (walking 10,000 steps a day); a healthy diet (skip the Five Food Felons of added sugars and sugar syrups, any grain that isn't 100 percent whole, most saturated fats and all trans fats); spending time with a good friend; doing something nice for someone; and having a roll in the hay (make sure it's 100 percent whole grain -- just kidding) with your significant other.

And for a fast fix: Try a blend of pulverized berries of your choice, strong coffee (to darken the colors) and a touch of olive oil; strain and apply with a cotton swab. Seal with a pure beeswax lip balm. Sweet!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

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