Background: Humans are exposed continuously to a large number of chemicals from various
sources and via multiple routes. One of the most common sources is the use of cosmeceuticals like
lipsticks and sunscreen which contain significant amount of heavy metals like Lead (Pb) and Cadmium
Introduction: The present study was undertaken with an objective to investigate the content of heavy
metals especially Pb and cadmium Cd from commonly used brands of cosmetic products (lipsticks and
sunscreen creams) in India.
Methods: Sixty samples of lipsticks (5 colors in 6 brands) and sunscreen creams (3 colors in 10 brands) were chosen for
the present investigation, procured from cosmetic shop centre, Moradabad (India). The Pb and Cd concentrations of the
formulations were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Result: The results indicated that the concentrations of Pb and Cd in the lipstick samples were within the range of 0.12–
4.9 µg/g and 3.48–46.38 µg/g, respectively. In sunscreen creams, the concentration of Pb and Cd were found to be in the
range of 0.96–4.50 µg/g and 9.54–22.41 µg/g respectively. The observed concentrations of the heavy metals in the lipsticks
samples were lower than that of the sunscreen creams.
Conclusion: The significant difference between the average of Pb content in the different brands of the sunscreen creams
and the lipsticks was recorded. Therefore, the frequent use of such cosmetics may culminate enhanced absorption of
heavy metals, especially Pb and Cd, in the body through absorption of cosmetics over skin surface as well as by swallowing
of lipsticks during its application. Pb and Cd as heavy metal may be harmful, if these are present in cosmeceuticals in
excess quantity. Therefore, attempts must be made to familiarize the cosmetic users and the public about the harmful consequences
of heavy metal present in cosmetics.