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Avon Products, Inc. and Consumer Safety: Lipstick Formulation Safety

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Avon lipsticks and all Avon products are safe and are formulated with the highest quality ingredients that are stringently evaluated for safety. Avon is proud of its more than125-year safety record.

The ingredients used in Avon lipsticks meet or exceed all cosmetic quality standards, including those of the US Food &Drug Administration (FDA) and all relevant governing bodies in the more than 100 countries in which we conduct business.

Claims continue to circulate about the safety of lipstick, in particular the presence of lead, driven by a 2007 report from the US group "Campaign for Safe Cosmetics" (CSC). The concerns have been directly refuted twice by the US FDA.

In 2007 CSC tested about 20 lipsticks for the presence of lead. Many were found to have levels that were "undetectable," and some registered trace levels below the daily safe consumption level established by the World Health Organization for food. Nonetheless, CSC issued statements challenging the safety of lipstick and making alarming statements about lead.

The safety of lipsticks has been reconfirmed in twice since the 2007 report:

  • In response to the CSC claims, the FDA tested the same lipsticks and found them to be completely safe. These findings were published in the July/August 2009 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmetic Science.
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  • The FDA repeated the tests and in December 2011 issued a report including this statement: In response to a number of inquiries FDA has received regarding reports of lead contamination in lipstick, we have developed and validated a method for analyzing lead content in currently marketed lipstick. Our results do not show levels of lead in lipstick that would pose a safety concern.
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In color cosmetics such as lipstick, Avon uses only colors approved by the FDA and governing bodies, which assures consumers that our products comply with all relevant standards. Avon continually reviews our raw materials, and the same standards for quality and safety are applied worldwide.

Lead is found naturally in air, water and soil. Consequently, lead may also be found at extremely low trace levels in the raw ingredients used in formulating cosmetics. Lead is not intentionally added to cosmetics. To put this in perspective, the amount of lead to which a woman is exposed when using lipstick is hundreds of times less than the amount from eating, breathing or drinking water that meets drinking water standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency. These are truly insignificant amounts of lead.

Consumers can be assured that any cosmetic or personal care product that carries the Avon name has undergone thorough safety evaluation and can be used with the utmost confidence.

Product ingredient information can be found at http://cosmeticsinfo.org/

For information or questions about Avon visit responsibility.avoncompany.com or email avoncr@avon.com.