Is there a connection between wearing lipstick and smoking cigarettes?
More than one answer is plausible but we are thinking carbon black. 

Carbon Black aka: D&C Black, acetylene black, thermal black, furnace black, channel black, lamp black and Black No.2

Found in: films, inks, adhesives, paints, plastics, cosmetics. Your car tire alone may contain 4 pounds of it. But we are interested in the cosmetic angle: mascara, lipstick, rouge, nail polish, brush-on brow eyeshadow, blushers makeup and foundation.  

Carbon black is a natural carbon, but when altered it is no longer natural. It is a highly refined chemical, cheaply made under controlled circumstances. A designer carbon that acts a certain way.  Painting body parts can be risky.

If you are a smoker, an ex-smoker or know anything at all about smoking, you may have heard about carbon black.

Carbon Black can collect in the lungs, esophagus, kidney, bladder and the skin. Carbon black has been linked to cancer. If you have given up smoking, kudos. But, ask yourself, ‘Am I getting carbon through the skin?”

Caleb Blake’s 2017 article Carbon Black Dangers in Cosmetics Explained, lists several well-known companies who regularly use carbon black. If you wear a lot of makeup, or know someone who does, you should check out his listing. It includes Cover Girl, Max Factor, L’Oréal.  He does recommend DIY and cites natural ‘foods’ that can contribute the desired colours and highlights to the skin. 

Start with natural skin bases, cleansers and moisturizers that are chemical free, allowing the skin to take on a healthier glow.  Less makeup is needed.  If you love makeup, just be cautious when you do the paint job. 

Seven years ago, the Government of Canada conducted a screening assessment of Carbon Black and decided that it was NOT a threat to either the environment or our health. While they agreed that we may be exposed to carbon black through air inhalation, paints, spray hair dyes, food additives and packaging and cosmetics, they say it is expected to be low.  

Explain that to one who loves to wear makeup and also works in a tire processing plant.  What might LOW carbon black exposure mean then?

As Blake says in his article, it took 50 years to admit cigarettes were bad for us. Will we be talking about carbon black the same way? There are carbon black cosmetic restrictions in the USA and EU.  At least someone is doing their job.

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