Lupus and lipstick: The industry responds

Ken Masters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Evidence links lipstick to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study aims at obtaining a response from the lipstick industry. Method: A 4-item electronic and postal survey, with 2 follow-up mailings, was conducted amongst 19 major lipstick companies. Results: From the electronic survey, 100% of the companies responded with machine-generated confirmations of receipt. Human responses were obtained from 10 of the companies. The responses were characterized by refusal to participate, referrals to non-responsive contact details, and standard disclaimers. Only 1 company answered the questions directly, and 1 indirectly. Discussion and conclusion: Despite the lipstick industry's awareness of the research, there appears to be little concern over the link between lipstick and SLE. There is the need for the lipstick industry to research the link, for the medical fraternity to adjust acceptable guidelines, and for the impact of lipstick transfer, particularly to children and infants, to be researched.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Journal of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Lipstick
  • SLE
  • Survey
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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