Just for Fun: Is it True that We Eat 7lbs of Lipstick in Our Lives?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm sure you've heard this before: women consume 4 - 9lbs (or 1.8 - 4kg) of lipstick in their lifetime. This urban legend has been popularized on sites like this one and that one. Depending on which exact sites you've been reading, your estimates will vary, although the mean number seems to tend to 7lbs (3.2kg).

(Screenshot from the Lipstick Lover video...You know, that one on Youtube)

Now that's a lot of lipstick, and I was wondering how true it was, so I decided to do a couple of calculations to see if I could verify it.

The typical lipstick is around 0.12oz (or 3.4 grams) of net weight. Some brands weight more, some brands, like MAC, weigh less (MAC weighs 0.1oz/3g). 1lb is 16 oz, so there would be 1/0.12=133.33 lipsticks required to make up the weight of a pound.

So, in order for us to eat 7lbs of lipstick in our lives, that would mean we eat 133.33*7=933.31 lipsticks over the course of our lives.

I don't think anyone - even the most hardcore makeup fanatic - has 933 lipsticks though. Heck, I'm a makeup fanatic with a specialty in lipgloss and lipsticks, and my stash of lip products freaks civillians out, but I don't even have 933 lipsticks! (I wouldn't mind, though, hehe.)

So how much lipstick do we actually eat in a lifetime? I decided to do more math.

Assume a lipstick lasts 8 months with daily use. (This is from my own personal experience. Yes, I've actually used up a lipstick!) And assume you start wearing makeup at 16, and wear it until you're 80. So that gives you 64 years of lipstick-wearing. And each lipstick lasts 8 months, and for simplicity's sake, let's assume you wear lipstick everyday, applied once in the morning. So, that means you'll have 768 months of lipstick wearing, which translates into 96 lipsticks over the course of your entire life. And 96 lipsticks will weigh a total of 96*0.12=11.52oz, or just 326 grams of lipstick over your entire life.

Wow. That's a lot less than the "conservative" estimates of 4lbs. Even if you reapply your lipstick twice a day (say once after lunch and once after dinner), that would still make it only 11.52*3=34.56oz, or 979grams of lipstick over your entire life! In fact, to get it to match the average 7lbs estimate, you'd have to reapply your lipstick 10 times every day. Even if you take into account the fact that kids these days start wearing makeup at ages younger than 16, the amount of lipstick they wear isn't going to near the 7lbs estimate. So it's really all a myth.

The strange thing is I've actually seen this touted as "fact" in some respectable beauty publications, which in turn makes you wonder if they check their facts at all. But anyway, I just thought was fun to actually verify what I've been hearing to see if it was really true.


  1. What a fun post! :D and very interesting too xx

  2. interesting!!! you're a math whiz hehe



  3. Yeah I didn't think it was true, this post is great! Fantastic maths and proving the myth is wrong!

  4. Hahahahaha! Thanks for sharing this, it made me laugh. Something to think about...

  5. I did the calculation too a while ago, that's really ridiculous, but funny :) And so many people still believe it, so it's useful to clarify!

  6. I wonder if they count the lipstick eaten as a child. LOL
    seriously though, they probably weighed the entire package (not just the contents) and did the math that way.
    You've just proven to me that you are a fellow geek. <3

  7. yeah, the facts are a tad ridiculous. although i'm sure we do "eat" some lipstick off our lips, 4-9 lbs in a lifetime? i'd think a woman would have to wear lipstick 24/7 for that to be even REMOTELY possible!


  8. What a fun little post! And consider only maybe half of what you put on your lips gets ingested, that figure is even less.

  9. I hope not, because that's gross to think about!

  10. THANK YOU!!!! I did the math once too, I think when it came up on MUA, based on a Chanel or MAC lipstick and the myth is just truly absurd. And all these estimates are given that you eat 100% of the lipstick you apply to your lips, which is not true either!!!! (At least for me, the majority of my lip products come off on napkins... )

  11. Wow what an interesting post. I have never even thought about it when I put on lipstick. Though I remember coming across one of these ridiculous estimates somewhere...

    You show those exaggeraters!

  12. Good point, I think I had always assumed that someone had just proven this "fact". Though I think we definitely need to incorporate lipgloss and balm into the equation (even though they're generally left out of this myth) because I apply lipgloss and balm a billion times a day!

  13. It is true we eat a lot of lipsticks on our lifetime. I found out that when I got the press release from The Body Shop in regards to their new lipstick collection called delipcious as it is 100% food grade (yes, it means you could eat their lipstick with no nasties!!).

    I'll be uploading a post about it next week at my blog http://thebodyshopfan.blogspot.com

    Interesting post!

  14. Whilst I can't argue with the maths here, I still think the key point is being missed. Whether you consume 1 gram or 1 lb or 10lbs, you are still in danger of eating the ridiculous chemicals and metals that the majority of liptsticks still contain - any amount is still to much to avoid long term health issues!


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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