Story of lipsticks in Homoeopathy

Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD (Homoeopathy)
Dr. (Km) Ruchi Rajput BHMS (Solan)

Lipstick is the cosmetic which in general, is formulated to provide uniform color coverage while being neutral in taste, stable under normal fluctuations of temperature, moisture, and air flow, and lacking major toxicity and irritancy.

First appearance of Lipsticks is reported from the ancient city of Ur, near Babylon, 5,000 years ago.
Egyptians made it from finely crushed carmine beetles, which yielded a deep red pigment, mixed with ant eggs as a base.

Elizabethan lipsticks were a blend of cochineal (a red dye obtained from Mexican red scale insect- Coccus cacti that feeds on cacti) and beeswax.

For many centuries, lip reddeners consisted of a very poisonous substance called mercuric sulfide.

Lipsticks in their modern form were introduced after World War I; they were colored with a dye and acid-base indicator (carmine) chemically extracted from the small red cochineal insect (Coccus cacti).

Indelible long-lasting lipsticks were introduced in the 1920s and became colored upon reacting with the skin.

It is this technology of the 1920s on which modern color-change lipstick chemistry is based. Modern lipstick is formulated to provide both protection for the delicate tissues of the lips and color for appearance.

Chemical composition of lipstick
The chemical composition of lipstick varies greatly among manufacturers.

  • Lipstick should remain relatively stiff and intact within the dispenser tube but flow easily onto the lips under application pressure.
  • To  achieve these goals, the specific chemical composition may include a mixture of oils, waxes, pigments, emollients, antioxidants, and preservatives. Perfumes are often added to mask the unpleasant fatty odor of the oil.
  • Much of the body mass of the lipstick is composed of a mixture of a nonvolatile oil (e.g., castor, vegetable, mineral, or lanolin) and solid wax (e.g., beeswax or carnauba). The addition of oil allows the wax-based product to be softened and easily applied.
  • In addition, esters of fatty acids (e.g., 2-propyl myristate) are commonly added to reduce any “stickiness.”
  • Often, the color of lipstick is considered to be the most important characteristic. The colors and dyes of lipsticks include many water-insoluble (oil soluble) products, such as brilliant blue, erythrosine, amaranth, rhodamine, tartrazine, dibromofluorescein, and tetrabromofluorescein (bluish-red compound).
  • The dyes must be water insoluble; otherwise, the color would quickly fade or be removed in a short time by the consumer through the movement of the saliva-soaked tongue across the lips.
  • Water-soluble dyes such as green or blue food dyes may be used to provide lipstick coloration, but they are usually first “laked” or combined with metal oxides such as aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH3)] to form an insoluble precipitate that is then suspended in the oil base of the lipstick.
  • Eosin is a commonly used pigment that yields an intense red color upon application after chemical reaction with numerous _NH2 (amine) – containing skin surface proteins.
  • For some color-change lipsticks, the lightly colored eosin pigment is masked in the applicator tube by a laked green or blue dye. Thus, the laked dye is the color viewed before the lipstick is applied, and the color-change when the lipstick is applied to the lips is intense as eosin yields a red color. These types of lipsticks frequently contain acids (e.g., citric or lactic), as the color-change dyes tend not to function properly under basic conditions.
  • The very popular “mood lipsticks” are composed of weak acid color pigments that have a conjugate base form with a remarkably different color. When the lipstick reacts with the skin, it changes to a color varying according to the pH of the skin at the time of application. Since the pH of the skin is dependent on numerous physiological factors (e.g., physical activity level, stress, nutrition, hormonal fluctuations) and genetically different natural base skin colors, the color of the mood lipstick varies from application to application.

Probable side effects of Lipstick on Human Body
Isopropyl Myristate (IPM)
A known irritant of eyes, skin and respiratory systems.

Brilliant Blue FCF
A colorant for foods and other substances to induce a color change. Has the capacity for inducing an allergic reaction in individuals with pre-existing moderate asthma.

A reddish-pink synthetic dye. Most popularly used as a food coloring . Food Additive Allergy – erythrosine includes the 38 symptoms – Mood changes, Behavior changes, Numbness, Runny nose, Watery eyes, Sore eyes, Itchy eyes, Red eyes, Cough, Hives, Asthma, Lip swelling, Tongue swelling, Hoarseness, Throat swelling, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Itching, Sneezing, Wheezing, Headache, Sinus pain, Itchy mouth, Tingling mouth, Breathing problems, Facial redness, Facial swelling, Redness around lips, Constipation, Skin flushing, Swallowing problems, Abdominal pain, Eczema, Sweating, Low blood pressure, Disturbed sleep, Lightheadedness.

A dark red to purple azo dye once used as a food dye and to color cosmetics, a suspected carcinogen.

Rhodamine dyes can cause phototoxic or photoallergic reactions. May cause irritation to the respiratory tract causing coughing, sore throat, labored breathing, and chest pain, irritation to the gastro-intestinal tract, eye and skin irritation with redness and pain.

Appears to cause the most allergic and/or intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance and asthmatics. Other reactions can include migraine, blurred vision, itching, rhinitis and purple skin patches. It may create an over-activity in children.

  • Dibromofluorescein
  • May cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, paralysis, coma, rash, headache, dilated pupils etc.
  • Tetrabromofluorescein (Eosine)
  • A skin, eyes and respiratory system irritant, toxic if swallowed.
  • Aluminium Hydroxide

May cause constipation, hemorrhoids,  bowel obstruction, black/tarry stools, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), deep sleep, pain with urination, stomach/abdominal pain, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness etc.

Homoeopathy and Lipstick
While seeking Homoeopathic treatment, we may ignore some particular symptoms like local skin or mucosal irritation or some systemic allergic manifestations like hives and asthmatic attacks if due to Lipstick-use in some patients. We should also consider the alterations in modalities of such symptoms and signs if manifested due to this contact/ absorbent or oral chemical complex of cosmetic category. In some cases, it may act as an obstacle to cure and cause tensions to the physician in deciding remedy, posology or prognosis.

A short repertory of Lip eruptions

  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Above – right- vero-o.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Around lips – licking; from- agar.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – blisters – black- tub.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – blisters- ven-m.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – chill; during- Ars. bry. caps. ign. Nat-m. Nux-v. rhus-t.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – fever; during- Ars. Ign. Nat-m. nux-v.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Lower – inflamed- borx.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Lower – left- galeoc-c-h.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Lower- alum. borx. BRY. Calc. caust. cham. clem. galeoc-c-h. Ign. mez. Nat-c. Nat-m. Ph-ac. phos. rhod. SEP. Sulph. tritic-vg.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Upper – desquamating- prot.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Upper – dry- prot.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips – Upper- acon. aids. amph. ant-c. arg-n. arn. ARS. Bar-c. bell. borx. canth. Carb-v. caust. Cic. cinnb. con. dig. graph. hell. hep. KALI-C. KREOS. Lyc. m-ambo. mag-c. mag-m. mang. merc. Nat-c. Nat-m. nit-ac. Par. petr. phyt. plat. prot. Rhus-t. sabad. Sars. Sep. Sil. spig. squil. STAPH. sul-i. SULPH. Thuj. tritic-vg. vero-o. viol-t. zinc.
  • FACE – ERUPTIONS – Lips- agar. ail. alum. Am-c. am-m. ant-c. ant-t. apis arg-n. arge-pl. arn. ARS. asc-t. aur-m. bell. berb. Borx. bov. brom. bry. cadm-s. calc-f. calc-s. calc-sil. Calc. cann-s. canth. caps. carb-an. carb-v. carbn-s. caust. cham. chel. chinin-s. cic. cinnb. Clem. Com. Con. Crot-t. dig. ferr-m. ferr-ma. galeoc-c-h. Graph. guaj. hed. hell. Hep. hydr. ign. ip. kali-c. kali-chl. kali-m. kali-s. lac-ac. lac-c. lach. lyc. Mag-c. Mag-m. mang. med. melal-alt. merc-c. merc. mez. Mur-ac. nat-ar. Nat-c. NAT-M. nat-p. nat-s. nicc. Nit-ac. nux-v. pall. par. petr. ph-ac. phos. plat. psor. rhod. RHUS-T. ruta sang. sars. seneg. SEP. Sil. spong. Squil. staph. staphycoc. Sul-i. sulph. tarent. ter. thuj. tritic-vg. urt-u. valer. viol-t.
  • GENERALS – ALLERGIC constitution – chemical hypersensitivity- nat-m. nux-v. phos. sul-ac. verat.
  • GENERALS – ALLERGIC constitution – multiple- carc.
  • GENERALS – ALLERGIC constitution – petrochemical fumes; to- dioxi. nux-v. petr. phos. sep. sul-ac.
  • GENERALS – ALLERGIC constitution- all-c. am-c. APIS ars-i. ars. arum-t. arund. blatta-o. borx. bov. calc-s. carc. caust. chlam-tr. clem. cortico. cycl. diph-t-tpt. Dulc. enteroc. euphr. fl-ac. flav. fuma-ac. galph. hep. Iod. kali-ar. kali-bi. kali-c. kali-i. kali-n. kali-s. lac-c. lyc. med. naja nat-ar. Nat-c. nat-m. nat-p. nat-pyru. nat-s. nux-m. nux-v. petr. phos. prot. psor. puls. ran-b. sabad. samb. sang. sanguis-s. sanic. sin-n. stict. suis-cu. sul-ac. sulph. ther. thuj. tub.
  • GENERALS – ALUMINIUM poisoning- alum. bar-c. Bry. cadm-met. Cadm-o. calc-ox. camph. cham. ip. plb. puls.
  • SKIN – ITCHING – contact – agg.- ran-b.

Some Remedies for Lip eruptions in decreasing order of affinity
Nat m, Nux v, Phos, Ars alb, Borax, Caust, Nat c, Petr, Prot, Sul ac, Sulph, Bry, Clem, Hep, Ign, Kali c, Lyc, Sep, Thuja, Alum, Am c, Apis, Bov, Cal s, Carc, Cham, Kali s, Lac c, Med, Nat ars, Nat p, Nat s, Psor, Puls, Ran b, Rhus t, Sabad, Sang, Tritic vg, Tub, Agar, All c, Ant c, Arg n, Arn, Ars i, Arum t, Arund, Bar c, Bell, Blata o, Calc c, Chanth, Caps, Carbo v, Cicuta, Cinnab, Con, Cortico, Cycl, Dig, Dulca, Enterococ, Euphr, Fl. ac, Flav, Fuma ac, Galph, Graph, Helleb, Iod, Ipec, Kali ars, Kali bi, Kali i, Kali n, Nat c, Mag m, Mangan, Merc s, Mez, Naja, Nit ac, Nux m, Pariera, Ph ac, Plat, Rhodo, Sanic, Sarsa, Sil, Sin n, Squill, Staph, Sticta, Suph iod, Thered, Ver a, Veronia o , Viola t, Diphth, Sanguis s, Acon, Ail, Amm m, Ant t, Asc t, Aur m, Berb, Brom, Cad met, Cadm o, Cadm s, Cal f, Calc ox, Calc sil, Camph, Cann s, Carb an, Carbn s, Cheli, Chin s, Com, Crot t, Fer m, Guaj, Hed, Hydr, Kali chl, Kali m, Kreos, Lac ac, Lach, M ambo, Mur ac, Nicc, Pall, Phyt, Plb, Ruta, Senega, Spig, Spong, Staphylo, Tarent, Treb, Urt u, Val, Zinc, Aids

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