Is MAC Lipstick Safe Or Toxic? Is It Good And Long-Lasting?

MAC lipstick

MAC lipsticks are irreplaceable in everyone’s vanity but the truth is there are very few shades that have been considered safe by regulatory authorities. You read it right! MAC is not the safest brand to use in your day-to-day routine. 

What Are MAC Lipstick ingredients?

Apart from the basic ingredients like paraffin wax, oil, and pigments, MAC lipsticks have dimethicone which is the first ingredient in almost all their lipsticks, dyes like Red 7 Lake, mica (colorant), titanium dioxide, silica, and even carmine.

They only have one or two good ingredients like kaolin and tocopherol, while other ingredients may trigger fungal acne and are also comedogenic. 

These ingredients mentioned may have some serious side effects on the skin. According to a study conducted by FDA, MAC is one of the top brands drenched with nasty chemicals and heavy metals.

While the Mac lipsticks have a lot of metals and artificial fragrances that are not considered safe to use for a longer time, some of them are gluten-free, nickel-free, paraben-free, and glycol-free.

Do MAC Lipsticks Contain Lead?

There are a few shades of MAC lipsticks like retro and myth that are lead-free. The parent company of MAC is Estee Lauder and it doesn’t contain lead and other heavy metals in their lipsticks, but clearly, that’s not the case with MAC. 

According to a recent survey and research conducted by FDA in 2020, MAC lipsticks have up to 2ppm lead in their lipsticks, with being 0.03ppm as the lowest. They also stated that lipsticks having less than 10ppm are safe to use in your makeup routine. 

Does MAC lipstick Contain Animal Products?

Yes, MAC lipsticks contain animal-derived products like carmine and beeswax. This brand is not animal friendly, hence is not recommended by many beauty content creators out there. 

Pig Fat

MAC lipsticks do not have pig fat or any animal-based fat in their makeup formulations. In the past, many lipstick brands used pork fat but no one does that anymore. The only animal ingredients that go into the makeup are tallow, lanolin, and beeswax.

Fish Scales

MAC lipsticks are far from fish scales, even though this ingredient is still used by many high-end makeup brands to give their formulation a pearly and shimmery effect.


Yes, MAC lipsticks do contain carmine. Also known as Cochineal dye, this substance is far from synthetic. It’s a pigment collected from crushed cochineal beetles and is used as a colorant in many makeup formulations. These beetles feed on cactus plants and the females eat the red cactus berries. When they’re crushed an intense red pigment is produced that is found in most lipsticks and a lot of blushes. 


Yes, MAC lipsticks have beeswax. Beeswax is a natural product obtained from honey bees. It provides moisturization to the lips that protects them from becoming dry and chapped. As the lip skin is very thin and sensitive to the sun, beeswax also protects it from UV radiation.

Does MAC Lipstick Contain Gluten?

MAC has not mentioned that all their lipsticks or even other makeup products are gluten-free. Their Satin lipsticks however are gluten-free, but it’s hard to say about their other lip products. 

You can email the website directly asking about which of their lipsticks are gluten-free. Their customer support helps answer these questions.

Does MAC Lipstick Contain Palm Oil?

Yes, MAC lipsticks have palm oil-derived ingredients. Palm oil holds color well, keeps the lipstick intact at high temperatures, and makes its application smooth on the lips. 

What makes using palm oil a huge deal in cosmetics? According to a news website, tonnes of trees have been chopped down to make way for palm trees because of their wide use in cosmetics.

Apart from that, palm trees are home to many wildlife species such as orangutans, and cutting down these trees have been responsible for re-locating the species from their natural habitat. 

Does MAC Lipstick Contain Parabens?

Yes, MAC lipsticks are paraben-free. Even their whole cosmetic line is paraben-free. Parabens are preservatives that extend the shelf life of the products and protect them from any bacterial or fungal growth. Parabens are also categorized under carcinogens, making them bad guys in the cosmetic industry.

Does MAC Lipstick Have SPF?

No. None of the MAC lipsticks say that they contain an SPF. They have titanium dioxide which is identified as an ingredient that protects from sun damage but in lipsticks, it is used more as a pigment that gives color.

Does Mac Lipstick Have PFAS?

We are not specifically sure about the lipsticks, but, MAC makeup, in general, does contain PFAS. PFAS stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and are also known as “forever chemicals”. These are chemical substances that are not able to break down in the environment as well in the body when ingested. 

Exposure to PFAS may lead to serious health issues, including cancer, infertility, hormonal imbalance, and obesity.

Is MAC Lipstick Safe For Pregnancy?

Some women have used MAC lipsticks while they were pregnant and faced absolutely no issues. We won’t recommend this brand during pregnancy however as it is not clean and it does have ingredients and chemicals that may possess some serious threat to your health and the womb.

It’s always a good option to check the ingredients with the doctor or go for clean beauty brands that are non-toxic.

Is MAC Lipstick Good For Dry Lips? 

The MAC Amplified, Cremesheen, and Satin variants are best suited for dry lips. These creamy bullets glide on smoothly on dry lips and leave a satin to a matte finish that doesn’t feel cracky or flaky on the lips. 

Using MAC Lip Prep + Prime is also a good product for dry lips wanting to use a matte finish lipstick.

Is MAC Lipstick Waterproof?

On their website, MAC has not mentioned if the lipsticks are waterproof, but they are a staple in all the professional makeup artists’ kits. They smudge and bleed if not properly applied. To know what shades and variants are waterproof we recommend you watch reviews of trustworthy beauty content creators.

Is MAC Lipstick Long-Lasting?

The average staying power of MAC lipsticks is 3-4 hours if you don’t eat or drink anything. Most of the MAC lipstick don’t pass the glass test and eating test, even if they claim to last long. 

The longevity of lipsticks also depends on the lip primers and the lip liners you use before applying the lipstick. These two products are used to increase the staying power of lipsticks, especially the one with a satin finish as they tend to break down early and leave a blotchy stain behind.

Is MAC Lipstick Vegan?

No. MAC lipsticks are not vegan. MAC uses animal-derived ingredients like beeswax and carmine to make their lipsticks. They do, however, have several makeup products that are vegan, but not lipsticks. Their products are also tested on animals.

Is MAC Lipstick Cruelty-Free?

Outside China, MAC claims to be a cruelty-free brand as they do not own any animal testing facilities, and they also don’t ask any third parties to perform animal testing on their behalf. They are even in a partnership with IIVS ( Institute For In Vitro Sciences ) to explore non-animal testing methods across the globe. 

China however conducts animal testing as a part of their safety assessment of cosmetics.

Is MAC Lipstick Halal?

MAC lipsticks are considered to be halal as the only animal-based ingredients found in them are carmine, beeswax, and maybe lanolin. Thankfully, out of three, beeswax and lanolin are permitted to use by Muslim consumers.

Carmine, on the other hand, stands as a debatable ingredient. In lip products, this ingredient is considered as Haram because you will end up ingesting the product. For other areas of the face, this ingredient should be used at your discretion.

Does MAC Lipstick Cause Chapped Lips?

Many MAC lipsticks tend to dry out lips that result in chapped lips. MAC lipsticks may have less oil content and more pigment and wax that make them opaque and rich in color. This formulation can make lips dry, flaky and make them settle into cracks and crevices. 

A good lip care routine consisting of lip exfoliation, followed by a lip balm, lip conditioner, or a primer is the best way to go before applying MAC lipsticks. This will make the application of the lipstick smooth and make it stay longer throughout the day.

Does MAC Lipstick Cause Dark Lips?

No, MAC lipsticks do not cause dark lips unless you are allergic to any ingredient present in them. Not removing lipsticks before going to bed can lead to pigmented lips, so make sure you use a good makeup remover to get rid of every ounce of lipstick and keep your lips well hydrated. 

How Toxic Is MAC Lipstick?

In our opinion, MAC is very much a toxic makeup brand, given that there are so many organic and non-toxic makeup brands like Tarte and Urban Decay. MAC lipsticks have dyes like Red Lake 33 which is considered a carcinogen and other heavy metals. 

Even though it is a no.1 choice amongst professional makeup artists, and a fail-safe brand for beauty content creators, we think that MAC as a brand is not consistent and clear when it comes to the ingredients. The ingredients vary from shade to shade and product to product which makes it difficult to hold one good strong opinion about them.

If you still want to go ahead and purchase MAC lipsticks, it is a good idea to contact their customer service and ask more about the ingredients and the concerns regarding them.


Anand Srinivasan
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