75%. That’s a high percentage, right?
What if I told you, it represents the percentage of the personal care products marketed to Black women that contain chemical ingredients that are harmful to our health?
Before you read on. Sit with what I just said.
75% of the beauty products that are produced and marketed to Black women - skincare, makeup, body products, etc. - not only contain harmful ingredients, but they are purposefully and intentionally marketed to US.
When I first learned about this a few years ago, I had to double back. But I needed to know for sure, so down the rabbit hole I went.
I kept thinking: Is this true? HOW can this be true?
Sadly, it's true, and anger replaced my disbelief.
Not only does the FDA have no authority to force a company to stop using an ingredient even when it is deemed harmful, but they also have no formal approval process over the use of the ingredients that go into our personal care products and cosmetics.
Before I dive into a few ingredients you should watch out for, I want to highlight a few reasons why this should matter to you:
Black women are 4-8 times more likely to have parabens found in their body
82% of chronic diseases are due to environmental exposure to toxic chemicals
Black women have higher rates of beauty related chemicals in their bodies
Black girls get their period at younger ages
This has been found to be linked to endocrine disruptors & chemicals that directly affect reproductive hormones
Black women have higher diagnoses of both fibroids and breast cancer
Both parabens & benzophenones cause an overproduction of estrogen - which is a cause of fibroids and breast cancer
I know that feels like a lot.
But also want to highlight the empowering side of all of this. Black women are responsible for 22% of the spending in this industry. You know what that means? We have the power to demand change.
Here are a few common ingredients you should start looking for in your everyday products.
Let's start with your Fragrance/Parfum/Perfume, which represents an unknown cocktail made of 10,000 plus ingredients. Some of their most known and popular ones: acetone, phenol, toluene, benzyl acetate. Because of their presence, perfumes and other beauty products that we used on a daily basis have been linked to cause:
Skin irritation & sensitivity
Other culprits in the list are BPA - Parabens - Phthalates - Parabens
They have been tied to:
Increased cancer risk
Dysfunction of the nervous & immune systems
I know that must have been a lot to take on. And by providing all these information, I’m not saying that you need to give up your self-care and skincare routines, nor am I suggesting that you stop wearing makeup.
This blog's objective is to encourage you to check the ingredients in your favorite products.
If you can’t - or simply don’t want to - find a safer alternative, then this is where you use your power as a consumer to ask for better. You can write a letter or use the power of social media to reach out to your favorite brands and ask them why they choose to use certain ingredients when they have been linked to harmful health effects. You can ask them to remove the toxic ingredients from their products.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that lack of information can be extremely harmful to our health. So if we have the power to make a change, why wouldn’t we? It is important that we remember our skin is our largest organ. It can harbor toxins and soak up products' ingredients that can then enter our bloodstream. We can’t afford to overlook that.
We deserve safer!!!
Clean Beauty for Black Girls
Website: Clean Beauty for Black GIrls