New research from The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that over 75 per cent of products marketed to black women contain potentially hazardous ingredients.
“As a black woman myself, I was disheartened that black women have fewer options for healthier products when they are choosing from products specifically targeted to them,” co-author Nneka Leiba, deputy director for research at EWG, told Time.
EWG’s study looked at nearly 1,200 beauty and personal care products marketed to black women and applied the same algorithms they use for Skin Deep, an online tool which allows users to check just how harmful their fav face cream/mascara/moisturizer/lipstick/you-name-it is. The database ranks the safety from one to ten (being most hazardous) using a variety of metrics.
The worst offender of them all? Chemical hair straighteners and dyes. Though lipsticks, concealers, foundations and sun care weren’t far behind. None of these products marketed to black women made it into EWG’s “low hazard” category. None!
Many of these hair relaxers contain a chemical called lye, which, according to EWG’s report, has been linked to baldness and a higher risk of growths in women’s uteruses. Seriously, what in the eff?
Black women also buy and use more personal care products, says the EWG, and so this could mean that with limited safe options on the market, many women are purchasing what they have access to. Even though it’s full of toxins, carcinogens and chemicals.
“We know black women don’t only purchase products marketed to them,” says Leiba. “But if a black woman wants to choose products marketed for her, she should be able to find healthy products available to her. This is not acceptable.”
Read the full list of products here.