It doesn’t take a scientist to know that repeated and consistent exposure to harmful chemicals can cause long term health defects, but I was shocked to find out that many of those chemicals are in the everyday products created for women of color. Some of the usual culprits are staples in Black and Brown communities like chemical hair straightening and skin bleaching. But a few were unexpected like douching and talc-based body powder. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s report includes 71 cited studies on things like the use of formaldehyde in beauty products and hair treatments, effects on the body’s endocrine system, as well as reducing phthalate, paraben, and phenol exposure in adolescent girls.
Overall the breakdown states that things like colorism, hair texture “preference,” and odor discrimination puts WOC disproportionately at risk for mercury poisoning, neurotoxicity, kidney damage, uterine fibroid tumors, premature puberty, endocrine disruption, and gynecologic cancers. You can read more about specific harmful brands and products here. There are now many beauty brands that cater specifically to the health conscious consumer, cruelty free makeup brands, as well as websites that sell only clean products, I’ve compiled some of my favorite brands that are safe and free of harmful chemicals.
Jessica Alba is holding it down for Latinas doing big things! Her products are super wearable, come in a wide variety of skin tones and best of all they are all natural!
This brand is 100 percent vegan and cruelty free! They have a full line with every product you’ll ever need. My absolute favorite is their body sprays they smell so good!
As we all know Gwyneth Paltrow is all about the natural and the fabulous – although sometimes outrageous, she sometimes gets it right as she has by linking up with Juice Beauty. These products are organic, high performance, clinically validated, and surprisingly affordable.
Their products are natural, organic, and sustainably produced. 10 percent of product sales go to the women and communities that supply the ingredients. And if that is not a good enough reason to support them, their body lotions are bomb!!
This UK based brand offers makeup and skincare free from parabens, phthalates, synthetic perfumes, dyes and is certified cruelty free too!
RMS products are formulated with raw, food grade and organic ingredients as well as enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants. And all their products are free of harmful chemicals, synthetic preservatives, synthetic vitamins, and genetically altered ingredients.
Vapour Organic Beauty
They’ve got a full cruelty-free line for lips, eyes, cheeks, foundation, and skincare created in a USDA-approved organic lab. And can we talk about the fact that they have a free shade consultant to help you find your color! So cool!
Created by a Danish-born New York-based makeup artist who was concerned about the long-term effects of skin irritants in makeup. All of her products are certified organic.
Tata has an awesome line of 100 percent natural and non-toxic cosmetics, skincare and aromatherapy.