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!