Beauty Products Targeting Black Women Are More Toxic Than Others, Study Finds

The stats are staggering.

A recent study initiated by Researchers at the Environmental Working Group has some (not really) shocking news about the state of beauty products for women of color. As reported by TIME Magazine, hair bleachers and relaxers to lipsticks and makeup products contain the most hazardous ingredients in beauty products that target black women.

For starters, the buying power of black people in general in America is among the highest. Making up only 13 percent of the country's population, we also make up 22 percent of the overall $42 billion-a-year in spending for personal care products, as iterated by the study.

However, the market is filled with products that range from least hazardous to most hazardous -- and it seems that black women are given the short end of the stick all around.

Through analyzing 1,177 beauty and personal care products marketed to black women, the group found that more than 75 percent of all products marketed to black women have the potential to be hazardous to health.

Although 1 in every 12 products was ranked highly hazardous on the EWG's Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database scoring system, that's fairly similar to the rest of the market. The difference is that less toxic products are less available to black women than any other targeted group. 

In fact, according to the study, absolutely no product "in the categories of hair relaxers, hair colors and bleaching products, lipsticks, and concealers, foundations and sun-protective makeup" scored as a "low hazard." Black-targeted products including hair relaxers, hair colors and bleaching products are among the most toxic on the market.

The study concludes that "potential hazards linked to product ingredients include cancer, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive damage, allergies and other adverse health effects." So, to say that this is a big deal is an understatement.

It looks like we may need more than just a natural hair movement to assert our right to be ourselves, and that our lives matter. Alicia Keys may be on to something, after all.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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