Clean Beauty for Everyone.

Clean Beauty Justice.

Beauty and personal care products marketed to women of color often contain more toxic ingredients than products marketed to white women. As a result, women of color face greater exposure to toxic ingredients used in beauty and personal care products. This is unacceptable.

Women of color deserve the same access to safer beauty products.

Take a Stand. Help spread the word about Clean Beauty Justice on your social channels.

#cleanbeautyjustice

Beauty’s Toxic Equity Problem

Your personal care products, from hair moisturizer to mascara, can expose you to toxic chemical ingredients, like parabens, phthalates, phenols and mercury. Even small amounts of exposure to certain chemicals are linked to fertility issues, cancer and more. And these exposures add up over time.

Clean beauty is on the rise, but efforts are predominantly focused on products marketed to white women. Products for darker skin tones and for curly, coily hair types are often ignored.

The color of your skin or texture of your hair shouldn’t block your access to clean beauty products.

#cleanbeautyjustice for WOC. Not only do Black women have to worry about hair discrimination in the workplace and at school, but we're also more likely to be exposed to toxic chemicals via beauty and personal care items. #ad Women of color deserve #cleanbeautyjustice, which is why I've partnered with environmental_defense_fund to bring you more information about how this impacts our lives—check my stories for info on how you can help. #cleanbeauty ...

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As promised, I’m back with another episode of Dope Stuff with ways you can get involved with environmental_defense_fund’s Clean Beauty Justice for Women of Color movement! #AD // Check out the video to hear 3 ways you can help👍🏾And again, hit the link in my bio if you’re as passionate as I am about making sure the Black community is being cared for in the beauty industry✊🏾 and #cleanbeauty in general💫
#CleanBeautyJustice #DopeStuffOnMyDesk
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3 Reasons Why You Should Be Ingredient-Conscious About Skin & Hair Products #ad

INGREDIENTS REALLY MATTER
You might be thinking: “Why should I care about ingredients?” Similar to the food you eat, what you put on your hair and skin also matters. Keep in mind, beauty and personal care products can be a source of exposure to toxic ingredients, like parabens, phthalates, phenols, and mercury — all linked to adverse health impacts. A good rule of thumb: Check if the brand tells you why these ingredients are used in the product and how they know they’re safe.

THE WORD “CLEAN” CAN BE FOUND NEARLY EVERYWHERE
Because of the lack of regulation in the industry, many beauty products have caused confusion through marketing “clean products.” Clean products are known for ingredients that are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals. While companies can have different standards for what clean beauty looks like, it’s also important to think past just the ingredients — look at the packaging and life cycle of the product too.

WHAT ABOUT HAIR CARE PRODUCTS?
A 2018 study by Silent Spring Institute found 45 endocrine-disrupting or asthma-associated chemicals across 18 hair products used by Black women and girls — with earlier research showing higher use of hormone-containing hair and skin products among Black women and children compared to white women and children. Many mainstream attempts to make haircare products safer and cleaner are ignoring products marketed to people of color, like products for curly and coily hair. Women of color shouldn’t have to accept that they are disproportionately exposed to harmful product ingredients because of the color or texture of their hair.

I’m excited to be partnering with environmental_defense_fund to raise awareness about how women of color are impacted at high rates, as well as the discrepancies in the clean beauty market. Hopefully, these tips are a helpful starting point for your next clean beauty shopping spree.

Click the link in my bio to learn more! #cleanbeautyjustice
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#ad Did you know your skin is the largest and most important organ in the body? This is why we should take care of it the best way we can. ⁣

Most mainstream efforts to make beauty products safer and cleaner are ignoring products marketed to people of color, like products for darker skin tones, hair with curly, coily hair textures etc. Women of color shouldn’t have to accept that they are disproportionately exposed to harmful product ingredients because of the color of their skin or texture of their hair.⁣

As a black woman, it’s often hard to find the right products I’m comfortable with using on my skin, hair or even nails. It’s honestly a battle and I hope in the future, we will have better products on the shelves with cleaner and safer ingredients for BIPOC! ⁣

Want to know how to help? Please take action and support this cause by visiting the linked in my stories! Together, let’s fight for #cleanbeautyjustice #cleanbeauty
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#ad Are you using “clean” beauty products? 
 
Throughout the past week, I’ve been learning about the disproportionate exposure to toxic chemicals women of color face when it comes to beauty products. And although the beauty industry is making small strides, most "clean" beauty products are predominantly focused on white women — making it harder to find safer versions of the products women of color use regularly.
 
Growing up, my mother taught me the importance of caring for my curly hair (and giving extra love to my freckle face) from a young age. And while many mainstream efforts today are making beauty products cleaner, most brands are ignoring products marketed to people of color, like curly hair products or skincare specifically formulated for darker skin tones. 
 
When I’m purchasing curly haircare products at the store, I often wonder why there's a limited selection of natural hair products or why there's a separate place for multicultural beauty products, to begin with. I also discovered that beauty and personal care products marketed to women of color more often contain toxic ingredients than products marketed to white women. As a result, many of us may face greater exposure to toxic ingredients, like phthalates, phenols, and mercury — all linked to adverse health impacts.
 
Although some may think these products have minimal consequence, small amounts of exposure add up — causing negative health consequences like infertility, neurodevelopment issues, and cancer. That’s what WE don’t want. 
 
At the end of the day, women of color shouldn’t have to seek out lavish labels to feel confident that what they're buying is reliable and safe. Even the giant retailers need to prioritize using safer ingredients because the price cannot be a hindrance to our well-being.
 
To call for greater inclusivity and diversity when it comes to safer beauty products, I’m happy to be partnering with environmental_defense_fund to raise awareness and push for broader public advocacy. I hope you feel empowered to make safer beauty care purchasing decisions! Click the link in my bio to learn more about how you can make a difference. #cleanbeautyjustice
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This edition of “Dope Stuff” is a little different and for good reason #ad! I’m letting y’all know about something close to my heart… environmental_defense_fund’s Clean Beauty Justice for Women of Color movement!✊🏾 Check out the video to hear more and hit the link in my bio if you’re as fired up about this as I am!💥 #DopeStuffOnMyDesk #CleanBeautyJustice ...

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What Can Be Done About It

Companies need to put equity front-and-center in their efforts to put safer personal care and beauty products on store shelves.

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Remove toxic ingredients in personal care products marketed to women of color.

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Use only verified safer ingredients in personal care products marketed to women of color.

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Make it easier for us to find safer personal care products using trusted labels and certifications.

Clean Up Your Beauty Routine

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Try to avoid ingredients like phthalates, parabens, benzophenone, oxybenzone, placenta, and diethanolamine or DEA.

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Look out for common misleading marketing claims like “chemical-free”, “toxin-free”, and “preservative-free”.

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Ask your stylist about the ingredients used in salon products.

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Check to see if there's a description of how a retailer or brand is defining its clean label or shop.

Stay Informed

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More Resources

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Beauty products can be more toxic for women of color. It's time to change that.

Read >>
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Beauty Inside Out

Read >>
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Environmental Justice and Toxic Beauty Additives

Read >>
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Why Toxic Beauty Products Harm Women of Color—And How We Can Protect Ourselves

Read >>
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Are Cultural Beauty Standards Contributing to Persistent Health Disparities?

Read >>
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This Is How Latinas Are Exposed To Toxic And Harmful Skincare Products

Read >>
Footnotes

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/index.html

2. McKelvey W, Jeffery N, Clark N, Kass D, Parsons PJ. Population-based inorganic mercury biomonitoring and the identification of skin care products as a source of exposure in New York City. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119(2):203-209. doi:10.1289/ehp.1002396

3. Helm JS, Nishioka M, Brody JG, Rudel RA, Dodson RE. Measurement of endocrine disrupting and asthma-associated chemicals in hair products used by Black women. Environ Res. 2018;165:448-458. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2018.03.030

4. James-Todd T, Terry MB, Rich-Edwards J, Deierlein A, Senie R. Childhood hair product use and earlier age at menarche in a racially diverse study population: a pilot study. Ann Epidemiol. 2011;21(6):461-465. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2011.01.009

5. Helm JS, Nishioka M, Brody JG, Rudel RA, Dodson RE. Measurement of endocrine disrupting and asthma-associated chemicals in hair products used by Black women. Environ Res. 2018;165:448-458. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2018.03.030