Would you change your shopping habits if, in every dozen eggs you bought, there was one egg that was hazardous to your health?
Take that answer and consider this: A study by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental organization in the US specializing in research and advocacy has found that one in 12 beauty and personal care products specifically targeting the African American population have highly hazardous ingredients.
Of the more than 1100 hundred products tested, less than 25% scored within the healthy low-risk range. That means more than 825 of the 1100 products that are on the market and used daily by African American women are considered health-harming. The biggest offenders were hair products such as relaxers and color and bleaching treatments which have been linked to baldness, growths in the uterus, premature birth, and low infant birth weight. The sad and alarming fact is that if a woman of color is looking to select a product that is marketing directly to her, she has very few options that come without risk to her health. Just a few of the health issues connected with the ingredients of many of these harmful products are the risk of cancer, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive damage, and allergies.
In recent years, several factors have contributed to a rise in natural hair approaches in women of color. Women want to have a healthier approach to their bodies and what is put in them. Women of color are also challenging stereotypes and discrimination based on hairstyles and embracing their natural hair. With the number of relaxers dropping, it is no surprise that “natural” hair care product sales are on the rise.
But don’t be fooled into thinking just because it has the word natural or suggests natural hair that these products don’t pose health risks.
Many common products used by women of color still have ingredients that can adversely affect health. Many lotions and conditioners scored high with “estrogenic activity.” This activity mimics the body's natural estrogen and can cause hormonal disruptions, especially in those that are in developmental times such as pre-puberty and puberty. Additionally, another study indicated that Black Americans had greater urine paraben concentrations, the hormone-disrupting compounds routinely used as preservatives in personal care goods, medications, and food.
Does your beauty, hair, or, skin care products land on the nice or naughty list with their ingredients. We share some of the worst of the worst on the naughty list.
Sulfates: Sulfates are what make shampoos and body washes lather and sud up. These chemicals are known for causing skin irritations and allergic reactions.
Formaldehyde (DMDM Hydantoin & Diazolidinyl Urea & Imidazolidinyl Urea) The World Health Organization has labeled formaldehyde as a carcinogen when inhaled. This often happens during the process of hair straightening. Nail polishes, nail hardeners, eyelash glues, hair gels, soaps, makeup, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants all contain formaldehyde that works as a preservative in those ingredients.
Methylisothiazolinone: The USDA classifies methylchloroisothiazolinone as a chemical allergen and in higher concentrations will result in chemical skin burns. This can be found in many cosmetics.
Retinyl Palmitate: This naughty list ingredient is often found in lipsticks, concealers, and foundations for darker skin tones. When exposed to the sun, the chemical may cause tumors and skin lesions.
Phthalates: The majority of soaps, shampoos, and hair sprays found on store shelves contain phthalates. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to children who experience ADHD-like behaviors, aggression, depression, a lower IQ, and autism when the mothers were exposed while pregnant.
Fragrance mixers: The synthetic chemicals used to make beauty products smell good have hormone disrupters in them. These come with risks to healthy because they can mimic and interfere with the biological functions of the body's own endocrine system and affect reproductive abilities, cognitive functions, and immune systems.
With Phil’s Better, we offer trust and safe health with our ingredients. All of our products are made from natural ingredients with no synthetic chemicals or preservatives. Every product has a list of ingredients that is recognizable and easy to pronounce. We boast ingredients like Jojoba, Aloe, Honey, Turmeric, and Rose Hip Oil to name a few; all of which have scientifically supported benefits for skin and hair care. We bring green and natural skin and hair care to men and women who want to approach beauty from a safe and natural perspective.
Phil’s Better stands by its belief that when the products are better, you feel better with Phil’s Better. Be sure to check out our store for Holiday gifts and all your skin and hair care needs.