A new study found that hair products marketed to black women contain high levels of toxic chemicals, which may be linked to illness and disease that disproportionately affect black women.
The study, which was conducted by the Silent Spring Institute and published in the journal Environmental Research, examined 18 different products geared towards black women, like hot oil treatments, anti-frizz hair polishes, leave-in conditioners, root stimulators, hair lotions and hair relaxers. The results found all of the products tested contained hazardous chemicals, including parabens, a type of preservative that can interfere with a woman’s natural estrogen level and has been linked to breast cancer, and phthalates, which can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.
“Chemicals in hair products, and beauty products in general, are mostly untested and largely unregulated,” said Jessica Helm, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and a scientist at Silent Spring, in a statement. “This study is a first step toward uncovering what harmful substances are in products frequently used by Black women, so we can better understand what’s driving some of the health issues they’re facing.”
The study’s findings are consistent with data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found black women have higher levels of some phthalates and parabens in their bodies compared with white women. The findings could help researchers understand why black women may experience early puberty and have higher rates of hormone-related issues such as uterine fibroids, infertility, and pre-term births. “We know from previous research that black women suffer disproportionately from hormone-related health problems,” said Helm.
“Black women are over-exposed and under-protected from toxic chemicals,” says Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness. Black women also purchase and use more hair products than other groups. In fact, a Nielsen study found African Americans spent $54 million on ethnic hair and beauty products last year.
Helm also shared advice for black women looking to find safer options for hair products. “Look for opportunities to use fewer products,” she said. “When choosing a product, know which products are made with plants or that are fragrance-, phthalate- and paraben-free.” Furthermore, you women of color can download the Detox Me app for more tips on how to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals in personal care products.
Here are other highlights from the study:
- All products tested contained fragrance chemicals
- 78% contained parabens
- 72% of products contained parabens and diethyl phthalate
- 84% of the chemicals detected were not listed on the product label
- 11 products contained seven chemicals prohibited in the European Union (EU) or regulated under California’s Proposition 65
- Hair relaxers marketed at children contained the highest levels of five chemicals prohibited in the EU or regulated under Proposition 65
- Parabens, fragrances, nonylphenols, and diethyl phthalate were commonly found in root stimulators, hair lotions and hair relaxers.
- Cyclosiloxanes were more frequently detected in anti-frizz products and at the highest concentrations of any chemical measured.
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The Best Lip Gloss for Darker Skin
According to the fashion pros, a fashion-forward nude lip can be achieved by paying attention to the texture of the product and your own undertones. Your lips should look fresh, never pasty or pale.
One thing we can all agree on these days is, there’s nothing trendier than a glossy lip. Something about a high-shine finish that not only turns heads, it also sets off your face, your outfit and for some, even your confidence.
So we’ve created a list of lig glosses that work for all women of color through the winter, fall, and spring:
Grown Alchemist Lip Balm in Vanilla & Watermelon
This lip balm looks too-cool-for-school, but it’s what’s inside that has us hooked. The all-natural, petroleum-free formula contains castor-seed oil and beeswax to soften and moisturize and is thick enough to protect your lips from the harshest of elements (extreme cold, strong winds, your boyfriend’s three-day stubble). And the subtle watermelon-and-vanilla scent—made with real watermelon-seed-oil and vanillin—is truly good enough to eat.
Fenty Beauty Cosmic Lip Gloss
Transform your lips, your look, your world. Cosmic Gloss Lip Glitter is a triple-threat fusion of pigment, glitter, and gloss that takes sparkle to astronomical new heights.
Each hue is packed with iridescent glitter and drenched in mirror-like shine for a megadose of multidimensional shimmer in just one swipe.
Unlike any other glitter lip gloss, Fenty Beauty’s Cosmic Gloss is designed to be unbelievably smooth and creamy for out-of-this-world shine plus phenomenal comfort. Plus, it’s 100% cruelty-free.
John Masters Organics Lip Calm
This certified-organic lip balm isn’t thick or goopy—quite the opposite, actually. But with a potent blend of olive, sunflower, jojoba, and rosehip oils, the lightweight formula keeps lips hydrated for a very long time. Swipe it on when you get to work in the morning and you won’t feel the need to reapply until lunchtime. That is, if you can resist the temptation to reapply every five minutes. The delicious citrusy scent is seriously addictive.
NYX Butter Gloss
When I tell you, this is like the perfect nude for every day, it’s perfect! Buttery soft and silky smooth, Nyx’s decadent Butter Gloss is now available in 12 more sumptuous shades! Each glossy color delivers sheer to medium coverage that melts onto your lips and is never sticky, leaving your lips soft, supple and kissable. The delectable shades include Peaches And Cream, Peach Cobbler, Cherry Cheesecake, Maple Blondie, Fortune Cookie, Madeleine, Praline, Sugar Cookie & Raspberry Tart.
EOS Lip Balm Smooth Sphere
In addition to being the cutest lip balms ever, EOS’s adorable spheres are exceptionally good at maintaining soft, healthy-looking lips (which is probably why they previously won a Best of Beauty Award). Instead of petrolatum or parabens, they soothe and hydrate with jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E, leaving a light, silky barrier on your lips. And the delicious scents like vanilla mint and summer fruit? They’re naturally derived as well, which means you can apply, and reapply, with abandon.
These Boss Women Are Giving Back to the Community
Before the year ends, we have to highlight a few boss women who made 2018 an unforgettable year, for everyday people who needed a helping hand. That’s right; we’ve had our eyes on these business owners and entrepreneurs who committed random and generous acts of kindness!
First up, we’d like to spotlight Courtney Adeleye who is the founder and CEO of The Mane Choice. When it comes to giving back, Adeleye does not play it small. In November, she was featured in MassMutual’s holiday commercial as a part of their “Live Mutual” campaign which featured local heroes who exemplified what they called the spirit of “living mutual” by lending a helping hand to strangers and friends.
One of Adeleye selfless acts — buying her daughter’s teacher a new car after finding out her commute to and from work was over four hours a day by public transportation — was featured in MassMutual’s “The Unsung” campaign. Can you imagine stepping in and showing up for someone in that way? It has to be an unspeakable feeling!
Take a look for yourself.
And the giving didn’t stop there. She recently gave a single mother in Atlanta $20,000 as a part of her “Heart of Gold Giveaway”.
Giving back is what you do when you make boss moves!
Other women who are breaking world records (literally) for their charitable acts is Raynell “Supa Cent” Steward who is the founder and CEO of The Crayon Case and Jessica “DaRealBBJudy” Dupart who is the founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products.
On December 16th, the businesswomen partnered to host the first annual #NolaChristmas toy giveaway at the Mercedes Benz Superdome which broke the Guinness World Record for collecting 5,019 toys in one hour. The previous record belonged to someone in Hong Kong in which they collected 3,000 toys in an hour.
Just a month ago, Steward’s business made major headlines when it profited a million dollars in sales during Black Friday!
Black women never fail to blow our minds! If you know of someone doing great things in their community, be sure to let us know.
Shea Moisture Founder Richelieu Dennis to Transform Madam C.J. Walker’s Estate into Training Center for Black Women Entrepreneurs
After Richelieu Dennis, the co-founder of Sundial Brands (makers of brands such as Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage) bought Essence Magazine to make it 100% Black-owned again, he announced a $100 million fund for women of color entrepreneurs because he believes “Black women need access, support, expertise and capital.”
Now, to take it one step further, the Essence Ventures CEO wants to help train Black women entrepreneurs – and what better place to do it than where a pioneering Black woman entrepreneur once lived? Turns out, Dennis purchased Madam C.J. Walker’s 34-room mansion, Villa Lewaro, in Irvington, New York. The historic estate was designed by Black architect Vertner Woodson Tandy and often used as a meeting place for the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance. Dennis now wants it to be a meeting place for Black women entrepreneurs, more specifically a retreat and training center “designed to support Black women entrepreneurs in their efforts to turn their ideas into flourishing enterprises,” reports the Hudson Independent.
According to the newspaper, “Irvington has only just passed a new zoning law that permits adaptive reuse of registered historical buildings for non-residential purposes, including schools, tours and certain kinds of events.”
Dennis took this as an opportunity to present Irvington’s board of trustees with his plans for Villa Lewaro. The public meeting was held on Monday. The Hudson Independent also reported:
“While using Villa Lewaro as a museum is one of Mr. Dennis’ options, the entrepreneurial center concept better meshes with his ongoing commitment to promote African American women’s business opportunities and a logical extension of his business… last year, he launched the New Voices Fund, seeding it with $100 million to support Black women entrepreneurs through training, mentorship and networking. Other supporters include Chase Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Harvard and Amos Tuck graduate business schools and Babson College, from which Dennis graduated. Villa Lewaro would seem a natural venue for New Voices development programs.”
This marks Dennis’ second investment into upholding Walker’s legacy, as in 2016 Sundial Brands paid homage to the beauty pioneer by launching a line of hair products called Madam C.J. Walker Beauty and Culture.
He explained, “The story means so much to so many. And I felt it wasn’t right that the most relevant and cultural icon of beauty and the beauty business, and the representation of what beauty means to our community, was not represented in the same way as Estée Lauder and Coco Chanel. It’s not like we don’t have that (Walker) legacy to look up to.”
We salute you Rich for using your platform to preserve the legacy of America’s first woman self-made millionaire and cultivate present and future Black women entrepreneurs.
Black Woman’s Beauty Product Lands On TIME’s ’50 Best Inventions’ List
As an international corporate lawyer and mother of two, Adiya Dixon-Wiggins understood the value of beauty-on-the-go, but she couldn’t buy a product that would allow her to apply makeup on the fly. Traditional makeup brushes, which are shaped like paint brushes, became a pain for her to travel with or use when applying makeup in the car. Meanwhile, she found that using her fingertips was messy and unsanitary. To solve this issue, she created Yubi Beauty, a cosmetic tool brand that allows women to quickly and effectively apply makeup. The brand was featured on TIME’s “50 Best Inventions of 2018” list.
“I’m humbled by this tremendous honor and I hope my example will encourage more women of color to pursue their passions in technology, beauty, and entrepreneurship,” Dixon-Wiggins told BLACK ENTERPRISE about receiving the prestigious recognition.
Dixon-Wiggins says she invented the brushes out of the necessity to make beauty less of a burden for busy women. The patent-pending cosmetic brushes have a unique design and compact size that makes it easy to apply multiple products, from sunscreen to foundation, blush to highlight, and everything in between. The multipurpose applicator heads are also easy to clean and promises to provide maximum control, ease, and comfort. Plus, all of Yubi’s products are vegan and cruelty-free. “What you put on your face is as important as how you put it on,” Dixon-Wiggins said
The Yubi Buff and Blend set, which currently retails for $39, is set to debut on the Home Shopping Network in January 2019.
Watch Adiya Dixon-Wiggins’ interview and tutorial about the Yubi brushes at the Black Enterprise headquarters below.
For a longer demo of the Yubi, check out the video on YouTube.
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Australian Sudanese Model Duckie Thot is Stunning New Face of L’Oréal Paris
Duckie Thot, an Australian model of Sudanese descent, just put some major points on the board for inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry. A Fenty Beauty muse, the rising star just signed on as the newest global ambassador for L’Oréal Paris.
Even with game-changing newer beauty brands constantly pushing for more diversity in the industry (Fenty Beauty’s 40-shade range of foundations was so innovative when it dropped that its foundation won Time’s “Invention of the Year” award in 2017), there are still a lot of strides to be made. Case in point: Thot, who has appeared in major campaigns for designers including Moschino and Oscar de la Renta, admitted earlier this year that she still has to bring her own foundation to shoots because makeup artists still often don’t often carry shades dark enough to match her skin.
But perhaps the more beauty brands see models like Thot, the more inclusive the industry can actually be. That certainly seems to be the hope behind Thot’s major new gig as a L’Oréal ambassador. “I’m looking forward to helping more girls love the beauty of their dark skin,” she said in a statement. “In my mind, I’m going back in time and telling the young girl I was, ‘Dream big, work hard and trust in yourself girl because one day you’re going to say ‘yes’ to the number-one beauty brand!’”
It’s Thot’s strong voice on inclusivity (in addition to her impressive-as-hell resume) that made her a perfect face for the brand, L’Oréal said. “She launched online conversations where others shared their stories,” the brand told WWD in reference to her speaking out about inequality in the modeling industry. “By speaking out, she has contributed to the redefinition of what [being] a model is. Her uplifting messages are shared to inspire her followers to love themselves.”
Thot will make her L’Oréal debut later this week on the Le Défilé L’Oréal Paris runway show during Paris Fashion Week and will be starring in upcoming campaigns for L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes, Colorista, Rouge Signature, and most notably the brand’s Infallible Foundation. We have a feeling that this time, Thot won’t have to bring her own shade.
Originally produced by Macaela Mackenzie and published at Allure.com