The first week of the year kicked off on a great note – on Tuesday, 3rd January I appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, chatting with the incomparable Jacque Reid about beauty, hair and health. Click here to listen if you missed it!
The topic we discussed was the recent study by the Environmental Working Group AKA the EWG. Their Skin Deep database analysis revealed the following, according to their findings:
“In an analysis of ingredients in 1,177 beauty and personal care products marketed to Black women, about one in 12 was ranked highly hazardous on the scoring system of EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database.
The analysis also found:
- Fewer than one-fourth of the products marketed to Black women scored low in potentially hazardous ingredients, compared to about 40 percent of the items in Skin Deep® marketed to the general public.
- Potential hazards linked to product ingredients include cancer, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive damage, allergies and other adverse health effects.
- The worst-scoring products marketed to Black women were hair relaxers, and hair colors and bleaching products.
- In the categories of hair relaxers, hair colors and bleaching products, lipsticks, and concealers, foundations and sun-protective makeup, none of the products analyzed were scored as “low hazard.””
Definitely information beauty and hair product purchasers should be aware of – click here to read their database and check out exactly which products are worst-scoring. I’ll admit to being quite surprised by some of the brands that came up with a terrible score – others are no surprise, just based on category (hello, hair relaxers).
Here’s the thing, though. Some people try to discount the EWG’s report because they’ve got an EWG Verified program. So the people who want to dismiss the EWG and their findings bring that up as part of the argument, that they’ve got this program which goes with a seal of approval for products on sale. The other reason some question the legitimacy of the study is because it hits at the core of a fear of chemicals many of us tend to have – more on that via this Forbes article. We are in a time where we have more information about products available to us than ever before, but the information tends to get reduced to “natural is good, chemical is bad,” when it just isn’t always that simple. I know quite a few folks with terrible allergic reactions to natural things, like coconut oil or shea butter – click here to read more about alternative ingredients for bellas with nut allergies. We discussed all of that on the program. I want to clear one thing up after the show – I’m aware of the difference between a relaxer and a perm. Hair straightening (especially by chemical means) isn’t my strong suit and I do believe in general chemical texture-altering treatments are damaging. The terms are often used interchangeably and there was quite a bit of crosstalk when we discussed that part, but I want you to know that I know the difference (and I still think the practices can ultimately be detrimental to the health of your hair).
Thanks to Jacque Reid and the Tom Joyner Morning Show for having me! Click here to listen if you missed it!