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Could African-American Beauty Products Pose Health Risks?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently analyzed more than 1,100 products marketed to black women, and found that 1 in 12 of the products “contains highly hazardous materials,” according to CNN. Less than 25 percent was classified as “low-risk,” while 40 percent of products sold to everybody else was low-risk, CNN added.

The ominous truth behind beauty products of any kind is that almost 13,000 different chemicals are used in various cosmetics and personal care products in the U.S. and, on average, women put 168 different chemicals on their bodies every single day. Men aren’t much better, being exposed to about 85 chemicals daily, all through personal care products.

One reason this occurs is that cosmetics can come on the market without any type of approval necessary — the FDA gets involved only if a product is deemed to be harmful, adulterated, or misbranded. Adding insult to injury, the FDA tasks the companies that manufacture and market these cosmetics with ensuring their own safety.

So, with the fox guarding the hen house, it’s up to consumers to protect themselves against dangerous cosmetics and personal care products by reading labels and using organic products bearing the “USDA 100% Organic” seal. Also, you can make your own lotions, potions, and hair treatments with simple ingredients such as coconut oil, to which you can add a high-quality essential oil, if you like, for scent.

The Environmental Working Group also has a great database to help you find personal care products that are free of potentially dangerous chemicals.
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