Women of color are being exposed to higher levels of toxins in their beauty products, versus their white counterparts, according to a new study by the The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). This may be due to pressures to meet certain standards of beauty perpetuated in society, leading to the purchase of products that contain ingredients known to be harmful to health.
Among the products singled out in the study is skin lighteners which may contain mercury or steroids linked to neurotoxicity and kidney damage. Moreover, in search of pin-straight locks, those with kinky roots may seek out relaxers which may have hidden estrogenic chemicals and parabens linked to fibroid tumors and endocrine disruption.
The study notes that personal care products offer toxic exposure for all women, and also stated that the use of chemical-laced beauty products is an area that health professionals can start to become more involved in, especially among vulnerable populations such as women of color.