The list, curated by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, spotlights 80 small and medium-sized businesses making safer beauty products for Black women, free of toxic ingredients from the committee’s Red List of Chemicals of Concern. Brands include Shea Radiance, which sources its shea butter from women farmers in western Africa, and Girls With Curls, a maker of “dippity-do” shaping gel with natural aloe.
The searchable database features over 700 products — all vetted by an advisory committee of scientists and NGOs — also free of Red List chemicals.
These efforts are part of the Non-Toxic Black Beauty Project, an initiative designed to raise public, manufacturer and retailer awareness about the hazardous chemicals in Black beauty products linked to breast and ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, reproductive harm and other health concerns that disproportionately affect Black women.
Released during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the project focuses specifically on supporting Black women’s health because Black women face the highest breast cancer mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group in America. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, a national science-based advocacy organization working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating environmental exposures linked to the disease.
Beauty products marketed to Black women often contain the most toxic ingredients. Black women who regularly dye their hair have a 60% increased risk of breast cancer, and those who use chemical hair straighteners are 30% more likely to develop the disease, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Black women also purchase and use more beauty products per capita than any other demographic, spending more than $7.5 billion dollars on beauty products a year and nine times more on hair products than the average consumer — increasing concern of toxic exposure.
By promoting leading non-toxic Black-owned beauty brands and connecting Black women with products they can trust, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics aims to combat toxic health disparities and build a safer Black beauty industry.