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Beauty products marketed to black women may contain more toxic chemicals

Born and raised in the Bronx, Lashanda Anakwah is an Ithaca College senior interested in all things political or poetical. When she’s not writing for SheKnows, Lashanda — a chocolate-loving, cartoon enthusiast — spends most of her time s...

Turns out there are more health risks associated with beauty products for black women

When was the last time you checked out the ingredient list on your favorite lipstick? If it's been a while, you might want to get on that. Apparently, 1 in 12 beauty and personal care products marketed to black women in the U.S. contains highly hazardous ingredients according to research released earlier this week by the Environmental Working Group.

More than 1,100 products marketed to those who identify as black women in the U.S., including the Caribbean and other areas, were analyzed, revealing that less than 25 percent of the items scored "low" on the hazard scale. For some comparison, 40 percent of products that are marketed to the general public are classified as low-risk.

More: 10 gifts for women of color who absolutely love makeup

"If a black woman is choosing products marketed to their demographic, they have fewer healthier options," Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research at the Environmental Working Group noted.

The worst offenders were hair relaxers, hair colors and bleaching products, which studies have linked to an increase in health risks. Luckily, the Environmental Working Group has a searchable database that provides information on the safety or lack thereof of more than 64,000 cosmetic products.

More: Makeup tutorials for women of all shades

The group hopes the report will encourage black women to push the companies they buy from into putting more thought into the ingredients that go into their products.

More: Makeup giant accused of "neglecting" black British customers

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