4 TOXIC ingredients in black skincare

Picture it...The year is 2005, I’m 23 years old and getting ready to go out to “The Sandbar”, a beachside bar with strong drinks and a dancefloor the size of a matchbook. Kanye West's “Golddigger" is on iTunes as I hop out of the shower and slather on some “Coconut Champagne Moisturizing Lotion” I bought from the dollar store. On the gentle areas of my face I rub in the “Daytime Face Crème” I bought in the clearance section of CVS, which let’s face it, is just a metal bin in the back near the hearing aids. I spray my hair with volumizing texturizing spray because all my friends are white, and that's what they use...🙄After a couple of coats of various questionable drugstore cosmetics, I spray my entire body with “Glittering Finishing Spray” that smells like a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and honeysuckle, because the label states “Made with the essence of real honeysuckle”. I take one last look at the finished product, grab my sidekick that TAKES PHOTOS…add about 75 bangles to my left arm only, get into my PT cruiser and I drive baby.

I cringe when I think about the abuse I put my skin through during the early 2000’s. All of the dollar store creams and mall kiosk serums I bought. All of the days spent in the summer sun of southern California with no SPF for miles. Did I drink water? Absolutely not! There’s water in the ice cubes of this rum and coke! Did I exfoliate? NOPE! The sand and saltwater did that for me. I simply did not care about my skin (or my health for that matter). That abuse and neglect carried on for years, until my 30’s.

For ages I lived in the “shoulda-coulda-woulda” headspace. Thinking, “I should have done this, I could have done that, things would have been different “if””. That sort of mindset kept me in a perpetual state of resistance. When I’m in a state of resistance, nothing good ever happens because all I do is focus on the “lack” of what it is that I want(law of attraction babaaay). At 35 I looked at my skin, it wasn’t great…it needed hydration, there was no glow to it, and I can see slight lines in places where I’m pretty sure it was tight just days ago…OMG what have I done? How could I have just “not cared” so much in my 20s? Did I really think that the ice cubes in my rum and coke counted as water intake? Yes. Yes I did. I got real down on myself and I let myself be taken to a dark place where many women find themselves. I started looking to the internet for “anti-aging remedies” and “skin tightening creams”. Going down a deep rabbit hole of aging sadness. Sigh. (I just wanna take this space to say that I embrace aging. I believe it is a privilege to grow older and experience life, and in no way think that getting old is “bad” or that I want to “stay young” or anything that the mainstream wishes us to think about aging) I no longer go down shame spirals because I’ve done a lot of self-healing and I embrace myself as the strong queen I am, on a journey forward to the stronger queen I am becoming.

I didn’t really start to care about what went on my skin until about my mid-thirties. That’s when I was diagnosed with fibroids. After that diagnosis, I changed my entire lifestyle inside and out. At 36 I started to eat better, got more active, and took care of what I put in my body. That quickly moved to what I put ON my body once I realized that a lot of the toxins I induced in my teens and 20’s when using tampons and pads (formaldehyde) are also found in my skincare! Ingredients like dioxins, formaldehyde and triclosans are in so many different products I put ON and IN my body…there had to be a link to my fibroids there.

There’s not a lot of information out there TARGETED TO black women about the toxic chemicals we ingest into and onto our bodies daily, from the time we were little prepubescent girls, to today. I sometimes wish I could go back and change my lifestyle choices of the past, but I can only look forward and change my behavior and choices from now on. And I hope to change that with you! I really wish that at least one woman out there benefits from this list, I’ll never know to what degree I can help someone, so I just put out what I know and let the universe take over. With that said, here’s a list of 4 ingredients in black skincare products that are TOXIC and should be induced at a minimum, because we’re already exposed to it in everyday life, why concentrate it more with cosmetics that are heavily laced with them?

Parabens  Parabens are a group of chemicals used primarily as preservatives in both skin and bath products. They’re also found in feminine hygiene products. Originally introduced in the 1920’s, parabens are added to products to prolong their shelf life by preventing the growth of mold and bacteria. Parabens mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, causing a disruption to the reproductive system in the human body. This can lead to fertility issues, reproductive development and cancer risks. Commonly found in; moisturizers, sunscreens, makeup, face and skin cleaners, deodorants.   


Formaldehyde – A carcinogen is a substance known to cause cancer in living tissue. There is a bit of a hazy area with formaldehyde. It’s a known carcinogen, but some people state that the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics is small therefore, not a big issue. However, it has been proven that when applied topically; a bit of formaldehyde is inhaled…and the worst way to ingest formaldehyde is by inhalation. Commonly found in: nail polish, eyelash glue, makeup, hair gel.   

Fragrance – What?! Fragrance? Perfume? Those can’t be bad! They just make things smell pretty. WRONG. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists fragrance is the leading cause of skin allergies, skin reactions, and cosmetic contact dermatitis. Fragrance literally causes us to break out, yet it’s still allowed to go in beauty products. AND IN TAMPONS. SMH. If you must have a smell to your products, try to find some that use essential oil instead of fragrance. Commonly found in: Shampoos, shower gels, lotions, perfume. 


Aluminum – First off…It’s wild to me the things that are considered safe to use. Aluminum is a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also increases the risk of breast cancer, which is why people have been turning more towards natural deodorants in place of the standard anti-perspirants that had aluminum in them. Commonly found in deodorants, lipsticks, eye makeup. 


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