Washington nonprofit Clean Beauty for Black Girls works to educate Black women about clean beauty. The organization was established to prevent women from consuming toxic hair and skin products.
The nonprofit’s website states its dedication to “raising awareness about harmful ingredients, advocating for clean beauty practices, and fostering a community that values health and self-confidence.” According to the organization, the mission is necessary for Black women’s health, which provides education and mentorship to influence consumers to “prioritize clean, safe, and inclusive choices.”
Hannah McCall, executive director for Clean Beauty for Black Girls, discussed how the organization upholds its mission with NBC Washington. “Specifically, it’s about the fact that Black women and girls are the last ones considered when it comes to anything in the health, wellness, and medical space.” The lack of inclusion has targeted Black women consumers with products that contain harmful chemicals at a higher percentage than others.
The idea behind the organization stemmed from what McCall described as “sister circles” or safe spaces to come and engage in candid conversations surrounding the beauty standards that have encouraged Black women to rely on products discovered to be harmful. “It is documented that our products, like 75% of our hair products in particular, contain harmful chemicals compared to white women’s 30% to 40%.”
The Clean Beauty team is committed to introducing clean beauty products free of harmful effects. In collaboration with a campaign for safe cosmetics, a database was created offering over 800 products. The database features over 80 Black-owned brands that have produced clean products.
“We’re hoping that list continues to grow,” McCall said.
McCall said that focusing on the most marginalized group benefits everyone else. A new law, The Oregon Toxic Free Cosmetics Act, was recently passed in the state, banning several harmful chemicals in cosmetics. According to the Oregon State Legislature, the law “requires Oregon Health Authority to adopt and maintain [a] list of designated high-priority chemicals of concern used in cosmetic products and to periodically review and revise [the] list.”
Additionally, the law requires the authority to post specific information on its website and manufacturers to specify the use of certain chemicals in products starting in 2025.
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