Every October, we embrace a sea of pink as the world unites in a beautiful display of support for breast cancer awareness. This year, as we transition from the vibrant Barbie craze of the summer, we once again turn our attention to a critical cause. Breast cancer, affecting 1 in 8 women annually, stands as the second most common cancer among women in the United States, and a global concern that touches the lives of 2.3 million women.
While we’re all familiar with the pink ribbons and dedicated fundraising efforts, it’s crucial to recognize the multifaceted approach to breast cancer prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable information on reducing the risks of breast cancer. However, one aspect often overlooked is the potential influence of cosmetics and personal care products on this health issue.
How do beauty products play a role in raising risk? It all boils down to the ingredients found in these products. Though the concentrations of these elements might be tiny, it’s important to remember that the average adult uses a whopping 12 personal care products every day – from shampoos and soaps to deodorants and lipsticks. Over time, this cumulative exposure has the potential to become harmful.
…with an increasing number of companies partnering with BCPP. Brands like Innersense, Primarily Pure, CRUNCHI, BeautyCounter, Henry Rose, I-N (Intelligent Nutrients), Credo, Osea, LemonGrass Spa, Badger Balm, Odacité Skincare, and many others are stepping up to the plate
Fortunately, organizations like the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) are at the forefront of addressing this concern. Their research indicates that 90% of breast cancer cases are not genetically linked and could be prevented through various lifestyle choices, including our diet, cleaning products, and cosmetics. BCPP provides an array of resources, such as a helpful glossary of ingredients to avoid, and a platform for individuals to advocate for cleaner, safer ingredients by engaging with their representatives.
The “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics” spearheaded by BCPP is leading the charge to make personal care and beauty products safer for everyone. They collaborate with lawmakers to ensure companies are transparent about their product formulations, while also pushing for the ban of harmful ingredients. Astonishingly, the last update to cosmetics and food regulations took place in 1938, nearly a century ago.
Their “Safer Beauty Bill Package” is a collective effort to empower individuals like you and me to have our voices heard. This package consists of four bills that address various aspects, including:
- banning the most harmful ingredients
- protecting the health of salon workers and women of color
- revealing fragrance ingredients
- ensuring transparency in the supply chain
The beauty industry is responding to this call with action, with an increasing number of companies partnering with BCPP. Brands like Innersense, Primarily Pure, CRUNCHI, BeautyCounter, Henry Rose, I-N (Intelligent Nutrients), Credo, Osea, LemonGrass Spa, Badger Balm, Odacité Skincare, and many others are stepping up to the plate.
As we await necessary changes in policy to instill trust in beauty care products, there are actions we can take to ensure our safety:
- Email your representatives in support of the Safer Beauty Bill Package – BCPP makes it easy to take action.
- Utilize trusted databases to guide your shopping decisions, such as the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) app, the Think Dirty app, and more. (Additional options can be found here)
- Follow organizations like “Clean Beauty for Black Girls” – women of color face a higher rate of exposure to harmful chemicals and breast cancer. By supporting groups like CBFBG and BCPP, we can collectively reduce this risk.
With knowledge, awareness, and actionable steps, we can significantly reduce the risk of disease and cancers. In our pursuit of environmental justice, we inevitably contribute to social justice, creating a brighter and healthier world for all.