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Beauty Products Marketed to Black Women Contain More Dangerous Chemicals, Study Says

Researchers find that beauty products such as skin lightening creams and hair relaxers that are marketed toward black women contain harsher chemicals. Companies prey upon our insecurities and portray white women as more beautiful than those with darker skin tones in advertisements.

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Many beauty products contain harsh chemicals linked to numerous different health problems, including cancer. The irony is that they’re often marketed as “personal care” products, when in reality they do anything but care for your body.

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There’s an apparent disconnect between what we put on our skin and how that can affect our overall health. When you put something on your body, those chemicals are absorbed topically and then go into your body. If you wouldn’t ingest harsh chemicals, ask yourself: Why is it okay to put them on your body? To be perfectly honest, it’s not okay.

The underlying issue here is that without demand, companies wouldn’t be making these products in the first place. People love to change or enhance their physical appearance using makeup, hair dye, and other products. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, unless you begin to feel self conscious about your appearance without the use of these products (or if you’re using non-natural products). Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for developing your own personal style and encouraging self expression, but are these things really worth risking your health over?

A recent article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that beauty products marketed toward women of colour actually contain higher levels of harsh chemicals. This isn’t the first time a group of scientists has come to this conclusion either; another study conducted by researchers at the Environmental Working Group found that beauty and hair products aimed at black women are more likely to contain dangerous chemicals as well.

The Studies That Revealed Beauty Products for Black Women Contain Harsher Chemicals

Let’s take a look at the more recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology first. Many of the products they looked at were hair relaxing creams and facial products that claim to hold “skin lightening properties,” which are all typically directed toward women of colour.

Though there are some guidelines on these products imposed by the FDA in order to protect people from exposing themselves to harsh chemicals, the regulations aren’t strict enough and people can still purchase products illegally “under the counter” or online.

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Some of their findings include that skin-lightening creams often contain hydroquinone (considered a potential carcinogen by the FDA) or mercury. There have been numerous cases of mercury poisoning after using skin-lightening creams, and mercury is a known neurotoxin.

 

The study provides numerous examples, stating, “In a population-based study of New York City residents, those with the highest urine mercury levels were foreign-born Dominican women of reproductive age, and skin-lightening creams were identified as a source of exposure among highly exposed populations.”

Another popular product that many black women and children use are hair relaxing creams, often containing placenta (potential source of estrogen hormones), which has been linked to premature development. Many hair products designed for black women have been associated with increased risk of uterine fibroid tumors as well as breast cancer.

In regards to the Environmental Working Group’s study, the researchers found that 1 in 12 products marketed to black women were considered highly hazardous. Only 25% of the products for black women were considered “low hazard,” in comparison to approximately 40% of the products aimed at the general population. Keep in ming that even low hazard products don’t mean risk-free; they’re still hazardous to the body.

Similar to the other researchers’ findings, the worst products for black women were hair relaxers, as many contained lye and other harsh chemicals, along with bleaching products. However, even some of the lipsticks, concealers, and foundations meant for darker complexions also scored poorly in terms of chemicals. Some chemical straighteners meant for super curly hair or black women in general were linked to baldness and higher risk of growths in the uterus.

It’s clear that many of the personal care and beauty products women, men, and even children use are filled with chemicals. Whether it’s your deodorant, shampoo, hair cream, makeup, or whatever else, if it’s conventionally made, it likely has some sort of cancer-causing ingredient(s) found within it. The great news is that there are tons of all-natural alternatives as well as recipes to make your own!

Here are some great CE resources to start your research and make your transition toward using more natural products:

Why You Should Consider Going To An Organic Hair Salon

5 DIY Everyday Personal Care Products

What You Really Need To Watch Out For On Your Cosmetics Labels

What Happens To Your Body When You Switch Or Stop Using Cosmetic Products

Why Do We Chase Unrealistic Beauty Standards?

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology paper also touches upon the fact that the companies selling these products design ads that idealize white women and create unrealistic and, quite frankly, racist beauty standards.

For example, this Dove advertisement shows how white women are often depicted as being more beautiful than women with darker skin tones in advertisements:

Even celebrity ads and magazine covers will often edit women’s skin tones to make them look “lighter” and “more radiant,” as you can see below:

Why is it that white women are considered more beautiful than other races according to these companies, and why are we buying into these ridiculous beauty standards?

It’s not just about racism. So many people wish they looked different, not to be healthier, but to simply “look better.” In fact, many people consider their physical appearance as being more important than their health, as evidenced by the high demand in beauty products that are filled with toxic, cancer-causing chemicals.

White people use fake tanner to achieve a darker skin complexion, black people wear toxic skin-lightening creams, people with curly hair use hair relaxing creams and straighteners, people with straight hair use chemical-ridden curling gels and get perms, and the list goes on and on. Why can’t we simply be grateful for our physical appearance and learn to appreciate and love our unique differences?

We shouldn’t be supporting these companies that literally prey upon our insecurities and create unrealistic and degrading beauty standards. At the end of the day, these insecurities stem from a place of unhappiness within ourselves, representing a severe disconnect between ourselves and our souls. If you achieved, in your opinion, the perfect physical appearance, do you really think you’d be happy?

Odds are that you wouldn’t, because you’re searching for happiness in the wrong places. Real, sustainable happiness doesn’t come from appearance, or anything within the external world for that matter — it comes from within. The moment you find inner peace and self love, these externalities won’t matter as much because you will finally be happy with yourself. You’ll be grateful for your “flaws” because they’re what make you you, at least on the physical plane.

This brings me to my next point: Why do we identify so much with our physical appearance? Perhaps this obsession with altering our looks and creating this outward persona of ourselves is all in an effort to truly find ourselves and figure out who we really are.

Don’t get me wrong, I encourage self expression and believe that it’s part of what makes us unique and life so beautiful; however, your outer appearance isn’t what makes you you. If you’re not wearing makeup, are you still you? Sure, it’s fun, but it shouldn’t govern whether or not you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Seriously, even if you lose a finger, are you still you? Yes, because what makes you you isn’t what’s going on outside of you, but rather what’s inside you. So, why would you treat your body poorly? Your body is a gift that deserves to be treated with care, because without it you wouldn’t be here living out your human experience!

Final Thoughts

Before drastically changing your physical appearance, ask yourself why you want to make these changes in the first place and how it will impact your health. Remember, there’s no beauty product that’s worth risking your wellbeing over.

We need to start embracing our inner beauty and stop giving our outer appearances so much power over us. Sure, it’s an aspect of us, but it’s not what truly defines us. Appearance is important to many people because it’s a form of self expression, which is awesome! However, there’s a fine line between using makeup because it’s fun, and using it to hide your insecurities.

 

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Awareness

Cancer-Linked Monsanto Chemical Discovered In Five Major Orange Juice Brands

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The non profit group Moms Across America discovered glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, in popular orange juice brands across America.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is glyphosate ending up in our food? What kind of safety testing is our food going through? Why is Roundup legal in North America yet Illegal in so many other countries? Why are these findings not presented on mainstream media?

It’s confusing why non-profits spend so much time and resources on raising money and awareness for cancer research, but completely leave out the links between cancer and harmful pesticides, heavy metals, processed meats, electromagnetic radiation, various cleaning and cosmetic products,  as well as several other cancer-causing sources. All we do is try to raise money, and yet in doing so, we pay no attention to the causes.

If you have ever walked, ran, ridden, played a sport, or grown a moustache in support of large corporate-sponsored efforts to cure cancer, you are to be sincerely commended for your time, your effort, and your concern for your fellow human beings. Just know that such efforts have likely not—and will never—contribute to finding a cure for cancer.

Western cancer research is organized as a business whose fundamental motivation is profit, and has become the subject of numerous excellent books and documentaries, among them being Forest Gamble’s Thrive and Ty Bollinger’s The Truth About Cancer. Western medicine will likely never cure cancer because it’s so profitable, and it’s sad that they often ignore the causes of it. Doctors are only allowed to recommend the patented treatment.

One cause of cancer, among several other diseases, is glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. In November 2012, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled Long Term Toxicity of Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant genetically modified maize by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). It was a very significant study that made a lot of noise worldwide, as it was the first of its kind under controlled conditions that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide. The rats studied developed cancer, but the study was retracted and then republished in several journals across the world, but the original retraction caused hundreds of scientists to sign a letter in support of the study. It’s one of many examples that highlights how corporations control science and brush the important research that threatens their interests straight under the rug. You can read more about that particular study here.

In fact, I also recently published an article on Robert F. Kennedy explaining how our federal regulatory agencies have been completely compromised by these big corporations. You can watch that video and read about some more examples here.

There is a wealth of science showing how harmful glyphosate is to human health as well as the environment. This is why it’s completely banned in dozens of countries, as they’ve cited numerous health and environmental concerns. It’s quite clear that it’s not safe, and this isn’t really debatable.

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In fact, EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, and their decision was based on an assessment that was plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that, for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the companies that manufacture these products instead of seeking out independent scientific studies. A group of MEPs decided to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about that here.

The only science showing that glyphosate is safe is the science that’s dished out by the manufacturers and shareholders themselves, which is in stark opposition to all independent science as well as the science coming from foreign countries.

Corporations can’t be trusted these days, unfortunately, and neither can our federal regulatory agencies. This is why ordinary people are turning towards organizations that don’t stand to benefit or gain from these products and are completely non-profit, citizenry-driven organizations like Moms Across America.

Moms Across America is a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms. Their motto is “Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids.” Their mission is  to “raise awareness about toxic exposure, empower leadership, and create healthy communities. We support local activities, initiate campaigns and share solutions nationwide to improve our health and freedoms.”

Glyphosate & Orange Juice

They are the group who took initiative and discovered that glyphosate is found inside of all 5 major orange juice brands across the United States. These juices are heavily marketed as ‘100 percent pure orange juice,’ but that’s not true as they’re loaded with unhealthy amounts of added sugars.

What is glyphosate doing in orange juice? Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient in Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, and 750 other brands of glyphosate-based herbicides. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, often sprayed as a weedkiller between citrus trees and found in irrigation water and rain.

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt stated, “The discovery of glyphosate residue in orange juice is unacceptable, especially since a branch of the World Health Organization designated glyphosate a probable carcinogen, two years ago, back in the spring of 2015. The EPA has had ample time to revoke the license of this chemical and restrict its use in our food and beverage crops. As confirmed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, our children (who frequently drink orange juice for breakfast) are especially vulnerable to pesticides and measures should be taken immediately to protect them.”

Two samples of each of the following brands were tested for both the herbicide glyphosate and its residue AMPA. Positive results ranged from 4.33 parts per billion (“ppb”) to an alarming 26.05 ppb. Chemical farming proponents will claim that these levels are too low to cause harm, and are definitely lower than the EPA’s allowable glyphosate residue level of 30 ppm on citrus, but these claims are irrelevant in comparison to new data. Studies have shown that only 0.1 ppm (100ppb) of glyphosate destroys beneficial gut bacteria, weakening the immune system, which can lead to a wide variety of health and neurological issues. Considering the standard American diet is high in wheat, sugar, oatmeal, soy, and corn, with levels of up to 6000 ppb or 1.67ppm detected,  a child can easily exceed the 100 ppb if a glass of orange juice is added at  26 ppb. Additionally, 1 part per trillion (ppt) has been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. 1 ppt is equivalent to 1 drop in the water of 22 olympic swimming pools combined. Considering that studies show glyphosate bioaccumulates in bone marrow, any amount ingested is unacceptable.

Below is a chart of the brands that were tested as well as the results.

The full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”

The Health Research Institute Laboratories routinely undergoes independent, third party proficiency testing of its methods. The lab is also certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments act of 1988 (CLIA-88) to perform high complexity clinical testing.

The Takeaway

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

The only takeaway here is for one to be aware of and share this information, and to vote with your dollar. Don’t get your lawn sprayed with Roundup. Instead, seek out alternatives and don’t buy conventional food. Try and switch to organic and non-GMO products.

At the end of the day, human beings are the source of these corporations’ profits. We must educate ourselves and seek out information independently.

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Awareness

My 400 Days Without Candy & What I Learned About Sugar Addiction

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At the end of 2017 I decided to temporarily say goodbye to my dietary Achilles heel.

While I’m certainly not suggesting that I am some beacon of ideal healthy eating, I have always been someone who, for the most part, makes what I’ve found to be healthy choices. Except for my one glaring weakness… candy.

In particular, the really sour and heavily sugar coated kind, but you’d be hard pressed to find me turning down even those better classified as sweet, with all of their sugar fused within the confines of the chew. Cherry Blasters, Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peaches, Sour Punch Straws, you name it, I ate it, and usually with a big smile on my face.

But no matter how much my tastebuds loved this stuff, I’ve always known that it’s not good for me (I can’t imagine that there is anyone out there who actually thinks it is), so I decided to listen to my body, just as I had already done with a number of my other dietary changes. I opted to no longer ignore the stomach and headaches that would often come shortly after my sugary indulgences and give it up.

What started as a one month challenge quickly evolved into a three month challenge, followed by a one year challenge, and then a 400 day challenge simply because I liked the sound of the number. Here’s some of what I learned from this journey:

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The First Days Are Undeniably The Hardest

The old adage that it takes approximately 21 days to break a bad habit or make a new one in this case certainly held true. It was right around the 3 week point that I started to find myself far less tempted and far less frequently on the search for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. And believe it or not, the longer I went on, the less appealing the idea of eating candy became. It almost felt as if the memory in my tastebuds that had controlled so many of my past decisions had gradually faded away.

Mindset Is Everything

While I will fully admit that my quest to 400 was helped by it naturally feeding into another one of my “addictions” (a great joy in setting records and tracking analytics), I found that so much of the temptation to consume these sugary, salty and greasy foods really was incredibly temporary. Challenge yourself to at least not let it win once and you’ll likely see just how quickly its strength can fade.

It Paid Dividends

While I didn’t completely cut sugar out of my diet, as many people have so admirably done and documented about, I can say that cutting back even as much as I did felt really good for me. Some may be quick to chalk it up to the placebo effect, and understandably so, but I can honestly say that the above mentioned stomach and head aches occurred far less often over the 400 day span.

Real-Time Analysis: After The First Bite

Having now officially consumed my first piece of candy since 2017, believe it or not, it tastes different. Is it still tasty and did it satisfy me at some level? Absolutely. But it also tastes way more sugary and foreign to my body than it once did. It’s as if my body really wanted to make it clear by saying, “are you sure you want to bring this stuff back into the picture?”

Side Note: For those that are curious, since it’s the most common question I’ve been asked since embarking on this journey, the candy I chose to eat as my first piece was a Vegan Wild Cherry Belt by Squish Candies. (And no I’m not getting paid to brand-drop, and no I don’t make any commission should you choose to buy any at that link… unfortunately LOL).

Where I Go From Here

While I don’t see myself going completely cold turkey on candy again, I also cannot see myself consuming it nearly as much as I once did. And I do so happily, not out of punishment. While I’m also certainly not qualified to be giving out dietary advice, I am comfortable challenging all of you to give up something you know to not be good for you. See how your body feels both without it and after you re-introduce it.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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Alternative News

Big News: Costco To Become First Major Retailer To Stop Selling Roundup Herbicide?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to the non profit group Moms Across America, Costco is set to stop selling Roundup herbicide.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that harmful products continue to be approved across North America, the ultimate power to stop their use is us. When we become aware, we stop buying, and their profits drop. We are the ones that use it. Vote with your dollar.

It’s hard to even know where to start with the herbicide Roundup. Despite years of science exposing the inarguable health and environmental consequences of Roundup, federal health regulatory agencies in North America are still approving the herbicide, while multiple other countries have banned it and made its use illegal, citing various health and environmental concerns. Sri Lanka, for example, banned it five years ago due to its link to deadly kidney disease.

Furthermore, the countries approving it are doing so with massive amounts of corruption. These approvals come as a result of corrupt regulatory agencies here in Canada as well as the US, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The list of examples is very long when it comes to corruption and government connections to corporations like Monsanto, the corporation that created and sells Roundup. This is the only way these products get approved. It’s not science, it’s simply because of lobbying efforts and shady politics.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

The latest approvals of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, came from within Canada as well as Europe.

EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, a decision that was based on an assessment plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that, for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the companies that manufacture these products instead of seeking out independent scientific studies.

A group of MEPs decided to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about that here.

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In addition, Monsanto colluded with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stifle cancer research that had any connection to their products.

The corruption is never-ending when it comes to the link between corporations and government agencies. In fact, only a few years ago, more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

Related CE Article: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Explains How Big Pharma Completely Owns Congress

Costco

The corruption that plagues our federal regulatory agencies runs deep, and no matter how obvious the science becomes, like the dangers of Roundup, products that negatively impact our health seem to often get approved anyways. But something special on planet Earth is happening, and that’s massive awareness. We are finally starting to see through the veil that’s been blinding the masses in so many different areas within human life.

Sure, these products may continue to get approved, but we are the ones who are constantly choosing to do so. We don’t have to buy them, and that is why awareness is key.

Zen Honeycutt, the leader of Moms Across America, announced this week that Costco will not be selling the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup Ready.

In a live video update posted on Facebook, Honeycutt stated that she received word that Costco was no longer selling Roundup or glyphosate-based herbicides.

While she’s allegedly not received any official word yet from Costco, she stated that she has talked to various people at the headquarters and regional offices confirming this news. This is huge news because, according to a 2015 article in National Geographic, Roundup is the second-best-selling herbicide in the U.S. for home lawn and garden use. Under a lucrative contract with Monsanto, Scotts Miracle-Gro owns the exclusive right to market Roundup in North America and much of Europe. Scotts distributes about $154 million worth (5.5 percent of the company’s total sales) of Roundup each year to retail giants including Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.

So let’s hope it’s true.

I asked for an official statement and was told that usually, Costco does not issue press releases, etc discussing which items they have discontinued. Despite not hearing back from the Costco PR department, I decided to announce the information anyway. I told them that the 89,000 people who signed a petition to Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s deserved to have an answer. I knew that they would be happy to know that Costco was doing the right thing. – Honeycutt (source)

It’s weird how this is even a debate in some circles. This has been known for a very long time, and we’ve seen similar happenings with DDT in the past.

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” – October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)

Glyphosate is really getting a bad name, as this new information regarding Costco is coming off the heels of some bad press for Monsanto (Bayer) as the case regarding school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit claiming that glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. There are thousands upon thousands of similar pending cases. Any jury that reviews all of the scientific evidence will not be able to rule in favor of Monsanto, and Johnson’s case was a great example that showed glyphosate caused his cancer.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s us who decide to use these products. Obviously, we’ve been misled and made to trust our federal regulatory agencies who are supposedly in charge of protecting us from these harmful products. It’s the complete opposite, and what these agencies do is actually quite criminal. This is why conscious media is so important. The same powers that control these corporations have a tight grip on mainstream media as well.

This is why this issue goes largely ignored, and the fact that so many people rely on mainstream media for information about what’s really happening in the world with regards to health, environment, finance, politics, etc. is why a lot of people are still completely unaware of important issues. This is also why governments have started a war on ‘fake news,’ which seems to be a cover for protecting corporate and government interests.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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