Personal Care Products

The products that we use day after day, decade after decade, on our eyelids, cheeks, lips, scalps, underarms, and sexual organs should be as well-regulated as those we eat.

Fighting to keep toxic products off the shelf

Toxic ingredients and contaminants in cosmetics and other personal care products like shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, makeup, baby powder, vaginal douches, lotion, body sprays and perfumes, and hair dyes and straighteners have been linked to ovarian cancer, breast cancer, early onset of puberty, fibroids and endometriosis, miscarriage, poor maternal and infant health outcomes, diabetes and obesity, and more.

With few exceptions, current federal law does not require cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the United States to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they go on the market. Manufacturers aren’t required to list all of their ingredients, test their products, use good manufacturing practices to prevent contamination, or even recall products that they know are dangerous.

As a result of these lax regulations, the cosmetic industry has been mostly self-regulated for more than a century! Big businesses have made big money selling products to women that they know are harmful.

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Personal care products vary in many ways including who they are made for and marketed to, such as hair products. One factor, however, that isn’t highlighted enough in discussions around closing these disparities is the health outcomes related to the...

With few exceptions, current federal law does not require makers of cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the United States to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before their products go on the market.

With few exceptions, current federal law does not require cosmetics manufacturers to get approval from the FDA before their products go on the market.

The NWHN considers the prevention of disease to be a central priority. We hope that women can be as educated as possible when it comes to personal care products that have the potential to be harmful or disease inducing. 

Cosmetic manufacturers have a legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products, but many cosmetic products marketed and sold in the U.S contain toxic chemicals. These unsafe, unregulated products pose unique risks to Black women.

The NWHN and 42 organizations sent a letter today to the House Energy and Commerce Committee applauding their work on a bipartisan discussion draft to address cosmetics safety.

Gynecologists interviewed about the differences between organic, reusable, and regular period products agree that the specific product usually doesn’t matter, but how it’s used does.

Amidst the hard-fought battles to protect and expand access to basic reproductive health care, including abortion care and contraception, we don’t often stop to connect the dots between reproductive health and environmental health. This is due partly to the siloed...

Decades after the Warren County protests, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is combating environmental injustice in an unexpected place — the beauty shop. Every day, thousands of women stream in and out of nail salons and spas...