BUFFALO, N.Y. — Zandra Beauty is a locally owned skin care company that aims to create products that are less hazardous consumer's health. The company uses ingredients that are plant-based to reduce the chances of harmful long-and short-term effects.
"I have sensitive skin, and so I decided if I was gonna do a skin-care line, it made sense for me to serve other girls like me with sensitive skin," Zandra Cunningham told 2 On Your Side.
Cunningham is the CEO of Zandra Beauty, the company she founded when she was 9 years old. She uses ingredients like rosemary and castor oil that she says are less likely to be harmful to the people using them.
The Environmental Working Group released a survey saying one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men are exposed to known carcinogens. To help spread consumer awareness they released a database where consumers can look up the potentially harmful ingredients in their products.
Nneka Leiba, the director of healthy living science for the Environmental Working Group says that many of the harmful ingredients like formaldehyde and ethylene dioxide exist in small doses in most skin care products. She did, however, say that the use of these products over time can lead to long-term health concerns.
"We use these products several times a day. These ingredients are in multiple products and so that concentration continues to build in your body," Leiba told 2 On Your Side.
These ingredients are things Cunningham is consistently working to exclude from her skin care line. Recently she added a new product, a cleansing makeup remover. She says she's motivated to create new products when she sees a need in her own skin regimen.
"You can pronounce and recognize most of the ingredients on it because you’ve grown up knowing about them, some of the ingredients are at home in your kitchen."
All of the ingredients used in Cunningham's products are stored at her warehouse. The products are mixed, canned, and labeled in-house before being sent off. She tells 2 On Your side that she hopes to continue making products that will help and not harm the women who use them.