Q&A: Ami Zota on the Hidden Dangers in Beauty Products—and Why Women of Color Are Particularly at Risk

The Columbia researcher has been documenting how racialized beauty norms compel women of color to disproportionately use cosmetics—and face a higher threat from potentially harmful chemicals. She calls it “the environmental injustice of beauty.”

In a way, when environmental researcher Ami Zota looks at data about patterns of cosmetics use by women of color in 2023, she’s gazing back in time.