As more women reject chemical-laden beauty products with dense ingredient lists and opt instead for natural products, Emily Lape would like to provide them with a place to go.
Lape, 28, in September launched Crow Perfume, a line of six water-based fragrances free of alcohol, phthalates and parabens.
A year in the making, her online business was fueled in part because of Lape’s itchy red arm rashes, an allergic reaction she attributed to the alcohol in her perfume. Although she said she’s always had sensitive skin, her rashes led her to avoid certain perfumes and lotions. Her research uncovered the 2004 landmark study in which British scientists found parabens in human breast tumors.
“There are millions of women who put parabens and phthalates on their body every day,” she said. “Do we know what we’re causing our bodies to have to deal with?”
The Centers for Disease Control defines parabens as man-made preservatives. In testing the urine of 2,500 Americans between 2005 and 2006, the CDC concluded that women had “several-fold higher concentrations of methylparaben and propylparabens than males.” The CDC attributed the results to women’s heavier use of paraben-loaded products. The CDC also found more phthalates, which add flexibility to plastics, in soaps and shampoos marketed toward women.