The personal care and beauty industry is a trillion-dollar business, one that has many of us hooked on products that keep our hair, nails and skin on point. But while we’re spending a lot of money to look and feel our best, some of our favorite products may be doing much more harm than good.
A new documentary is coming to HBO MAX, which explores some of the hidden dangers found in some of the everyday personal care products many of us use. Not So Pretty is a four-part series directed by Academy-award nominated filmmakers, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. Actress Keke Palmer narrates each 30-minute episode that puts the $140 billion-dollar global skincare market on blast.
“Working on this project has certainly changed our own purchasing habits and perspectives, and we are excited to empower viewers similarly by providing them with essential information they need to know and simply cannot get anywhere else. With Keke’s wit and curiosity serving as our engaging guide, our series provides viewers with shocking insights, startling revelations, and important knowledge that will help them not just look their best on the outside but also feel their best on the inside — a win-win for not only our personal health but the health of the planet as well,” the directors said in a statement.
Each episode features emotional first-hand accounts from people who have suffered severe hair loss, delayed speech and other issues after using some common personal care products. Scientists who have found dangerous ingredients, including asbestos, in some personal care products will also share their insights on how the industry is harming people without being held accountable. But once you get over the shocking fact that many of the dangerous ingredients used in personal care products are unregulated, the doc gives viewers tips on finding affordable and safe alternatives to some of the dangerous products they may have been using.
Narrator Keke Palmer said being a part of the documentary was a learning experience. And she says she is proud to be a part of a project that will arm others with the knowledge they need to look for safe beauty products. “I’m big on self-help, and in order to best help yourself, you need information,” she said. “I can’t tell you how much I learned from working on ‘Not So Pretty.’ Each session inspired an ‘OMG I HAD NO IDEA!’ moment. And then, I became relieved to be a part of something that can help break these myths and encourage personal autonomy within the beauty industry, which can only come with knowledge. You can’t choose wisely when you don’t know what to look for! This show will illuminate that, and it’s really empowering.”
Not So Pretty begins streaming on HBO Max on April 14.