HBO Reveals the "Not So Pretty" Truth About the Skincare Industry

HBO Reveals the "Not So Pretty" Truth About the Skincare Industry

If you haven’t seen it already, HBO’s streaming service HBOMax has recently added a new documentary series about the hidden chemicals in beauty products. Not So Pretty is the product of two-time Emmy award-winning and Academy award-nominated investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and is narrated by actress Keke Palmer. The four episodes in the series each focus on a different part of our beauty routines: makeup, nails, skincare and hair. 

While much of the information in the documentary will be common knowledge for Sally’s blog readers, we’re really excited that a whole new audience will be exposed to the dangers sitting on vanities or in showers. Here are a few points from the third episode on skincare that we want to remind our readers about:

  • Phthalates are bad. We’ve been warning our readers about phthalates for years, and just a few months ago we reposted our blog about the dangers of phthalates. They’re cheap to make, help products hold their fragrance, and are in just about everything you can buy in the beauty section of a supermarket or big box store. It would be great if they were banned here in the US as they have been in Europe and other parts of the world, but until then it’s up to us to make sure that the products we use are phthalate-free. And as we mentioned a few months back, Sally B’s products contain no phthalates. We use natural ingredients that mimic their properties (perhaps it would be more accurate to say that phthalates mimic the effects of our natural ingredients!). That’s why we’re one of the few skincare companies to earn EWG certification.

  • Speaking of “fragrance”... Not So Pretty does a great job of highlighting the cosmetics industry’s use of “fragrance” as an ingredient and the hidden dangers behind that word. Because the big companies have convinced the government that those fragrances are trade secrets, manufacturers aren’t required to list the individual ingredients in the compounds. A couple of years ago, we discussed the same issue here on our blog. 

  • Packaging waste. In the documentary, the creators mention the huge amounts of plastic waste caused by cosmetics and skincare packaging and they mention the dangers of BPA. Rest assured that our packaging is BPA-free when we do need to use plastic, and glass otherwise (which is more easily recyclable). This isn’t a new initiative for Sally B’s; we wrote about our planet-friendly packaging way back in 2014!

  • While the documentary does a good job of highlighting these ingredients, but it makes you wonder what else is lurking in your personal care products.  Using whole, plant based ingredients further insures that you can avoid many of the nasties hanging out in traditional products. 

    We agree with the creators of the blog that the next generation seems to have a much greater awareness of the chemicals they’re sold and the necessity of planet-friendly options. If you haven’t already, consider a Sally B’s set as a graduation gift. It’ll give you an opportunity to share the Sally B’s story with someone while also sharing products that are good for them and good for the planet!

    2 comments


    • Urist Cosmetics Inc

      This post is very useful to us thanks for sharing this info with us…


    • Mary Ann

      I love your products and love that you are concerned with the health of your customers as well as the health of our planet.


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