You may have seen Not So Pretty, an expose/docuseries on HBOMax. It purports to give you “the ugly truth behind beauty.” While some touted it as informative, empowering, and a “critique made with love,” others labeled it as a “mixture of truths, half-truths, and agenda driven blurred information.” Personally, I have more of the latter opinion.
Allure Magazine recently posted an informative article, How Worried Should You Be About Your Beauty Products After Watching Not So Pretty?, in which they get thoughts from several professionals about their take on Not So Pretty.
From a Cosmetic Chemist
Jen Novakovich is a cosmetic chemist and Director of The Eco Well, a platform that focuses on science literacy and communication, said, “Overwhelmingly, the products on the market are safe.“
“A take-home for the average person: Science literacy is super, super important. There’s so much misinformation out there. Risk depends on exposure. This is a fundamental thing. This includes your likelihood to get cancer. People are fine with drinking wine — that’s a carcinogen, but that doesn’t mean drinking wine is going to give you cancer.”
From an Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist
Dr. Lucky Sekhon, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York and an assistant clinical professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said, “It would be naive to say that chemicals don’t affect our overall health picture.“
“What I tell my patients is you can’t live in a bubble, you can’t avoid everything, but there’s this concept of a ‘chemical load.’ Wherever you can, try to minimize the chemical load, whether it be the type of dishware you’re using for cooking and avoiding things like Teflon, or actively avoiding things that are just filled with tons of fragrance, because you don’t need that. That cosmetic would still be functional without the fragrance.”
Dr. Lucky Sekhon
From a Dermatologist
Dr. Evan Rieder, board-certified physicial in both dermatology and psychiatry and full time faculty member in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone, said, “It’s really the dose that makes the poison.“
“…there is a lot that’s unknown. It is somewhat simplistic to label certain ingredients as necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ as most ingredients of concern have never been demonstrated to result in adverse effects in people. It’s really the dose that makes the poison. The question is, are people getting exposed to sufficient dosages that are actually making meaningful changes in their bodies that are causing actual harm?”
Dr. Evan Rieder
Allure Magazine’s article contains some balanced and well-thought-out opinions and commentary about content and presentation in Not So Pretty?
It’s definitely worth a read.