Do you call yourself a skincare junkie?
You might want to think twice before you slather on that 7-step skincare routine and face masks, before popping out a glass of wine to wind down and fall asleep to.
I’ve been in the beauty industry for a while now, and in the past couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several skincare product formulators in Singapore and Seoul alike about hazards posed to our health and bodies by… skincare products.
These formulators were warning me against using commercially produced “big name” skincare products ladened with preservatives and harmful chemicals. It was shocking. I chucked out a large part of my skincare cabinet. I started reading ingredient lists. I went “clean”. Then, all these suspicions were confirmed when HBO Max released its documentary series, ”Not So Pretty” in April 2022.
Directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, “Not So Pretty” is a series of four documentaries following women as they uncover the detrimental health effects of makeup, nail, skincare, and haircare products. As the series launched on HBO Max, TikTok’s beauty hashtags were momentarily filled with women sharing their findings and swearing off harmful products.
However, the documentary series was never made available on HBO in Singapore. Here, are some key takeaways from “Not So Pretty” on how your favourite skincare products may be quietly harming your health: