For the longest time, I never paid any attention to the ingredients in the beauty and personal care products I was using. If I’m being honest, I mostly based my decisions on the best branding, the price, or what other people were using.
It wasn’t until later that I realized the truth about the beauty industry and how the toxic ingredients used in products can cause health issues.
And the more I learned, the more questions I had. So I started binging every documentary about the topic that I could, and I’ve compiled some of them here for you.
From coverups in the beauty industry to lawsuits against major household brands to the disgusting secrets hidden in our own personal care products, these are the must-watch documentaries to get educated on how toxic chemicals are affecting our health:
Not So Pretty
This is a 4-Part HBO Docuseries (documentary) that investigates the beauty and haircare industry. Its aim is to expose the coverups, secrets, and ugly truths behind the products we use daily, often at our own expense. It highlights how little government regulation there truly is over the beauty industry – and why that matters.
Overload: America’s Toxic Love Story
This documentary follows the journey of Soozie Eastman, daughter of an industrial chemical distributor who, after learning that hundreds of synthetic toxins are now found in every baby born in America and the government and chemical corporations are doing little to protect citizens and consumers, embarks on a journey to find out the levels of toxins in her body and explores if there’s anything she (or anyone else) can do to change them.
With guidance from world-renowned physicians and environmental leaders, Suzie uncovers how we got to be so overloaded with toxins in the first place as well as what we can do to take control of our exposure and lower our body burden.
The Devil We Know
The Devil We Know is an investigative documentary film regarding allegations of health hazards from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8), a key ingredient used in manufacturing Teflon.
PFAS are commonly found in every household and in products as diverse as non-stick cookware, stain-resistant furniture and carpets, wrinkle-free and water-repellent clothing, beauty products, lubricants, paint, pizza boxes, popcorn bags, and many other everyday products.
Unacceptable Levels is a documentary that examines chemical exposure in daily life from the perspective of filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children.
From the chemical revolution of the 1940s through today’s prevalence of chemicals in industrial, consumer, and beauty products, the documentary seeks to impart a greater understanding of the proliferation and compounding effects of commonly used chemicals. The purpose of this documentary film is to educate, engage in questions around the potential human risk, and propose ideas on what can be done about it.
The Human Experiment
The Human Experiment lifts the veil on the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes, and inside of us. Simultaneously, the prevalence of many diseases continues to rise.
This documentary tells the personal stories of people who believe their lives have been affected by chemicals and takes viewers to the front lines as activists go head-to-head with the powerful and well-funded chemical industry. These activists bring to light a corrupt system that’s been hidden from consumers… until now.
The Toxic Hot Seat
This documentary follows a group of firefighters and mothers, journalists and scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose a shadowy campaign of deception that left a toxic legacy in our homes and bodies.
More specifically, it exposes the use of potentially toxic chemical flame retardants on furniture.
Toxic Beauty (2019)
This documentary follows the class action lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson and the plaintiffs: women fighting for justice in a race against time.
It dives deep into the harmful chemicals and toxins used in cosmetics and beauty products, such as talc, and begs thought-provoking questions like, Is skin care the new cigarette? Forty years from now, will talc be as irrefutably linked to ovarian cancer as smoking is to lung cancer?
The scientists, doctors, and lawyers interviewed in this documentary think so—and talc is far from the only cosmetic ingredient they’re questioning.
You’ll learn so much by watching these documentaries and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably end up with a lot more questions – like how the heck do I even switch to cleaner products or how do I know which beauty products are better than others?
If that sounds like you, make sure you check out my Ultimate Guide to Making the Switch to Clean Beauty.
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