Want to know what really goes into your beloved beauty products? A shocking new trailer for HBO Max’s new docuseries Not So Pretty is here to lift the lid…
Whether you’re a beauty aficionado who avidly roadtests every much-hyped new release or a personal grooming cynic who keeps their skincare routine down to the bare minimum, most of us would hope that the products we do choose to use on our face, body and hair are doing some good. Or, at the very least, are safe.
And that’s precisely why HBO Max’s forthcoming docuseries Not So Pretty is a total horror story. Delving into the trillion-dollar cosmetics, beauty and personal care industry, the four-part investigative documentary is here to lift the lid on the potential hidden dangers of everyday products used all around the world – and the revelations are startling.
Narrated by Keke Palmer and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the duo behind the 2015 documentary film The Hunting Ground, the four-part series will “take this unregulated industry to task via rigorous investigations, incisive wit and emotional storytelling to inform audiences of the hidden hazards of cosmetics and safe, budget-friendly alternatives for their daily products,” according to the official synopsis.
A week ahead of the premiere of Not So Pretty, HBO Max has now released a shocking new trailer exposing some of the dark secrets of the beauty industry. In it, Palmer introduces some of the potential hazards associated with certain personal care products, while meeting with experts to discover their exact formulation. Shockingly, many of them include unregulated chemical mixtures.
In one scene, a scientist reports finding traces of asbestos in samples of products, while other experts report a catalogue of shocking issues on the rise such as changes in brain development, birth defects, ovarian failure and infant mortality.
We also see Palmer meet with individuals who have exhibited severe reactions to certain beauty products and hear their emotional accounts of devastating medical issues such as hair loss, speech problems and infertility. The scale of the issue, one commentator gravely declares, is an “overlooked epidemic”.
In a statement released with the trailer announcement, Palmer said: “I’m big on self-help and in order to best help yourself, you need information. 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.”
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with innovative and bold HBO Max and the brilliantly talented Keke Palmer to bring viewers this riveting four-part series exposing the hidden secrets and ugly truths behind the trillion-dollar beauty and personal care industry that will literally have viewers running to take a second look at all the personal care products lining their bathroom shelves!
“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.”
Not So Pretty airs on HBO Max and Sky and Now on 14 April 2022.
Images: HBO Max
Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.