Experts in the film are so collectively concerned about the lack of regulation and thousands of toxic chemicals to which consumers are exposing themselves, that Swift predicts an industry-wide legal fallout even bigger than that experienced by big tobacco companies in the late 90s.
While there is increasing awareness of the dangers of the endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and harmful chemicals in the form of phthalates, SLS and parabens, consumers are also being misled by brands marketing themselves as clean and natural despite being anything but.
Known as ‘greenwashing’ The Green Edit founder Cathy Tolpigin says this deception has become an issue in every sub-category of personal care, from skincare and cosmetics to toiletries and fragrance.
Tolpigin, who is launching a green beauty consumer event in Sydney in March which will showcase more than 40 organic and natural beauty labels, says some brands don’t even realise their products contain hidden nasties.
“I’ve had to tell some of the brands who wanted to take part that their products don’t meet the criteria, and they are genuinely surprised,” she says.
“They will brief a manufacturer to create a product that’s vegan and organic or without toxic ingredients and will just take their word for it that it meets all the criteria.”
This poses an even bigger challenge for consumers navigating the beauty aisle, who need a degree in chemistry and a magnifying glass to decipher the ingredients lists.
Aside from checking for certifications from organisations such as Australian Certified Organic and COSMOS, Ms Tolpigin suggested making friends with a natural beauty therapist or reaching out to the owner of an online, trusted clean beauty store.
“It’s important to remember that even natural products can contain active ingredients can do damage if they’re not suitable to your specific skin concerns,” she says.
Basically, investing in a product your favourite influencer uses for pigmentation if your issue is with fine lines or hormonal acne is not going to do your skin, or your wallet, any favours.
“So don’t be afraid to ask an expert to get their advice on whether a product would benefit your skin,” she suggests.
Your cells will thank you for it.