Documentary Feature | 90min & 78min | Completed
In 1982, world renowned epidemiologist, Dr. Daniel Cramer, linked Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder to ovarian cancer. Since the 1960’s, J&J allegedly knew the risks and did nothing. In 2004, Dr. Philippa Darbre, a UK scientist, found parabens, a chemical preservative in many cosmetics, in breast tissue. In 2018, the National Institute of Health’s sister study linked breast cancer to personal care product use.
Links to hormonal disruption in baby boys, developmental delays, low sperm count in men, infertility, cancer, diabetes, obesity and skin disease – the cosmetic industry isn’t pretty.
Each morning we slather with 1000’s of chemicals, many of which are proven to be toxic. In the United States, the Cosmetic and Personal Care Industry regulates itself. In Canada, implementing regulations is under scrutiny. There is doubt propagated by big industries making claims that we have nothing to worry about, positioning themselves as champions of personal empowerment through their multibillion dollar advertising campaigns.
Top researchers worldwide have the hard science to answer the question ‘Are cosmetics and personal care products a public health risk?’
Toxic Beauty is a documentary feature film with exclusive access to scientists, lawyers, advocates, regulators, politicians, a dynamic whistle blower, survivors and women who have lost their lives. It follows the class action lawsuit against J&J and the plaintiffs, personal stories of women fighting for justice in a race against time with this deadly disease.
Woven throughout the film is a human experiment. We document, as Boston University medical student, Mymy Nguyen, measures her chemical body burden from over 27 products. Scientists monitor her shocking results.
In the end, the film meets the companies and people who offer solutions and optimism for safer, toxicant free cosmetics.
A Film by Phyllis Ellis
Executive Producers Peter Raymont, Steve Ord, Cheryl Staurulakis, Leo Staurulakis
Producers Barri Cohen, Stephen Paniccia
Supervising Producer Andrew Munger
Cinematographer Iris Ng Editor James Yates
Music Robert Carli Conceived by Sarah Jay
Produced by White Pine Pictures In Association With documentary Channel, SRC
With The Participation of Canada Media Fund, Rogers Cable Network Fund
Developed With The Participation of Ontario Creates
International Distribution Kew Media
Toxic Beauty is a sponsored project of Women Make Movies
“Powerful, alarming and will almost certainly send at least a few people straight to their bathrooms to dump the contents of their makeup bags.”
“A beautifully crafted, informative and truly terrifyingly raw documentary”
“Engrossing… will make you rifle through your medicine cabinet”
“Knockout punch to an amoral cosmetic industry”
“Eye-opening… The call to action is one of consumer choice and education”
Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival, Toronto, ON
DOXA Film Festival, Vancouver, BC
TOP 10: HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL 2019
Auburn Lane, April 12th, 2019
Five films in Hot Docs’ Big Ideas
Toronto Life, April 17th, 2019
Hot Docs 2019: Are we living in a golden age of documentary cinema?
The Globe and Mail, April 18th, 2019
Toxic Beauty: The Ugly Business of Pretty
The Tyee, April 19th, 2019
Do you know what potential dangers are lurking in your makeup bag?
The Star, April 21st, 2019
Hot Docs ’19: Shane Smith discusses highlights for the 26th annual festival
Realscreen, April 23rd, 2019
Hot Docs 2019 Overview
What Not To Doc, April 24th, 2019
“TOXIC BEAUTY” IS A KNOCKOUT PUNCH TO AN AMORAL COSMETIC INDUSTRY
She Does The City, April 24th, 2019
HOT DOCS: WHAT WE’VE SEEN (AND WHAT YOU SHOULD SEE) AT THE BIGGEST EVENT IN DOCUMENTARIES
Original Cin, April 25th, 2019
TORONTO HOT DOCS: “TOXIC BEAUTY”; MAKE-UP AS THE NEW CIGARETTE?
Set The Bar, April 26th, 2019
Beauty & The Toxic Beast
Clear Life Inc, April 26th, 2019
Monday at Hot Docs
Northern Stars, April 28th, 2019
When “Gentle” Can Kill
POV Magazine, April 28th, 2019
Review: ‘Toxic Beauty’
POV Magazine, April 29th, 2019
New documentary on harmful cosmetics
CTV News, Video