Of all the celebrities with online stores, perhaps none is more dangerous or hypocritical than Gwyneth Paltrow. Dangerous because of her scientifically illiterate healthcare stance and the worldwide stage–built by her celebrity status–from which she gets to promote it. The hypocrisy? Hoo boy, our cup runneth over with examples.
Paltrow’s web site, Goop.com, is a poorly disguised pseudoscientific version of Amazon.com, hidden behind articles ostensibly giving healthcare advice, but in reality selling products that contain exactly the same ingredients that are claimed to be dangerous. For example, Goop is riddled with horror stories linking the mere presence of the element aluminum in cosmetics and medicine to a plethora of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and mental health problems.1,2,3 A specific admonition is to avoid aluminum in lipstick. Why? Because:
“[…] to put the importance of safe ingredients in perspective, consider that, unlike the toxins in, say, skin cream, you don’t just absorb what’s in lipstick, you consume it” 1
With all this talk of aluminum, lipstick, and hypocrisy, clever readers have no doubt picked up on the literary device known as foreshadowing. It’s time to click our way on over to Goop.com and look at the ingredients in the Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick on offer there:4
Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carmine [CI 75470], Silica (Silicon Dioxide), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Carnauba Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891, CI 77019], Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Mica [CI 77019], Iron Oxide , Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol–Rituel de Fille Forbidden Ingredients (Fortune Teller)4
Oh dear. Bless Paltrow’s heart! Aluminum hydroxide is made up of aluminum, oxygen, and hydrogen.
Weren’t we just talking about this? Gentle reader, here’s Gwyneth’s web site waxing poetic on aluminum:
“I have grave concerns about […] neurotoxic metals like mercury and aluminum“3
“Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.” 2
“A study out of the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health found nine toxic heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and lead in the popular lipstick formulas they analyzed.” 1
That last quote is especially appalling as it appears in the same fluff piece that hawks the Rituel de Fille lipstick. Yes, in the same article, Paltrow warns readers to avoid lipstick containing aluminum and sells them lipstick containing aluminum.
Talk about a con game. The celebrity who steams her vagina6 has balls the size of Texas.
It’s easy to miss the banned ingredient if you don’t read the product label for the Fortune Teller shade. But there’s more: Like any good poker player who knows she’s up against a weak opponent, Paltrow isn’t afraid to double down when she’s bluffing. You’ll also find aluminum hydroxide in “Against Nature”, another Goop.com Rituel de Fille offering.5 Not understanding the chemistry or biology behind the aluminum scare (or bothering to read the labels), gullible shoppers quickly fold their hands and open up their pocketbooks. Ka-ching.
In pointing out the hypocrisy of fear mongers with merchandise to sell, I think it’s important to pause and point out that the item itself is not dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with Rituel de Fille cosmetics, Goop.com’s whining about aluminum to the contrary. We’re talking about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth, arguably impossible to avoid in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Medical experts say that unless you’re suffering from a disease such as kidney failure, the aluminum you encounter in your diet and cosmetics are handled quite well by the body. I’ve written ad nauseam about this7,8,9,10,11,12 and won’t re-hash it.
As we’ll see in upcoming articles, Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to products that contain chemicals Paltrow’s web site claims to be toxic and then pawns off on unsuspecting readers. If you thought hustlers like Vani Hari, David Avocado Wolfe, and Joseph Mercola were bad, well, as the old Bachman Turner Overdrive song says, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.
(1) Full-On—Yet Totally Non-Toxic—Lipstick
(2) The Guide to Non-Toxic Deodorant—Plus Our 7 Favorites
(3) The Roots of Mental Health—Maybe They’re Not In Our Heads
Goop.com Q&A with Kelly Brogan, M.D.
(4) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Fortune Teller”
(5) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Against Nature”
(6) Steam-cleaning your vagina like Gwyneth Paltrow is not recommended (BBC)
(7) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water
(8) Cancer.gov Antipersperant Fact Sheet
(9) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining
(10) More “Toxic” Ingredients from Naturally Nicole
(11) Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder Debunked
(12) Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant
Goop.com and Rituel de Fille screen/product snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
Opening photo illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked. Constructed with elements (c) Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram, Rituel de Fille. Also used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.