In India, thousands of adult and child miners risk their health and lives to search for mica, the mineral that creates the shimmer and shine in makeup.
From underground ghost mines and forest camps to dusty workshops, we uncover the conflict and controversy behind the trade – all in the pursuit of radiant beauty.
Facing accusations of unsafe work practices and child labour by the international press, we find a deeper story behind mica mining, and the ongoing struggles that its miners face.
This documentary was awarded the inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Prize at the 2021 Japan Prize. The Japan Prize is the world’s leading international contest that honors top-quality educational programs worldwide.
The Ugly Side of Beauty has also won a Silver trophy at the 2023 Deauville Green Awards, which honours films on sustainable development. The show was honoured in the Conscious Consumption and Eco-label category for uncovering the human cost behind the mining of a key cosmetics ingredient.
1 x 60 min Undercover Asia special
Produced for CNA International