Beauty

Is Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop brand trustworthy?

WRITTEN BY
05/10/24
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Fact Box

  • Gwyneth Paltrow is an award-winning actress, producer, and director known for her role as Pepper Potts in Marvel’s Iron Man and Avengers films (2008-2019), among other productions like Contagion (2011) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). 
  • Gwyneth Paltrow created Goop as a personal weekly newsletter that eventually became a successful, yet controversial wellness and lifestyle company since its inception in 2008.
  • In 2018, Goop was reportedly valued at $250 million and generated over $45 million in revenue.
  • Over the years, Goop was the subject of scrutiny due to its “aphrodisiac” Jade Egg and “This Smells Like My Vagina” exploding candle.
  • The Goop brand is described as a 'modern lifestyle brand' that offers wellness advice from doctors, travel recommendations, as well as clean beauty, fashion, and home products.

Sheryll (No)

Many of Goop’s products are sold based on dubious health claims. For example, there was the infamous jade egg, which Goop claimed that inserting into the vagina could improve sexual health, even though there is no scientific evidence to back this up. The brand also promotes “Detox Guides,” which have been widely dismissed as pseudoscience.

Some of Goop’s products are also just dangerous for regular use. Using the jade egg can lead to infections and toxic shock syndrome, and Goop’s recommendation to “steam your vagina” once caused a woman to be hospitalized. In 2018, one woman also died after undergoing live bee acupuncture, which Goop claimed could reduce inflammation and skin scarring. Goop also sells a bottle of vitamins aimed at treating conditions related to menopause, but these vitamins contain a potentially dangerous amount of biotin.

Many question whether Goop is motivated more by financial interests than the well-being of its consumers. During an ‘In Goop Health’ conference in 2019, some attendees questioned the $1,300 hotel price tag and claimed the overall experience was subpar, with one even calling the summit a weekend-long “sales pitch.” 

Goop has also gotten into legal trouble for its products. In September 2018, Goop entered a legal settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by 10 California District Attorney offices, where prosecutors alleged that Goop made several unsubstantiated medical claims about their products. The suit was filed after Truth in Advertising warned of over 50 unsubstantiated health claims made by Goop. It is, therefore, inconceivable to consider Goop trustworthy when its business model relies so much on sensationalized wellness trends.


Joanna (Yes)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop can and has been called many things, but untrustworthy shouldn’t be on that list. Goop takes thorough measures to ensure the authenticity of its recommendations. Firstly, it collaborates with experienced physicians on the vitamins and supplements regimens posted on Goop Wellness. These experts cite peer-reviewed research to support the efficiency of these treatments. 

Moreover, Goop has had a highly vetted team dedicated to fact verification since 2018. The team comprises a full-time fact checker, a lawyer, an expert on nutritional science, and a director of science and research. With their help, the brand ensures higher transparency while avoiding accusations of spreading misinformation. 

But all that aside, Goop’s recommendations aren’t as outrageous as most critics claim. Many of these have been backed by science. For instance, The Goop Lab’s first episode featured four Goop staffers who took psilocybin (magic mushrooms) to help with different wellness issues. This isn’t news, as there’s sufficient research indicating psilocybin’s therapeutic outcomes for people suffering from depression, PTSD, and anxiety. 

Besides, some featured treatments were publicized long before Goop without critics batting an eye. In 2013, Kim Kardashian introduced the world to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facials. Yet, when Goop tackled the subject in 2020, publications like Rolling Stone didn’t waste time debunking it. One reason for Goop's constant criticism may be Gwyneth herself. Being called the most hated celebrity in the world by Star Magazine affected her brand. Regardless, Goop has provided sufficient evidence to prove it’s trustworthy. As for those suspecting it, they can heed the brand’s advice to consult their physicians before trying its recommendations.

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