01. Steaming your vaj doesn't do anything and is straight-up dangerous.
When Gwyneth Paltrow famously bragged about the benefits of V-steaming, everyone rightfully thought she was insane. But Gwyneth was always shilling ridiculous products on her lifestyle site Goop, so it wasn't like anyone took her seriously.
However, that trend doesn't appear to be dying. Recently, Chrissy Teigen preached the benefits of yoni steaming, although even she was unsure what those benefits were. And since we all worship the 32-year-old social media mom, surely we're all going to run out and hover above the nearest pot of boiling water, right?? Uh, not so fast.
"There is no need to steam the vagina,” Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of reproductive sciences, told SELF. “This could really burn someone like crazy, and I'd hate to be dealing with intravaginal burns.”
In addition to burns, the steam might kill off the "good" kind of bacteria you actually need. "These are the various lactobacilli, which help to keep the vagina acidic—a low pH in the vagina is good, not bad—and you don't want to kill these guys off,” Minkin says. “You want more of them there to protect you. When the vagina is acidic, the environment is inhospitable for many of the bad guys who might end up giving you a real infection.”
02. Waist trainers won't give you a skinny waist, but it will squeeze the crap out of your organs.
Oh boy, remember when everyone in your Instagram feed was shilling these? Waist trainers are pretty much just glorified corsets that promise to narrow your waist if you wear it for several hours a day. Sure you won't be able to breathe, but your torso will look snatched.
The entire Kardashian clan wouldn't shut up about them. "This band makes me sweat more in our tummy area so it gives me that extra boost when I'm feeling a little bloated," Khloé Kardashian captioned an Instagram pic. "I love how my posture in the gym is even better due to wearing it."
Unfortunately, despite all the celebrity approval, waist trainers don't work. They also crush your organs and can leave you with serious intestinal damage. "You can't reduce the collection of fat in any one particular area of your body," Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., weight loss and nutrition expert, told Marie Claire. "If you push your stomach in, all the fat will go right back to where it was no matter how long [you wear the corset] for."
03. Detox teas won't help you lose weight, and you'll have really bad diarrhea.
The Kardashians strike again! Remember a year ago when everyone was promoting FitTea and Bootea? It seemed like a good product. Lose weight by simply drinking tea, which is something we do every day? Plus, Kendall Jenner swore by them. "I usually start my day off with a cup of detox tea," she said back in 2014. "I have like 12 cups a day." Hey, if Kendall can drink 12 and she's fine, surely we can drink just one or two a day, right?
But usually when something sounds too good to be true, it is. While detox teas might help you lose a little water weight, the laxative component will have a varying effect on the body. For some, it might lead to serious digestive issues, and for others, it might lead to painful cramps. The problem is the ingredient "senna," which most detox teas use in quantities that exceed the daily recommended limit. "Teas with senna should definitely be avoided," Dr. Louise Newson, a general practitioner, said. "Senna should only be used for short-term relief of constipation whereas many of these teas recommend use for weeks at a time when constipation isn't a problem - which can be dangerous."
04. "Fire burning" your split ends will damage your hair and possibly burn down your house.
This treatment, which supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio boasted about back in 2015, has been a staple beauty trend in Brazil since the '60s. The treatment, called Velaterapia, involves burning off split ends using a candle. "It's more effective than a normal haircut when [the] client wants to keep hair length and get rid only of the split ends," Fernanda Lacerda of the Maria Bonita Salon in NYC told Marie Claire. "With the hair twisted, only the split ends are burned off, so pretty much all length is kept."
But how safe is it? Although supporters of "fire burning" say it's safe when done by a professional, hairstylist Matt Fugate at Sally Hershberger Salon told Harper's Bazaar that it's "the worst idea ever" and will weaken your hair and destroy your cuticles.
05. Using hemorrhoid cream to de-puff eyes only works temporarily and might cause irritation.
Yep, so apparently this is a thing. Just ask Sandra Bullock who swears by it ever since she learned the tip while filming Miss Congeniality. Apparently, the vasoconstriction properties of the butt cream narrows the vessels and makes eyes look less puffy. But considering it's oil-based and comedogenic, is it really something you want near your eyes?
"Preparation H formulations often contain petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin that can clog pores and cause breakouts," Dr. Michelle Yagoda, a facial plastic surgeon in New York, told TODAY. "In addition, the formula may contain lanolin that can cause contact dermatitis in many."
06. Micro-needling can damage your skin and cause infections.
Jennifer Aniston, 49, pretty much never ages. So back in 2014 when she raved about micro-needling, which is puncturing the skin with tiny needles using a derma roller, everyone was like, "Hmm, well if Jennifer swears by it..." She told Peopleat the time that the treatment "allows the serums and whatever products you’re using to really soak in."
But of course, there are downsides. Although micro-needling won't kill you like some of the other items in this list, it can damage your face if you try to do it yourself at home. Because at-home needles are too big, you'll be damaging your skin for pretty much no reason. And if you don't properly sterilize your needles, the downsides get even scarier. "Your risk of scarring or creating a problem is there, but you don’t get a benefit," Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City, told Moneyish. "Unless you’re using a sterile or disposable one, it can grow bacteria and yeast and you’re going to have that penetrate the skin."
07. Juice cleanses are pretty much just starvation with tons of sugar.
Celebrities have been singing the praises of "juice cleanses" for years now. Basically, whenever you need to quickly drop a quick five pounds or so, drink nothing but juiced fruit and veggies for a few days and watch as the pounds melt away. And since you're only ingesting healthy fruits and vegetables, you'll be super healthy and have glowing skin.
"I went to SoulCycle, like, twice a day and was on a juice cleanse," actress Ruby Rose told People. "Everyone was like, 'Ruby, you're not going to be able to make significant change to your body in three days,' and I was like, 'Watch me!'" But although cleanses sound great, they do more harm than good. Although you might lose a quick five pounds, you'll gain it right back. "Be aware: A juice detox can crash your metabolism and lead to future weight gain," Gwyneth warned.
In addition to, you know, starvation, cleanses lead to a lot of sugar consumption. “If you eat an orange or two, you get full,” Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told Vice. “But if you drink a glass of orange juice, you could be drinking the amount of sugar in four to six oranges—or more than a Coke—and you don’t feel full afterward.”
08. Slathering your face in Vaseline won't make you look like Tyra Banks, and you'll probably get zits.
Remember when Tyra Banks revealed on her daytime talk show that her beauty secret was slathering Vaseline on her face every night? And then she bizarrely gave the entire audience bedazzled vaseline jars? For those who don't remember this important moment in pop culture, you can watch it here. "It's my eye-and-anything cream!" she roared at the audience.
However, dermatologists warn against using petroleum jelly on the face. "I have no clue why anyone would want to use an occlusive ointment on their face,” Chicago dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD told New Beauty. “The only benefit is to trap water if you have dry skin. But otherwise, petrolatum is comedogenic, which means it can cause acne, and has no health benefits other than keeping wounds moist so they can heal.”
09. Glitter makeup will make you look like a sparkly unicorn, but it might damage your eyesight.
For the past year, people have been putting glitter in everything, even coffee. The queen of glitter, Bella Thorne, has been riding the trend longer than anyone. But although looking like a sparkly space princess is one of our life goals, scientists think it should be banned.
Not only is glitter bad for the environment since it's a micro-plastic that can't be recycled, it also can damage your eyesight if it gets in your eyes and can be even more harmful if it gets inhaled. "They could deliver chemicals to the lower parts of our lungs and maybe even into our bloodstream," Frank Kelly, a professor in London, told the Daily Mail.
10. Contouring will damage your skin and clog your pores.
Kim Kardashian might've made contouring mainstream (before that it was a technique only drag queens used), but there are downsides to slathering yourself in so much makeup. Although it looks great in selfies and videos, and every YouTube guru swears by it, experts say all the makeup is bad for your skin. Duh.
"Contouring has always been around, but lately I see women who are physically destroying their skin in the name of this trend," makeup artist Pati Dubroff told The Cut. "The main thing is that beauty comes from health, well-being, and aliveness. And with that type of makeup, there’s nothing alive. It’s extremely disguised."
For now on, we'll just stick with the beauty basics.