9 popular beauty trends that are actually pretty dangerous

Dangerous Beauty Trends

We live in a society where it's increasingly important to "look good" at all times. In the pursuit of beauty, people pour extremely large amounts of money and time. Nevertheless, some of the most popular ways of modifying our looks come with brow-raising health risks that clearly outweigh all of their temporary benefits. Here are nine of the most detrimental beauty trends you should definitely avoid at all costs:

1) Tanning

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and it's also one of the most preventable. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) is now the most common cancer among people ages 25 to 29. Indoor tanning before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by up to 75 percent. It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots: preventing young people from tanning could be a huge win for public health.

2) Costume Contact Lenses

The chairman of the contact lens and cornea section of the American Optometric Association told the Daily Mail that ill-fitting contacts can deprive the eye of oxygen and cause serious damage, and back in 2010, a spokesperson from the FDA told the New York Times they could lead to blindness.

3) Fake Eyelashes

According to Consumer Reports, Eyelash extensions—single synthetic fibers glued one by one to natural eyelashes—are usually fixed in place by formaldehyde-based adhesives or other biologic glues. The adhesives can cause allergic reactions, as can the solvents used to remove them. In addition, cosmetic eyelash enhancers carry a risk of bacterial and fungal infection.

4) The Brazilian Wax

A small study out of Nice, France, found an association between pubic hair removal and an increased risk of sexually transmitted Molluscum contagiosum, a skin virus causing raised bumps or growths. While the study found only an association and not a definitive link, it stands to reason that waxing would increase the risk of a virus like Molluscum contagiosum, says Jessica Krant, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York and founder of Art of Dermatology. (via The Huffington Post)

5) Waist Training

Waist training isn't the same thing as committing to a daily ab routine. It's a scary, painful and potentially dangerous "technique" that women are inexplicably embracing in order to take a couple inches off their midsections -- a change that only lasts as long as you continue to "train" your waist. (via The Huffington Post)

6) Gel Manicures

Because of the low UV levels, the skin cancer risk even from repeated salon visits remains small. That doesn't mean the polishes get a free pass, according to Dr. Chris Adigun, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "The problem is there's no regulation of nail lamp exposure," Adigun says. "For patients who aren't concerned about the melanoma risk, do know about the photoaging that comes from UV exposure." -Calif. Study: Nail Products Contain Toxic Chemicals (via NPR)

7) Being an active member of #TeamNoSleep

In addition to the weight gain, memory problems, inability to perform, depression, and increased cancer risk that come with sleep deprivation, it turns out that not getting enough sleep also allows neurotoxins to build up in your brain, especially one protein, beta-amyloid, that can further worsen sleep and is also linked to Alzheimer's disease. (via AOL)

8) Skipping sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen, avoid the spray-on varieties. You are not inhaling anything and they don't cover up completely. Also, don't trust an SPF over 50. SPF's sun protection ability tops out between 30 and 50. Lastly, stay away from common ingredients like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. Kids should especially avoid retinyl palmitate, which can lead to skin lesions and cancer. Oxybenzone can affect hormone levels in our bodies. (via AOL)

9) Juice Cleanse

There is very little research out there supporting the juice diet, and many nutritionists suggest that juice cleanses are actually dangerous. What's more, apparently our body is very good at doing just what the juice cleanse aims to do. "Our body has a great detox system built in: our kidneys and liver," explained Lauren Blake, a registered dietitian with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in a US News & World Report article. (via Business Insider)

Now here are some natural beauty habits you should adopt:
8 natural beauty habits to adopt now
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9 popular beauty trends that are actually pretty dangerous

1) Oil Pulling

An ancient dental technique, oil pulling involves swishing one-two tablespoons of oil (coconut, olive, or sunflower) in your mouth on an empty stomach for approximately 20 minutes. The action is said to draw out toxins and improve your overall oral health all while naturally whitening your teeth. I’ve been pulling, coconut is my oil of choice, for a few months now and I’m obsessed.  And for all you naysayers I spoke to my dentist, and in his words; “oil pulling should never replace your usual dental routine, but there is plenty of research that supports it’s health benefits.  Mainly because your mouth houses more bacteria than anything else and if your mouth is healthy then your system can focus on fighting other issues.” 

2) Dry Brushing.  

Introduced to me by my aesthetician, dry brushing is an age old practice of brushing your skin in an upward motion with a firm, natural bristle brush. The practice, most commonly done before showering, exfoliates and unclogs skin, while stimulating your lymphatic system, and is said to help reduce cellulite.  Just a tad painful, but I’ve really taken to loving my dry brush, and I mean if Jennifer Aniston swears by it, then consider me sold.

3) Think Dirty.  

Talk about a game changer. Think Dirty the app allows you to scan or type in products and in return gives you a 1-10 toxicity rating.  So get ready to stand in the grocery store aisles for hours scanning just about everything you’ve ever bought or are thinking about buying. 

4)  Consistently Washing Your Makeup Brushes 

Ask yourself when’s the last time you washed your makeup brushes?  If you’re like me it’s been too long.  And just think about all of that old makeup, dead skin, and germs of all kinds just sitting on your brushes. Eew. Washing your makeup brushes once a week is essential to keeping your complexion clear and your health in tact, so get the suds ready. 

5) Non-Toxic Nail Polish 

When you really begin thinking about what’s in nail polish, and how it’s just sitting there absorbing into your nails, into your skin’s pores, into your system, and not to mention how much we probably accidentally ingest from chipping (especially if you bite your nails), wouldn’t you feel better knowing that polish was toxic free?  Enter my new favorite nail polish Smith & Cult.  Free of the 5 major toxins found in most nail polishes, it allows you to rest easy thinking about all those nasty chemicals, and go back to stressing about if your polish is dry enough to reach in your purse for your keys without smudging.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it comes in just about every color we could possibly want and has the most beautiful packaging.

6) Activated Charcoal Pills

Recently while reading what seemed like my thousandth detox article, I stumbled upon something I’d never heard of: activated charcoal pills.  The pills are used commonly in the ER medical community to treat oral poisoning, and the charcoal’s “pores” make it very effective at binding and flushing out poisons that are still present in the stomach and small intestines, hence the belief of detox.  While there’s research both supporting and negating it’s ability to actually flush your system after an over-indulgent Saturday, all I can say is I’ve taken it a dozen times and have felt better.  Just note that charcoal doesn’t always differentiate between good and bad, so if you want anything to stay absorbed in your system, like your daily vitamin, take them hours apart.  And like everything, do your research; what works for some does not work for all.

7)  Shots  

I admit it, I’m on the pressed juice band wagon.  I’ll drink a juice, or five, all day every day.  And my new favorite thing, the shot circuit.  Seven shots: wheatgrass, E3, turmeric, ginger, lemon, aloe, and dandelion.  They’re not all pleasant going down, but I feel high on health for the rest of the day.  Not to mention my energy is on fire. Not ready for seven shots? Start slow with a wheatgrass or turmeric; both easily found at your local juice shop or Whole Foods, or better yet, make your own!

8. Chemical Free Products

Letting go of products we’ve used for years can be a difficult thing, but now more than ever there are so many amazing non-toxic choices there really is no excuse.  Two brands I’ve completely fallen in love with are Beauty Counter and One Love Organics.  I swear by Beauty Counter’s sunscreen and eye palettes  and One Love’s Vitamin C Body Polish smells like heaven and their Morning Glory is my new morning savior.


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