Unhealthy beauty hacks you should definitely be avoiding

Unhealthy Beauty Hacks to Avoid

We've all heard the term "life hack," right? Well, just in case you haven't, it's a phrase meaning an easy way to do something. In other words, a shortcut if you will. So when you hear the term beauty hack you know it's the same sort of phrase, only having to do with beauty tips.

From magazines to Pinterest, beauty hacks often promise simple solutions -- but in reality, how safe are they? After all, when it comes to beauty, it's extremely easy to accidentally do something that has negative effects on your skin, eyes, hair, etc.

So with that being said, it's time to reveal some unhealthy hacks you should be avoiding at all costs.

1) Using cleaning sponges to remove tanning streaks on skin

Photo: Getty

The chemicals on these sponges, often containing formaldehyde, can be very damaging to skin.

2) Using mouthwash to get rid of dead skin

Photo: Getty

The heavy amounts of alcohol in mouthwash actually burns off an entire layer of skin.

3) Using cooking oils as moisturizers

Photo: Getty

These oils actually CAUSE breakouts instead of clear them.

4) Soaking your nails in lemon juice for growth

Photo: Getty

This actually dries out your nails ensuring they become brittle.

5) Using petroleum jelly to grow your lashes

Photo: Getty

This beauty hack actually clogs pores leading to acne or cysts under your eyes.

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Unhealthy beauty hacks you should definitely be avoiding

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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