Beauty bloggers are becoming bolder and bolder when suggesting unconventional ways of doing things that “work like magic." We’ve seen a ton of weird beauty routines emerging these days, from sucking a shot glass to plump your lips to creating your own eyelash serum using kitchen staples. And of course, many people are checking out these strange ideas out of curiosity, hoping they would be able to solve their beauty woes in a cheaper, easier, and faster way.
The question is: are these skin care and cosmetic "hacks" worth your health?
From century-old beauty trends making a comeback to new beauty fads, here are some of the most dangerous beauty practices we don’t know are taking a toll on our health.
1. Kylie Jenner Challenge
Back in 2015, people were going nuts about the Kylie Jenner Challenge. No lip fillers required. Just grab a shot glass, a soda bottleneck, or any suction cup-like device and your lips will look plump like Kylie Jenner’s.
Seems like there’s nothing to lose, right? Wrong.
It may be a fun and easy trick to achieve fuller lips but it can have a lasting and visible damage to your face. According to Melanie D. Palm, MD, San Diego-based dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, the process of artificially plumping lips by sucking cup-like devices can cause permanent tissue damage, broken blood vessels, numbness, and loss of function around the mouth.
2. Waist Training
Hate doing core exercises? You might be tempted to wear a waist training garment instead. The waist-trimming trend involves wearing a corset-like bodice for extended periods of time to achieve that perfect hourglass physique.
While it looks flawless on the surface, the figure-shaping fix puts pressure on the vital organs, leading to permanent health damages.
According to Grace Anglin, a nurse practitioner at Capizzi MD Charlotte, North Carolina, squeezing organs together while reducing the available internal space is never a good thing. Many women who tried waist trainers learned the hard way, as they complained of struggles with breathing and fractured ribs. Aside from these, experts also warned about the potential for displaced organs, kidney damage, internal bleeding, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and menstrual cycle problems.
3. Curling Lashes With Fire
There are a bunch of heated curlers designed for achieving voluminous lashes but one Korean beauty blogger broke the internet when she demonstrated an old-school method: using fire to curl lashes.
Here’s how it works: You get a wooden stick, like a piece of a chopstick, and run it through an open flame to heat it up. Then, you have to brush the still-warm stick along the base of the lashes and it will curl those stubborn, stick-straight lashes like magic. People who have tried it said that the trick is very effective and it’s long-lasting too.
We use heat to stylize our hair, so you might think this makes sense. But, it’s fire. The risks of combining heat and eye makeup (mascara) are clear. You wouldn’t let a dab of facial cream sting your eyes so why would you place a heated piece of wood near them?
4. Indoor Tanning
Getting your summer-perfect bronze complexion with indoor tanning (tanning bed) is one of the most dangerous (yet widely accepted) practices people do in the name of beauty.
If you have seen the film Final Destination 3, you wouldn’t ask why tanning beds look like coffins. Indoor tanning involves using an equipment (tanning bed) that emits ultraviolet radiation to create a cosmetic tan. Indoor tanning on a regular basis can lead to premature skin aging and can significantly increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer. If you want a safer alternative, you can use sunless tanning sprays and creams instead.
5. Magic eraser
Using a self-tanner is a smart idea. Using a Magic Eraser, a cleaning sponge intended for removing stains around your house, to fix faux tan streaks is not.
Not only they are abrasive - these sponges contain chemicals that should never be placed on the skin or scrubbed onto it. Some of the effects are rashes, itching, skin breakdown, and even life-threatening allergic reaction in rare cases.
6. DIY Eyelash Serum
You’ve seen a ton of do-it-yourself beauty products online, like homemade scrubs from coffee residues or homemade facial mist from rose petals and water. Most of them are great, but there are certain beauty products that you should always buy from professionals - like eyelash serums.
Avoid making your own concoction in your pantry at all costs. Ingredients like castor oil, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil may not seem harmful but keep in mind that our eyes are ultra sensitive. Plus, there are are a lot of derma-tested products available on the market which safely promote the growth of healthy and voluminous lashes.
7. DIY Chemical Peels
Chemical peeling is a technique used to enhance the appearance of the skin on your face, neck, and hands. It works by applying a chemical solution that causes the skin to “blister”, exfoliate, and peel off. Since it’s a risky procedure, you should always leave chemical peel treatments to the pros.
Don’t try doing it yourself using products you bought online, especially without the advice of a dermatologist. Aside from the risky process itself, you have no extensive idea on what the bottle contains, how suitable the product is based on your skin condition, how often you should apply the product.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for Géniale, a Medical Aesthetic and Skin Cancer Centre providing top of the line services from industry-leading skin cancer treatments to innovative medical aesthetic procedures. She writes articles focusing on cosmetic, medical, and surgical care, and wellness.