A beauty regime can be enjoyable, relaxing and rewarding. With social media consuming so much of our lives we always want to appear our most fabulous. There is some bad news though, the products and fashion items we have been using for years could actually be killing us off. Disturbingly some of these reports have been known for awhile but only now are public knowledge.
In recent shock reports, it has been proven that looks can actually kill and we are just leading ourselves further down a rabbit hole of bad health. It appears that keeping on trend is riskier than ever. Now is the time to turn that around and avoid these following products. Or face paying a high price for beauty.
15 Waist Training
Kim Kardashian is not content with just contouring her face but now also her waist. Last year she tweeted, "I'm really obsessed with my waist training! #Whatsawaist". Naturally, if Kim jumps on a trend then everyone joins in and the women began waist training in synchronisation. The process is simple: you wrap the tight corset-like material around your waist which creates an instant hourglass silhouette. Favoured mostly by women who have just given birth so they can feel confident in evening wear without having to worry about excess skin around the waistline.
However, science always prevails and Dr. Caroline Apovian M.D of Boston University of Medicine said that the claims this product can reshape the body and improve fat loss are far from the truth. She said, "In my opinion, that is complete nonsense." She always warns, "Your stomach might get pushed up beyond the diaphragm, which could cause reflux. If you’re wearing one and you experience those symptoms, that’s a definite sign that you need to loosen it or take it off". Other warnings include severe back acne from a build up of sweat underneath the bodice. We should workout and eat healthy instead to get that figure we're after.
14 Skinny Jeans
Skinny jeans can cause your body actual harm. The Journal of Neurology discovered a case of a 35-year-old woman who had suffered from severe weakness to the ankles. She had been helping a friend move the previous day which included many hours of heavy lifting and squatting. As she walked home that evening her legs and feet became numb causing her to fall to the floor. The doctors had to physically remove her jeans from her swollen legs with scissors.
Skinny jeans can cause, like the case above, compartment syndrome. Squeezing your body into a confined space can enhance internal pressure leading to severe swelling. High rise jeans may also induce heartburn by applying pressure on the abdomen pushing stomach acid upwards. Instead, try buying comfortable fit jeans on your next shopping day.
13 Hair Straightening
In a shock report released a few years ago, it was discovered that several big brand hair straightening products contained formaldehyde and not just a small amount. Research has shown that when formaldehyde is inhaled, the side-effects can include coughing, nausea, skin irritation, burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat. Long-term exposure to the chemical can even lead to a high-risk of cancer development.
Women's Voices for the Earth published a full list of products which were recalled due to high levels of formaldehyde. Despite the product warnings, the director of science and research at Women's Voices for the Earth, Alex Scranton warned, "Based on sound science, other countries are taking strong measures to protect the health of salon workers and their customers from formaldehyde-containing products. While U.S. government regulations continue to fall short". Always check which products you are using before purchasing and the chemicals they contain.
12 UV Tanning
In 2005, Rhode Island student Glenna Kohl sadly passed away aged just 26-years-old after regular usage of UV sun beds. She discovered a lump near her groin which was just brushed off as a sports injury. When Glenna had returned home the lump was still present so she decided to see a family doctor who referred her to a surgeon. The results were horrifying, Glenna had been diagnosed with melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Early stages of melanoma can be treated and highly curable, however Glenna's case had already reached stage III where the survival rate for most patients is less than ten years.
Glenna, like most young women, enjoyed tanning. She would often use a UV tanning bed once a week as well as exposing herself to outdoor exposure. According to research from skincancer.org, UV tanning can increase the chances of melanoma by 74%. To help protect others from suffering the same fate her parents had a new law passed named "Glenna's Law". In many states and in the UK it is illegal to allow those aged under 16-years-old access to indoor tanning.
11 Braiding Your Hair
Hair braiding can lead to potential baldness. Braiding requires heat, stressful brushing, skin on the scalp pulled tight and this causes serious damage to the hair follicles. On average our hair grows about half an inch each month, 90% of your hair is growing actively every day with the other 10% laying dormant. After nearly three months the dormant hair falls out and the follicles replace this with healthy hair. Damaged hair follicles will not restore new hair and overtime this can lead to baldness.
To avoid this happening use a leave-in conditioner or conditioning hair oil then before you have your hair braided so it can keep smooth. Braids should never feel as if there is stress on the skin of the scalp and if they are being pulled too tight then mention that you need them loosened.
10 Color Contact Lenses
What started off as a Halloween trend is now a daily beauty regime for many women who wish to change the color of their eyes to a brighter option. Unfortunately for Laura Butler of Parkersburg, West Virginia she soon discovered that not being fitted by a professional was a dangerous move. After several hours of wearing the contact lenses she had purchased over the counter she began to feel something wasn't right. She said she had, "extreme pain in both eyes." and "the lenses stuck to my eye like a suction cup".
Decorative lenses also require the same professional care and attention as medical lenses but some people still choose to risk the potential dangers. It is illegal in the United States to purchase coloured contact lenses without a prescription, any retailer who sells these products over-the-counter has not been FDA approved. Online shops should be avoided also. Laura warns others not to suffer as she did with injuries, which included a severe eye infection, permanently damaged vision and a scar on her cornea.
9 Tanning Injections
Melanoton I and II is one of the most dangerous cosmetic products available on the online market. Despite constant medical warnings against using them the global market for the product is worth an estimated $500 million which is expected to double by 2019. Legal loopholes let companies continue allowing consumers to risk their health and even their lives in order to get a sun-kissed tan. The injections increase the levels of Melanoton in the body so users will still have to use tanning beds but the effects are much quicker.
Online message boards have produced some worrying complaints from users. The side-effects have been noted as stinging of the skin, nausea, loss of appetite and even hospital visits with infection from the use of needles. In very extreme cases abscesses have appeared under the skin - certainly one to avoid and just stick to tan from a bottle.
In 2008, American public interest watchdog Public Citizen reported that Botox was behind the deaths of sixteen users. They also reported on 87 other incidents of patients that needed treatment after using the cosmetic product with side-effects including muscle weakening and difficult swallowing. In total the FDA had received over 180 complaints from the public which prompted them to force an update of boxed warnings on four products—Botox, Botox Cosmetic, Myobloc and Dysport.
Dr. Misbah Khan, owner of M. Khan Dermatology in New York City explains, "(Botox's) only benefit is to render a muscle weaker for 3-4 months. It doesn't fill lines, it just makes it harder to make the muscle contraction that creates the lines". She also warns, "Do not look for the better deal. Make sure you know what’s going in your face. If it's too cheap, it may be acquired on the black market, or the Botox they’re using might be expired or about to expire".
7 High Heels
It's bad news ladies, the 78% of us who regularly wear stilettos are actually severely damaging our health. According to the Spine Health Institute, this can lead to a painful condition called Spondylolisthesis which happens when the vertebrae in the spine slips out of alignment causing severe back pain. The higher the heel, the more pressure on the balls of the feet. A one inch heel places 22% pressure on the feet and a three inch heel places 76% pressure on the feet - we won't even look into the eye-watering facts of our favourite five inch pair.
They recommend always opting for leather insoles in your shoes, avoid pointed heels, never exceed higher than two inches and to stretch your legs before climbing into your pair. Another hot tip to avoid wearing shoes that pinch is by shopping only in the afternoon as this is the time of day when your feet are at their largest.
6 Skin Creams
As is the case with the majority of skin care creams, we don't really really know what we are actually putting on our skin. It's always best to check the full ingredients list before purchasing as often they can sneak some bad chemicals in there. In more recent years, these companies have been working hard to remove harmful chemicals from there products but only after intense media scrutiny.
Some products contain phenoxyethanol which has been proven toxic even in small doses and a suspected carcinogenic. There are also traces of chlorphenesin, which is restricted in Japan, that works as a muscle relaxant and can cause dizziness. Many "natural" products are owned by big companies such as L'Oreal and Estée Lauder, they have been found guilty before of using traces of lead in lipsticks and triscloson, an animal hormone, in toothpaste.
5 Lip Enhancement
Every year there is a new challenge but none have been as destructive as the infamous Kylie Jenner challenge. Earlier this year, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star encouraged the internet to place their lips inside a small cup or lid and suck the air out. This then creates a vacuum effect causing the blood to rush and fill the lips. You then, in practical theory, end up with the perfect pout.
It wasn't until some challengers starting noticing nasty results that the world started to realise just how stupid this craze was. The suction can cause bruising, blistering and even infection. Canadian dermatologist, Dr. Benjamin Barankin, told Global News, "The issue is that you can certainly develop bruising that can last for seven to ten days and can be purple, yellow and green and look gross". Using the hashtag #kyliejennerchallenge, many people posted pictures to their Instagram of severe bruising around the lips. Do not try this at home.
Tattoos have been increasingly popular for decades, but as more permanent ink shops open so does the risk. State and local authorities oversee practices and the FDA regulate procedures, but despite their safeguarding they still come across safety risks.
There is a risk of infection from dirty needles, especially abroad, which can result in hepatitis and HIV. There have also been complaints of granulomas appearing, these are bumps or small knots formed around the tattoo as the body rejects the ink as "foreign". Another risk is swelling and burning. Always use a trusted and established tattooist who has been FDA approved.
3 Bikini Line
Last year it was reported that 87% of women remove either some or all of their pubic hair. The upkeep of a neat bikini area isn't easy work, there are many risky complications including infections, burns, rashes, cuts and severe irritation to the skin. Women's health expert, Andrea DeMaria, spoke to Yahoo Health about the complications. She said, "Women don’t understand the risks of (shaving their pubic hair), because they are safely removing hair on other parts of their bodies".
So are we all expected to just throw our razors in the bin and head straight back to the 60s look? No quite, she advises trimming with an electric razor first, then using a fresh disposable razor each time, patting your self down not rubbing dry and allowing air to circulate by wearing mostly breathable cotton.
2 Fish Spa Pedicure
The fish spa pedicure was quite the trend just a couple of years ago, but this was before everyone realized that there were many health warnings attached to the treatment. Clients would dip their feet into a pool of tiny carp that would nibble away at hardened skin around the feet. Then something quite gross was reported in ABC News, the fish pedicure can cause "ichthyotherapy" this is what happens when the fish deposit their waste products in the very water which can cause a bacterial infection.
After a breakout of injections they began to investigate more into the matter. Ten states have now banned the treatment as they also found that many salons had tanks which were below the standard of cleanliness. There were also humanitarian complaints, when it was discovered for the fish to consider feasting on the dead skin on people's feet they would have to be starved first.
1 Oversized Handbags
Ever since Karl Lagerfeld designed the mammoth-sized Hula Hoop handbag, we just can't get our own bags big enough and the trend doesn't seem to be settling down anytime soon. Bad news though ladies, we are wrecking our health with these fashion accessories and it's serious. With the average handbag weighing 6.2kg, this can cause arthritis and disc degeneration.
Even Oprah Winfrey got in on this weighty issue. She issued top tips to her readers to help them reduce the risk of back pain. Her rule, which she learned from Chiropractor Isis M. Medina, is that your bag should weigh no more than ten percent of your own body weight. Time to have a clear out of our favourite shoulder bags and start getting rid of all the rubbish we don't need.