Plucking, waxing, slathering, steaming, sloughing – there is a lot of beauty maintenance to keep up with these days and, while most of it is great and beneficial, some of it is downright ill-advised. With the advent of beauty blogging and social media sharing, plenty of DIY techniques come straight to your phones in real time – as do a lot of uninformed opinions.
Sure, a famous beauty blogger tried ‘x’, but does that mean it has any scientific or medical evidence to back it up? We’re in the habit of looking out for our readers, so if you’re currently considering one of the following beauty practices, may we implore you to reconsider?
At first glance, glitter sunscreen looks like a fun way to add a little sparkle to your skincare routine. However, if you’ve ever dealt with glitter, you know that those micro shimmers have a way of working themselves into everything – bodily nooks and crannies, clothes, hair, furniture – and are a pain-in-the-you-know-what to remove. Messiness aside, skincare experts are wary of this trend. Sunscreen serves a valuable function for the sun bather, but it also wears off quickly, usually within 80 to 90 minutes depending on the type.
Dermatologists are worried that the continued presence of glitter on the skin will lull people into thinking their sunscreen is still working, which means they would be less likely to reapply it when necessary. Experts have also pointed out that the ingredients used to make glitter are irritating to people with sensitive skin and may cause allergic reactions. If you’re determined to get your shine on this summer, proceed with caution.
We’re well-acquainted with suffering for beauty, but this is a whole new level we were unprepared to encounter – and of course it was Gwyneth Paltrow of jade-egg fame who first introduced us to this treatment. In an interview with The New York Times revealing her beauty secrets, the actress talked about “apitherapy” or an ancient practice of allowing bees to sting you – as many as 80 times in a row in some sessions – in order to inject the skin with bee venom.
This is said to lessen symptoms associated with inflammation, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, wounds, and bacterial diseases. However, roughly five percent of the world’s population is highly allergic to bee stings, and many are allergic without knowing it because they have likely never encountered a bee before. A woman in San Francisco has already died this year from apitherapy, and doctors and dermatologists alike have sounded the alarm about this supposedly beneficial practice.
Slugging – or the practice of slathering one’s face in petroleum jelly like Vaseline before bed – might have some fans on skincare forums, but 99 percent of dermatologists will tell you this is so, so bad for your skin. So named for the slimy effect rendered, slugging is said to be an overnight cure for thirsty skin because the petroleum jelly forms a seal that completely locks in the skin’s moisture. It may be a cheap way to hydrate dry skin, but the downsides are vast.
Petroleum jelly is an occlusive ointment, meaning it’s designed to physically prevent the loss of water. It was developed to keep wounds moist so that they heal faster, and is in no way intended to be applied to one’s face – especially not overnight – despite Vaseline’s claim that the product is non-comedogenic. Unless your dermatologist owns stock in Vaseline, they will tell you without hesitation that this practice invites all manner of breakouts.