New beauty trends are often untested, and may be unsafe. What might appear to be a more affordable beauty treatment could actually be harmful to your health. Beauty is certainly a priority, but looking your best shouldn’t come at the expense of feeling your best.
Harmful skincare, hair care and wellness products do exist, released by companies without the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval. Navigating potentially hazardous beauty trends means adopting an aware, proactive approach to your own wellness, whether you’re browsing new cosmetic options or scanning grocery store aisles for the best facial sunscreens.
Typically, the process of tanning requires artificial darkening of the skin through exposure to UV light through from the sun, or from a tanning bed. Few will argue against the efficiency of a tanning bed. However, the FDA identifies potentially dangerous effects from indoor tanning, especially with sustained use. Even though indoor tanning frequency rates are declining among America’s youth, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) still maintains that indoor tanning exposes participants to increased skin cancer risk, including melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.
Tanning beds are used roughly one million times a day in the United States. Of the 35% of American adults who will use a tanning bed during their lifetime, some of these individuals may not be aware of safer ways to get their Vitamin C. It’s possible to secure the same critical Vitamin C benefits, including smoother and brighter skin, topical hydration and collagen production, without spending 10-15 minutes per day exposing yourself to potentially life-threatening tanning bed risks.
Typically requiring a hot or cold layer of wax to be applied and quickly removed from the body — taking various body hairs with it — the practice of waxing has existed in some capacity since Egyptian times. And while we’ve come a long way since then, modern waxing is not without its associated health risks.
Fairly common side effects to even partial-body waxing include skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and folliculitis. The same source identifies more serious waxing complications as bleeding or bruised skin, skin trauma, and infection.
If you’re concerned about the potential dangers of waxing, there are alternatives worth considering. Taking time to exfoliate skin and trim body hair ahead of your wax can help prevent risks. Sugaring, a natural and entirely chemical-free process, helps you achieve benefits similar to waxing while fostering natural skincare.
Keep an eye out for anti-aging skin creams that increase sunlight sensitivity or cause irritation, redness, dry skin, or itchiness. Reducing wrinkles and restoring smooth skin doesn’t need to come with a price tag that includes compromised skin health. Instead, consult one of the best anti-aging skin creams on the market today. The price increase often means more than the difference between artificial and authentic ingredients; it also means you’re paying to protect the skin that protects you.
Hair Styling Methods
There seem to be a thousand different ways to style hair. When attempting to replicate any one of the internet’s latest trends, very few individuals take the time to assess the safety of the approach before diving in. If we’ve learned anything from modern hair styling mishaps — everything from curling iron accidents to Gorilla glue issues — it’s that hairstyles have the potential to impress just as easily as they can endanger.
Limiting trips to the hair salon can help you preserve the health of your hair and your wallet alike. Many of the best hair styling methods are safe for home application, and they may help protect your hair from damage and sun exposure.
When it comes to Botox, the intended result is improved skin elasticity without compromised skin quality. Despite its potential benefits, it’s a process that’s not without health risks.
Botox can contribute to headaches, swelling, drooling and eye dryness, among other complications. In more serious cases, there may be effects like loss of bladder control, vision issues and difficulty swallowing; Botox has even been known to contribute to muscle paralysis and blood in the urine.
If you value your skincare routine, you’ll take steps to protect skin from the unnecessary effects of unnecessary injections. Embrace options that can help you achieve smoother skin, like acupuncture, vitamins and exercise.
Skin bleaching, otherwise known as skin whitening, allows individuals to visibly lighten skin. This approach involves the use of chemicals to block or lessen the skin’s natural melanin production, in the same way that some tanning methods employ chemicals to increase melanin concentration. While various skin bleaching chemicals have proven effective in lightening skin pigmentation, the effect often comes with standard risks, which can affect single-time or repeat skin bleachers.
Unapproved and untested by the FDA, skin bleaching injections and products can undermine your skin’s natural processes, all for the temporary promise of revising skin tone or correcting uneven skin coloration. Fortunately, natural alternatives to skin bleaching injections or topical creams can still help you achieve an ideal skin tone without many of the former’s unintended consequences. Wearing sunscreen indoors provides additional protection against UV rays and prevents skin darkening, while natural moisturization techniques can keep skin hydrated and healthy all day, with one less needle in your skincare equation.
Counterfeit Skincare Products
Estimates place the skincare industry at roughly a $145.3 billion 2020 market valuation. By 2027, that number could increase past $185 billion. With the potential for such significant revenue, it’s no surprise that counterfeit cosmetic and skincare products are constantly introduced to nationwide store shelves and international e-commerce websites, all focused on lower pricing and swapping true ingredients for cheaper artificial alternatives.
Counterfeit skincare products pose a serious risk not only to the overall cosmetics market, but also to the quality of your skin. Even though counterfeit beauty products are intentionally priced well, they can exact a hidden cost on your health.
If you’re looking for ways to recognize counterfeit makeup, pay specific attention to packaging quality and overall fragrance. Low-quality packaging is often a sign of tampering or a counterfeited beauty product. While authentic beauty products offer consistent fragrances, counterfeits can smell of strong chemicals or artificial ingredients.
While tattoos can be removed under ideal circumstances, tattoo removal is an expensive and often painful process, and requires an FDA-approved device for a secure procedure. If you’re considering a tattoo on any part of your body, especially a visible area, understand that there are associated health risks. Even safe tattoo application makes you susceptible to allergic reactions, skin infections and even bloodborne diseases.
To make your tattoo application as safe as possible, here are a few questions to ask your tattoo artist:
- Do you hold an active certification against bloodborne diseases?
- How regularly do you sterilize equipment?
- How should I care for my tattoo after it’s been applied?
- Which type of ink do you use?
- How long have you been a tattoo artist?
Pedicures are often the go-to relaxing treatment specifically for feet and toes, and offer a variety of benefits. Pedicures can actually improve blood flow, reduce risk of fungal infections and even bolster mental health, among other positives. However, as a beauty treatment pedicures aren’t without their associated health risks.
A safe pedicure performed by a cosmetic professional offers distinct health benefits, but a poorly-executed pedicure can leave you susceptible to a variety of wellness risks. These include cut cuticles, infections, ingrown nails and cellulitis. Diabetic clients are at particular risk for health complications, as skin cuts or exposed cracks in feet can bleed for longer periods of time before sufficient white blood cell counts work to close and protect wounds.
If you’re worried about potential health risks associated with pedicures, you’ll be pleased to know that a number of at-home foot care options can provide similar benefits. Consider purchasing an at-home foot massager, which can help you soothe tired or sore muscles without exposing yourself to infection risks and public germs. Pair a personal foot bath with your own private foot and skincare tools, to ensure there’s no shared use of the files and nail clippers used on your own feet.
It might surprise you to know that wearing high heels can subject the body to chronic pain in the feet, hip and spine areas. High heels can mean the difference between rested, stretched feet and health complications like bunions, calluses and tendonitis. If wearing high heels can’t be helped, look to mitigate health risks through simple techniques:
- Stretch your feet for 10-15 minutes before and after wearing high heels
- Opt for shorter heels when possible, to limit health risks
- Wear insoles to dampen vibrations in feet and through the spine
Ultimately, the safest way to avoid negative health effects from high heels is to avoid the shoe type altogether. There are plenty of high-heeled shoe alternatives that accommodate professional dress attire.