We’re always hunting for the next big beauty breakthrough, whether it be a lipstick that actually stays on through lunch or a self-tanner that doesn’t smell like self-tanner. Sometimes, though, we find the next big thing in beauty, and it winds up costing us much more than just money. Whether it’s bad for your metabolism or your skin, the beauty habits below are just plain bad for your health.
- Eyelash Extensions. Sure, eyelash extensions make your peepers pop without having to apply mascara, but according to the British College of Optometrists, “repeated use of eyelash extensions can cause traction alopecia, a condition where the hair falls out due to excessive tensions placed on the hair shaft.” You’ll likely fall in love with the look of eyelash extensions the first time you get them, but if you’re getting them time after time, you’re increasing the likelihood of decreasing your natural lashes, plus risking having a reaction to the glue used. Instead of extensions, we recommend using false eyelashes if need be for special occasions, and finding a volume-boosting mascara for daily use.
- Getting a Brazilian. Hopefully if you’re going fully bare down there, you’re going to a reputable waxing location. But, even if you’re getting an A+ wax, you’re upping your chances to contract an infection during sex. Small tears or nicks in the skin can become infected, and considering these can occur while you’re getting a Brazilian, you’re opening your skin and putting yourself at risk. Make no mistake, there is not a direct link between getting a Brazilian wax and contracting an STI, but you’re certainly not preventing one either. Dr. Robert Brodell, chief of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Division of Dermatology says, “The body has a number of defense mechanisms to prevent infection. One of those mechanisms is normal, healthy skin; aberrations in the skin open the door for catching the infection.”
- The Master Cleanse. Beyonce may have gone on the Master Cleanse to slim down for her role in “Dream Girls,” but even Queen Bey doesn’t recommend the cleanse consisting of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. Besides risking your body going into starvation mode, crash diets like this one weaken your immune system and increase your risk of dehydration, heart palpitations and cardiac stress, as Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld told Health magazine. Instead of crash dieting with nothing but lemon water, you should cleanse your body with fresh, clean foods like fruits and veggies.
- Gel Manicures. We will eternally be on the hunt for nail polish that will make our manicure last longer, and when gel manicures first arrived on the scene they seemed like the solution. Unfortunately, because the gel polish is typically cured to the nail using a UV-lamp, problems arose. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Research has shown that ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting devices are carcinogenic to humans. Although studies have shown that the skin cancer risk associated with UVR-emitting nail lamps for gel manicures is very low, it is not insignificant. The risk, according to anecdotal research, is greatest for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths. SCC is mainly caused by chronic UV exposure and is very common on the hands and around the fingernails. If you must get a UV-gel manicure, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying sunscreen to your hands beforehand.” Call us crazy, but a long-lasting manicure isn’t worth getting skin cancer over.
- Laser Hair Removal. Much like wanting a manicure that lasts forever, we’d all love if our unwanted body hair could disappear for good. Laser hair removal has become a popular method of getting rid of the hair on our arms, legs and elsewhere, but a recent study shows that it’s posing a potential health threat. In a study conducted by Dr. Gary S. Chuang, a dermatologic surgeon, over 300 chemicals (13 of which are harmful to humans) were found in the black plumes that are released during laser hair removal. So far, there are two documented cases of health care workers contracting HPV of the throat after assisting with laser hair removal, not yet conclusively linked to the chemicals. Currently, the risk of contracting a disease during the procedure is higher for those performing multiple procedures than the patients receiving the procedures.
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