Has anyone else noticed how much beauty headlines are starting to sound like the National Enquirer lately? “Drink your way to younger skin,” “Anti-cellulite jeans discovered in Brazil,” “Japanese women wear masks to eat burgers.” Seriously, what are we doing to ourselves? Taking the beauty out of beauty, that’s what.
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This past fall, the stories above (yes, they are real) made their way across the interwebs. First, BellaSugar posted a video about “beauty shots”—meaning, drinkable forms of potent chemicals like collagen and hyaluronic acid. The goal: to reap dermatological benefits more quickly than merely applying face creams topically, since the shots, allegedly, go into your bloodstream to absorb the ingredients.
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But if drinking collagen is not the way you want to start your day, you’re not alone. In fact, according to this article published in a journal in India where the regimen is popular, several clinicians and dermatologists say the shots don’t even work. Collagen and hyaluronic acid “[aren’t effective] when taken in such forms as health drinks. Better benefits can be achieved by consuming these ingredients in their raw form,” said one doctor, in the story calling the shots a fad. Another concurred, explaining that eating a vegetarian diet (“full of collagen percursors”) is more beneficial. The product’s efficacy has also been questioned by the European Food Standards Agency who didn’t, “find any convincing evidence that it worked.”
Next, the Huffington Post brought us news of a new style of jeans that designer Alexandre Herchcovitch debuted at Fashion Rio’s Winter 2014 show. The garment, dubbed “beauty denim,” allegedly banishes cellulite as you wear them by “turning your body heat into infrared rays to stimulate circulation,” the lack of which is the culprit of the dimples, according to the article. The problem, though, is that Herchcovitch has absolutely no testimonials or evidence from scientists, according to this report, even though he touts five years of research. Herchcovitch’s lack of such data is also mentioned in an article from The Gloss, which profiles four other “cellulite-curing” clothing items—all of which failed miserably when put to the test.
Alexandre Herchcovitch at his Mens Winter 2014 show in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Fernanda Calfat / Getty Images South America
And don’t even get us started on the “Liberation Wrapper,” which has become popular in Japan. These oversized napkins, which are printed with a lady’s smiling face, are wrapped over hamburgers, so women can chow down while maintaining social etiquette—hiding from so-called “burger face shame.” Come again?
Here’s the thing though, there’s nothing scientific to even prove that beauty shots and anti-cellulite jeans do work. These are just examples of the savvy entrepreneurs attempting to take advantage of our insecurities.
At the same time these stories were circulating, two other encouraging pieces of beauty news broke, both of which are in fact rooted in science. So I wanted to share! First, a study conducted by the University of Oxford and Churchill Hospital in the U.K. shows that women with larger butts and thighs are actually happier and less prone to conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And, just like our mothers told us, the one thing you really need to look beautiful is a good night’s sleep as these researchers in Sweden proved. So the next time you hear about some new doodad that’s supposed to change your life, don’t believe the hype. Sleep on it first—oh, and spread the good word about bigger butts and thighs!