It is really amazing that people will go to great extremes to look better. Dangerous beauty trends are easy to blame on the explosion of filtered selfies on social media and trying to stand up to unrealistic expectations, but, dangerous beauty trends have been a part of history.
Dangerous beauty trends have been around or as long as humans have first been able to see their own reflections it seems. For example, in the 1500s in France both men and women wore heavy white makeup that happened to be made of lead paint which literally ate away at their skin. Dangerous beauty trends are very much alive and well today, avoiding them can ensure you do not put your health at risk.
Dangerous Beauty Trends Through Out History
While there are long lines today to get into the cosmetic dermatologist office to make alterations, improving appearance is by far not a new trend. People have always sought out ways to look younger, look better, and be a part of the latest trends in beauty.
A recent survey revealed that about 76% of women said if their skin looks good then they report feeling good. What extreme will people go to look good? Here are some surprising extremes that people would go to throughout history:
- Arsenic beauty products. At one time some of the active ingredients in soaps and lotions could literally kill you. Some favored ingredients were arsenic, radioactive ingredients, and mercury. All of course which was poisoning you.
- Swallowing tapeworms to keep weight in check. Being thin is often associated with beauty. One of the most dangerous beauty trends was swallowing tapeworms to ensure that the weight would stay off.
- Blood letting. In the middle ages, one of the most dangerous beauty trends was bloodletting. Women would cut their wrists and let the blood flow to get that highly sought after pale look.
- Sewing false eyelashes on. In the late 1800’s one of the dangerous beauty trends was to sew false eyelashes on to the upper eyelids.
- Removing eyelashes. One of the strangest dangerous beauty trends was the removal of eyelashes. We need eyelashes to keep dirt out of our eyes but in the middle ages, they had to go if you wanted to be beautiful. Back then the forehead was considered the most important beauty determinant for women.
- Douching with Lysol. Yes, it sounds absolutely nuts today, but women were encouraged to douche with Lysol to beautify their lady parts.
- Blackening teeth with a scary iron concoction. While teeth whitening is all the rage today, in the 1800s in Asia the blacker the teeth the more beautiful was the trend of the day. Women and men would drink a heavy concentrate of an iron solution to darken their teeth. Of course, iron poisoning is a thing, and many of them experienced it. It was outlawed in 1899.
- Bella Donna drops in the eyes. One of the strangest dangerous beauty trends was to use drops created from the Bella Donna plant to dilate the pupils and make them look larger. It could blind you.
The list of dangerous beauty trends throughout history is extensive. People would go to great lengths to be on-trend and look good. Corsets would rearrange organs, 100pound dresses would weigh you down and cause back problems, dyes made from dangerous ingredients were used to brighten clothing, and other really bad choices were made in the name of beauty.
Unfortunately today, while no one is slathering on too dangerous chemicals in the name of looking good, there are still some really questionable things going on. What are we doing today that is putting us in danger to get and stay beautiful?
There are some dangerous beauty trends that are well known as dangerous. For example, getting that sun-kissed look in the tanning bed. Tanning has lost some of its steam as public service announcements have gotten the message out that baking yourself in a tanning bed can be more dangerous than the real thing.
There are some dangerous beauty trends that many people do not realize are in fact dangerous. For example, the FDA recently released information regarding hair straightening products that contain dangerous amounts of formaldehyde. Who would think that going to the salon can be putting your health in danger?
Physical therapists are seeing an increase in women that are complaining of shoulder, neck, and lower back pain. Heavy handbags may be the culprit. When oversized bags are stuffed full the weight can cause your body to lean to one side and cause you to overcompensate by leaning in the opposite direction.
Skin fade creams may fall under the heading of dangerous beauty trends. Fading dark spots requires the interruption of melanin, hydroquinone, has historically been the active ingredient in these preparations. In 2006 the FDA named hydroquinone as a carcinogen. In a rat study, ingested hydroquinone caused cancer in rats. While the argument is that humans are not eating hydroquinone, the fact is that 60% of anything that you apply to your skin is absorbed into the body through the skin.
Are you on trend with CBD infused skincare products? You may want to rethink it. CBD infused skin care products have not been well studied which means no one really knows the long term effects these products can have.
Botox has been a game-changer for a lot of people, but it is not without side effects and risks. While most of the negative side effects will subside with time, the idea of using a well-known poison to inject the skin is a little scary. It would be interesting to see what someone will write about this trend 100 years from now. Think about how crazy it sounds to use lead-based paint to paint your face white, or drink high doses of iron to blacken your teeth, and how crazy that sounds today. Will some time down the road, future societies think we were crazy for injecting botulism?
Acrylic nails are another trend that can be dangerous. Acrylic nails can weaken the nail bed and let fungus in. Fake nails should be avoided.
There are plenty of things that we all do today in the name of beauty that may not be the healthiest options. Sometimes it is seemingly innocuous things like wearing high heels. Foot problems, ankle problems, aching legs are all looked at as the cost of looking good, but the fact is, the conditions are painful, and costly in more ways than one.
Safe Ways to Feel Beautiful
There are healthy ways to look great. Not all beauty trends are dangerous. For example, being on-trend by carrying your reusable bottled water to stay hydrated not only keeps your skin feeling good, but it also keeps your body well hydrated.
Cosmetic dentistry is also good for your beauty trend. Unlike dangerous beauty trends for whitening teeth, like swishing with pure hydrogen peroxide, a cosmetic dentist can get your teeth looking great without the risk.
A dentist that focuses on cosmetic solutions for improving your look can offer a wide range of treatment options that will give you the smile that you love without the risk to the health of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are a very popular treatment option that does not affect the health of your teeth.
For all of the dangerous beauty trends there are simpler solutions that come with a whole lot less risk. Of course, with the simpler more natural solutions you will have to wait a bit longer to get the results that you want. Try some of these solutions instead of trying the dangerous beauty trends:
- Instead of using potential dangerous fade creams use lemon juice. Lemon juice can help to fade dark spots and help to even out the skin.
- Instead of using contact lenses which can be a potential for infection consider getting Lasik surgery to correct your vision.
- Instead of going for professional chemical peels where acid is used, consider a peel at home using cucumber and gelatin.
- Instead of tanning use bronzer. Stay out of the tanning bed and still get a sun-kissed look by using all over bronzer.
- Instead of using formaldehyde laced straightening products for your hair, consider using natural options, or just going with the wave.
There are plenty of ways you can look your best without having to subscribe to dangerous beauty trends that put your health at risk. For example, hard water, can easily dry out your skin and give you an aged weathered look. The solution is as simple as having a hard water treatment system installed.
You do not have to put your health at risk to look great. Dangerous beauty trends can put your health at risk, and frankly being unhealthy is highly unattractive.
Sometimes The Danger is Not Very Obvious Because it is Rare
Most women have gone for waxing at one point or another. Using hot wax to pull hair out, is a pretty standard activity even if it sounds barbaric. Most people go through the process and never have an issue, but some people do not.
Besides the fact that you can sustain burns, you can also open up the door to infection. Waxing can be one of the dangerous beauty trends if it is not done right. As a matter of fact, there are many beauty trends that are safe as long as they are done right but when they are not done right they suddenly become dangerous.
Here are some things you should leave up to the pros:
- Electrolysis and other hair removal treatments. Unless it is tweezing your own brows, it is best to leave hair removal to the pros
- Teeth whitening. Let the dentist manage whitening your teeth
- Skin treatments for acne. Get professional help for managing acne
Become a Savvy Consumer
One of the ways you can protect yourself from the dangerous beauty trends is to become a label reader. Read the label of all your beauty products, then do a little research to see if any of the ingredients are carcinogens or dangerous to your health.
Getting familiar with ingredient lists is your first step in avoiding dangerous beauty trends. The next step is to thoroughly vet any new trend to learn more about the side effects. Every beauty treatment has potential side effects. In some cases the potential side effects are minimal, in other cases, some of the side effects can be devastating.
A good example of dangerous beauty trends that can come with some serious side effects is eyelash tinting. While it is mostly safe if you go to a professional salon, it can be very dangerous as a DIY beauty project. Getting the tint in your eye at a minimum will cause a great deal of discomfort.
Doing your research and making sure you are willing to deal with the consequences should you be in that 5% that experience the “serious side effects” is critical when you are making treatment decisions. If you are not willing to deal with the potential consequences of dangerous beauty trends, then just forgo the treatment.
Trends Come and Go
On the upside dangerous beauty trends come and go. That means if you are not really into bee sting therapy or injecting blood into your skin to give it a youthful boost, just hang on for a little while, and the trend will be gone before you know it.
Leave the dangerous beauty trends off your list of things to do and before you know it the pressure will be off to participate because the trend will disappear. There is no reason to risk your health to dangerous beauty trends no matter what social media has to say about it. If it sounds like a crazy treatment option, then it likely is an option that will disappear quickly.
Good health is a far sexier look than any of the crazy dangerous beauty trends that crop up. Take care of your skin and your health, and you will get the look that you love. Don’t fall for the quick fixes that come with a level of dangerous side effects no one should be willing to accept.