Outlandish beauty fads that could be bad for you

Big lips

Kylie Jenner made plumped lips a huge beauty trend of 2016 and the fashion shows no signs of letting up any time soon. But while big lips can have a youth-enhancing, transformative effect on a person’s face, there’s a fine line between a pretty rosebud moue and the dreaded trout pout.

As more and more people jump on board the trend, beauty workers across the country – both professionals and the uncertified – are seeking to meet the demand. This means it’s more important than ever that you choose your clinician wisely. Lip fillers, injected incorrectly can lead to lumpy lips, bruising and an oddly shaped mouth. And in extreme cases, severe complications can arise such as tissue necrosis, which can lead to the death of lip skin tissue and permanent disfigurement.

As well as choosing your clinician carefully, the amount of lip filler you choose to inject should also be approached with caution. It can be tempting, in the pursuit of beauty, to opt for the maximum measures, but an over-injected pout may be something you live to regret. While the market for lip fillers ballooned in 2016, the demand for lip filler dissolving treatments also soared.

If you are considering opting for bigger lips, be sure to vet your clinician. Industry watchdog, Save Face has established a register of accredited clinicians who have all been assessed and verified against a stringent set of industry specific standards. The register can be found here: www.saveface.co.uk/register/


Waist training

It’s near impossible to go on social media and not encounter a gym selfie these days. And with fitness fanatics snapping themselves in all the latest sportswear fads, you will have probably noticed some gym bunnies sporting waist training corsets. Kim Kardashian wore one in a gym selfie she shared on Instagram and Jessica Alba has claimed that wearing waist training corsets after the birth of her kids helped her shed her post-pregnancy pounds. But while such garments promise to help shrink your waist by up to seven inches, they may not be quite as good as they sound.

Many women who have tried waist training corsets have complained of breathlessness and respiratory issues while exercising. And in extreme cases, some have even suffered from broken ribs. Health professionals don’t rate the fad either, insisting there is no evidence to prove that wearing a waist trainer while working out could lead to any permanent reduction of your waist size as your body shape will simply return to its normal state once the garment is removed. Some have even warned that such devices have the potential to cause displaced organs or internal bleeding. Maybe your waist is okay after all!


Costume contact lenses

With Asian beauty products taking the Western market by storm, it may not come as a surprise that the latest trend is ‘dolly’ contact lenses, which exaggerate the eye to create an Asian anime cartoon character look. By giving the eye a bold and artificial appearance, the contacts – which tend to cost around £20 – may seem like a fun and playful way to transform your look. But while Lady Gaga may have worn such lenses in her Bad Romance video and YouTube beauty gurus sport them like they’re just a bit of fun, be warned: costume contacts can seriously damage your eyesight and cause painful infections.

In November last year, a Welsh woman was left with permanent scarring on her pupil and a cornea ulcer after leaving her costume contacts in for too long. The 23-year-old, who had worn the lenses for a Halloween party, tore off her cornea when attempting to remove the dried up lens, and ended up having to recover in a darkened room for five days straight.

Contact lenses are vision aids not fashion accessories so be careful; it’s best to stick to prescription lenses when dabbling with your eyes.


Brazilian blow-outs

Brazilian blow-outs are one of the hottest hair trends right now. And since they promise to wipe out frizz and leave you with gorgeously sleek hair, the treatment’s popularity is hardly surprising. The blow-out aims to leave you with smooth, silky, better conditioned locks by infusing it with keratin – a protein which occurs naturally in hair. Bonding keratin to each strand using heat is said to seal follicles, providing armour against damage and a mirror-like shine, but while it may sound incredibly enriching, this treatment could have a catch.

Although some Brazilian blowouts claim to use pure ingredients, several governing bodies have warned of dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in the keratin-based products commonly used in the treatment. A carcinogenic, formaldehyde has been linked to cancer. And when present in the air at high levels, it can also cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the nose and throat, wheezing and skin irritation.

A large number of salons across the UK have stopped carrying out the treatment after customers and staff complained about toxic smells and worrying symptoms. And in the US, the makers of Brazialian Blowout products are facing more than 200 lawsuits from people who say the product has damaged their health. Maybe it’s best to stick to hair serums after all!


Sunburn art

Worryingly, the hashtag #sunburnart is a thing. The strange tanning practice involves placing cut-outs, featuring designs such as flowers, animals or henna-style patterns, against the skin before sunbathing, meaning that the skin beneath the cut-out remains light while the surrounding skin develops a sunburn or tan. The result is a sort of semi-permanent tan tattoo.

While fans of this bizarre trend have taken to social media to show off their handiwork, healthcare professionals have been quick to warn of the potential hazards of this kind of ‘art’. Excessive exposure to the sun can lead to painful blisters, permanent skin damage and even skin cancer, so if you are going to engage in this practice, be sure to at least apply SPF beforehand even if it means that the results aren’t quite so dramatic!

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