New Beauty Trends That Are Actually Dangerous

May 16th 2016

Any woman who’s had a bikini wax, worn heels, or bleached her hair knows the truth behind the old adage “pain is beauty and beauty is pain.”

But how far is too far?

If a beauty fad threatens your health, it’s worth asking yourself if it’s really worth it.

Below you’ll find six popular yet dangerous beauty trends to avoid.

1. Black-market butt injections

Thanks to Kim Kardashian West, Nicki Minaj, and other bootylicious celebs, many women have a desire for a round, internet-breaking behind. But women don’t necessarily want to pay the high cost of a Brazilian butt lift by a certified surgeon, which reportedly runs anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. In order to avoid the cost, women have turned to illegal silicone butt injections that, in contrast, only cost about $2,500, as one woman told CNN.

If a person goes under the knife in an underground situation, the person administering the injection might use silicone intended to be used for metal or plastic lubrication and might not conduct the session in a sterile clinical environment. Many women have been tempted by cheaper plastic surgery in other countries, such as Mexico, but in some cases, such surgeries resulted in infection, disfigurement and even death.

According to CNN, unwanted results could include the following:

Infections, scarring, hardened scar tissue, chronic pain, unappealing aesthetics, loss of limbs, and even death.

2. Waist trainers

Much like the Victorian-era corset, a waist trainer is meant to gradually reduce the size of a woman’s waist in order to create a perfect hourglass silhouette. Again, the Kardashians and other celebrities have popularized this fashion trend. As ATTN: has reported, experts aren't convinced that waist trainers have any lasting effect or make a difference in weight loss, so the bodily harm doesn’t even pay off in terms of losing weight.

As mentioned in a video by ATTN:, if worn too tight the waist trainer can cause harm to the body such as:

Discomfort, trouble with breathing, heartburn, and acid reflux.

3. Botox

The pressure to stay young and never look as old as we are is real. So it’s no surprise that Botox is still one of the most popular minimally-invasive procedures, according to 2015 stats by the American Academy of Facial Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery. In 2014, approximately 6.67 million Botox injections were performed (about 6.26 million of which were for women), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported. Botox is a drug made from the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Yikes. 

Well, there’s more. If the toxin spreads to other parts of your body, these are the potential risks, according to Allergan, the company behind the treatment:

Muscle weakness all over the body, vision problems, trouble saying words clearly, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, and loss of bladder control.

Ember Garrett, Allergan's U.S. brand communications manager, stated in an email to ATTN: that injectable cosmetic treatments such as Botox are technique sensitive and should only be administered by a licensed and trained healthcare provider. This warning is especially important considering the availability and rise of cheap illegal cosmetic fillers sold online for at-home use by nonphysicians.

4. Toxic make-up

Forget Instagram filters – women are going for that flawless look IRL, too, and makeup is their main tool. On average, people use nine products daily, and women specifically use 15 per day, according to a 2011 study by cosmetics database EWG. We can only assume that the number of daily products used has increased in the subsequent years.

For the most part, studies on the effects of toxic chemicals in makeup have not been done. But a small but growing number of studies serve as a scientific red flag. EWG offers a database of makeup products and lists of their “ingredient concerns” such as overall hazard, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies.

Personal care products and cosmetics are manufactured with more than 10,000 unique chemical ingredients, noted EWG.

Some of these ingredients are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system.

5. Latisse

Sure, lash stimulating drug Latisse will save you money on mascara, but its side-effects make thin eyelashes seem like nothing in comparison. The New York Times reported the rare, bizarre side effect of permanently changing people’s eye color from blue or hazel to brown. According to the Latisse website, the most common side effects (affecting 4 percent of patients) include an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness, and other less common side effects include:

Skin darkening, eye irritation, dryness of the eyes and redness of the eyelids.

Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, also notes:

Any darkening of the colored part of the eye known as the iris is NOT expected to reverse and is likely permanent.

As Garrett told ATTN: via email, like Botox, Latisse is a physician administered treatment that should only be administered by a licensed and trained healthcare provider.

6. Circle contact lenses

This trend became mainstream in Asia but has also become more popular in the U.S. in the last few years, according to The New York Times. Pop star Lady Gaga wore circle contact lenses in her music video “Bad Romance,” but consumers who want the same doe-eyed look will have to buy them illegally online for $20 to $30 a pair.

Since they’re illegal to sell, there isn’t much regulation to ensure the contacts are made safely. Optometrist Dr. S. Barry Eiden told The Times that without the aid of professional care, an ill-fitting pair of lenses could deprive eyes of oxygen and cause serious vision problems. These include:

Infection and vision loss.

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