self-care Wellness

Wellness Products that AREN’T Worth the Hype

October 6, 2020

Today’s post is a fun one! You know I love a good wellness debunking and bursting everyone’s healthy bubble but I’ve been thrilled to discover that I’m not the only naturally born skeptic in this community.

A few weeks ago I asked you guys on Instagram which wellness products are overrated and/or thought weren’t worth the hype. As the wellness industry has exploded over the last 10 years, so has the list of wellness products that are overrated. It’s easy to jump into this space and prey on people’s belief that there is such thing as “optimal health”. Health is an ever-evolving concept, both individually and collectively. While there are certain products and practices that are incredibly helpful, others just aren’t.

That being said, we are all different and this post is written from my perspective and why I believe to be overrated or unnecessary. If you disagree with me on something, that’s okay! It’s important to stick to what works for you, or even if it doesn’t “work” at the very least, it brings you joy.

For context, when I say “wellness products” I’m defining it as anything that is supposedly “better” for you. This can include food, supplements, skincare, makeup and so on…You’ll get the gist pretty quickly.

Next week I’ll be going over products that ARE worth the hype, so stay tuned for that. Also I received hundreds of responses from you so I’m only sharing the most common ones.

Let’s get into it…

Wellness Products That Are Overrated

Collagen

First and foremost: not all collagen is made equal. Make sure you’re getting from a reputable brand that is 3rd party tested. In addition, collagen peptides have often been heated up to a point where they are no longer useful and pretty much just your average protein powder (collagen benefits are minimal at this point). If you’re going to consume collagen (which has been shown to be effective for arthritis and wound healing), you should be consuming it cold or at room temperature. Adding it to coffee or other hot beverages eliminates all benefits. Also collagen in skincare is a fraud. Collagen is too large a molecule to penetrate the skin so don’t even bother.

Beautycounter

Zero surprise this is on the list. By now most of you know my thoughts on Beautycounter (here, here and here) but mostly it’s just overpriced skincare, makeup and body care sold by “consultants” who for unclear reasons think they’re qualified to give people skincare advice. Save your money because it’s better used elsewhere.

Charcoal

Charcoal has become super popular both in food and body care products. I’ll be honest, I don’t really believe in the “detoxifying” effects of it in body care (though I am obsessed with the charcoal Primally Pure deodorant because it actually works – verdict still out if it’s because of the charcoal). In terms of charcoal in food, it makes absolutely no sense. Heavy doses are charcoal are often given after a drug overdose to help remove the drugs from the intestinal tract. Consuming charcoal means you’re basically stripping your body of all its nutrients. It makes no sense. Stop consuming it.

Mushroom Coffee/Four Sigmatic

Well first, I’ll direct you to this podcast episode with a mushroom expert where we discuss things like mushroom coffee. I actually had a really bad reaction to Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane. It essentially gave me pretty bad anxiety for the two weeks I was trying it. So does it work? Yes. Does that mean it’s good for you? Hard to say. Mushrooms actually are super beneficial but you’re better off just eating them rather than trying to drink it with or in place of coffee.

Crystals 

Okay this one is tough because I’ll admit my home is covered in crystals. BUT I don’t put any faith that crystals will solve any of my problems. Are they pretty? Yes. But the idea that a gemstone can heal you is kind of absurd. Enjoy the beauty of earth’s creations but the truth is that the healing happens because of intention, not because of a colorful rock.

Blue Light Glasses

The idea with blue light glasses is that they block the blue light that our technology and lights emit to help our bodies sync better with our circadian rhythm and get a better sleep. Here’s a better idea: turn off lights and limit technology at night. You’re welcome.

Keto anything

I’m not against the keto diet if it’s being used for specific purposes. A “typical” ketogenic diet consists of at least 70 percent of calories derived from fat, less than 10 percent from carbs and less than 20 percent from protein. Keto has been proven to be effective for certain communities such as epilepsy in children (source) but beyond that there really isn’t evidence of it being a healthy diet for anyone else. If you’re used to eating a ton of junk food then yeah, you’ll have positive results on the keto diet in the short term but it just isn’t a sustainable solution for most groups of people.

Vintner’s Daughter

I was blown away by how many of you mentioned Vintner’s Daughter as being overrated. Here’s the deal: Vintner’s Daughter is about as “clean” and “pure” as beauty comes but you do NOT need to spend this much on skincare. I’ll admit that I spend way too much on skincare products but even this one is outrageous to me. Their Active Treatment Essence is basically a toner for $225 USD. Their Active Botanical Serum is $185. Their whole thing is that their skincare is only two steps so you’re really getting more bang for your buck but it also doesn’t include a cleanser so you need to consider that expense. Is it amazing? Probably. Does anyone need to spend this much on skincare? Nope. Never.

Monat

I’ll admit I’ve never tried Monat but just looking at their product I know it’s all BS. It’s an MLM for overpriced hair and skincare products. Though they don’t necessarily market themselves as “clean beauty”, there’s definitely some greenwashing there. Stay away from this one.

Juice Cleanses

I’ve done one juice cleanse in my life when I was 22 and while I don’t regret it, it certainly wasn’t necessary. I’m all for a green juice or whatever juice from time to time but people who are using juice cleanses to lose weight and “reset” should know they’re really just losing a bunch of water weight. It isn’t sustainable and it ends up being an expensive crash diet. Better off focusing on nourishing your body with the colors of the rainbow and adding a a juice here and there than starving yourself for 3 days (or however long)

Some other ones I found interesting but don’t necessarily agree with…

Essential Oils

A lot of people said essential oils but most were referring to essential oil MLMs that push the idea that essential oils will solve all your health ailments. For one, I don’t believe or use MLMs, but I also think our use of essential oils has gotten dangerous. That being said, there is scientific proof that aromatherapy is effective for certain conditions. But perhaps most importantly, our smell can be tied to our mood and if a scent uplifts you then more power to it. HOWEVER, you do not need a million essential oils in your collection. Keep a few you like and stick to those. I like to buy mine either from Saje Wellness or Aura Cacia.

Clean Beauty

The overall idea of clean beauty was a popular one. I clearly am a believer in clean beauty but agree that without any kind of regulation around what makes something “clean” it’s hard to know what really is better for you from what is just greenwashing. I tried to break down the terms in this post but when it comes down to it, knowing what skincare or makeup is better for you is sadly up to the consumer, not the brand.

“Clean” Deodorant

The number of you who said you still sweat and smell from clean deodorant was astounding! First things first, SWEATING IS NORMAL. Clean deodorant is not an antiperspirant. This does not exist. If you don’t want to sweat, don’t use clean deodorant lol. However there are some amazing cleaner deodorant brands out there that will prevent you from smelling like a bag of garbage. My favorites are listed here…and I should know because I tried over 20 brands and spent far too many weeks smelling like garbage.

Bone Broth

My Jewish ancestors just can’t get behind the idea this doesn’t work. While I’m not sure that bone broth is a good or any better a source of collagen it is a great source of vitamin and minerals. Could you get these from other sources? Yes. But when you’re sick, sometimes a good old bowl of Jewish Penicillin is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I think that’s it for now! Stay tuned for next week’s post all about wellness products that ARE worth the hype. This one is a fun one.

Did I miss anything? Let me know which wellness products you think are overrated!

If you guys like these kinds of posts let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to do more of them.

Photos by Bettina Bogar

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  • Reply
    Emma M.
    October 8, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    I wear blue-tech glasses because I get migraines and they help immensely with reducing the sensitivity I have to light, especially if I am at the onset of a migraine (of course, nothing really helps once a migraine has hit other than closing my eyes). That being said, it was such an improvement, I had my other three pairs of glasses all switched over to blue-tech lenses. As to whether they help me sleep better or not, I cannot say.

  • Reply
    Jul
    October 7, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I have personally used and experienced the benefits of Monat. After back to back miscarriages, the hormonal changes wrecked my hair. I was ready to try anything or cut it off and I was told about Monat, so I decided to try it. I was amazed at the results and the regrowth that I experienced. I have continued using it for the last 3 years and my hair has never been in better condition. Their skincare line is also legit. I’m not thrilled that it is an MLM….but simply because something is an MLM doesn’t mean that the products don’t work.

  • Reply
    Sam
    October 7, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Oh Davida, how I love your brutal honesty and no-BS approach to this. Thank you for sharing your truth. It’s so refreshing for someone who is a wellness blogger to call out how much of that industry is marketing vs actual wellness (and it’s a huge multi-billion dollar industry). It reminds me of why I follow you. Much love from Canada, eh!!

  • Reply
    Trista Johnson
    October 7, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I have found that blue light blocking glasses help me tremendously since switching to Zoom life. I was getting terrible headaches last spring when my school first switched to remote learning. The glasses were a game changer! I cannot, however, report on their ability to help with sleep because I don’t use screens around bedtime (as you suggested above).

  • Reply
    Erin @ Erin's Inside Job
    October 6, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Love this. I’ve had a post saved in my drafts for over a year about self help books that aren’t worth the hype, but then that means I have to read a bunch of crap and I can’t bring myself to do it. HA. Thanks for always being real 🙂

    • Reply
      Van
      October 6, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      I personally saw the difference one Monat product made for hair loss. The product isn’t advertised as a hair regrowth product but definitely is one. 4 people took pictures every month and after several months of use the difference was huge!

  • Reply
    Desiree
    October 6, 2020 at 11:18 am

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21723833/ – degradation of collagen doesn’t start until about 300 degrees according to this study – a typical hot beverage like coffee or tea is served between 160-200 degrees – what source did you use to find out that information about collagen, I’d love to read more. Thanks!

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