When TikTok Becomes Untrustworthy: Viral Wellness Trends To Avoid For Your Health
One of the awesome things about social media is that I never have to guess about a product. If I’m hesitant about purchasing anything, I can run to TikTok and watch video after video of people using it. I’ll get their detailed opinions, and then decide whether or not an item is worth it. And after I see multiple rave reviews, I’m usually convinced.
However, this method is increasingly flawed. First came a new wave of influencers, masking brand deals so well that you couldn’t tell if they were being paid for their “reviews.” This made me turn to micro-influencers, but brands got to them, too.
I can’t hate on them — get your bag and do you! If I could, I would. However, I can’t. But I can get a little angry when they mislead me. It’s only human nature — especially now that I don’t know who to trust.
All these branded posts have given me a reason to hate the parasitic pervasiveness of TikTok influence, which has only gotten worse since the introduction of the TikTok Shop. The reveal of the TikTok shop rippled into a butterfly effect where people are straight up lying just to sell a product.
Things used to be so innocent: Gwyneth Paltrow would say she consumes an ungodly amount of bone broth and everyone would be like “Ha, so silly! Typical Gwyneth, we’d never!” But maybe that’s because we know Gwyneth will go to bizarre lengths to achieve the epitome of health and wellness. We love her … but we don’t do the crazy things she does.
@dearmedia #gwynethpaltrow shares her daily wellness routine on The Art Of Being Well, listen now 🎧 #wellnessroutine #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle #routines #goop #podcastclips ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim
Now, I can go on TikTok and see your average girl telling me to put castor oil in my belly button…or that Brita isn’t filtering my water anymore…or that I need to be oil-pulling to whiten my teeth.
Conveniently, everyone has just the product for you to fix a problem you didn’t know existed. And with TikTok Shop, they graciously link the solution just in case you’d like to get them a commission for the sale. Is it doing God’s work or the devil’s?
@whatmojoloves The New Year is when all the wellness companies pour money into marketing trying to convince you to buy something you may not need. Sharing some trends that make me 🤨 #wellnesstips #healthyliving #wellnesstok #wellnessjourney #greenscreen ♬ original sound - MoJo | Wellness + Fitness
Trends like washing raw chicken even emerged, which can contaminate your sink and surrounding surfaces. Or how about all of those influencers constantly sipping (or releasing their own) energy drinks? Even I know that consuming over 200 mg of caffeine a day isn’t good for your health…
Suddenly, being scammed by an influencer into buying cheaply-formulated lipstick doesn’t sound half as bad as contaminating my kitchen or putting my health at risk! While it may be difficult to not believe some of these TikTokers…think of their credentials if you’re taking health advice, and consult experts or even Google before you follow their lead.
My advice? If you want clearer skin, and have done just about everything to tame your acne, seeing a dermatologist can get you professional care and help you achieve your dream skin. The person on TikTok, despite their good (or questionable) intentions, may be doing something that only works for them…or maybe it’s a placebo that doesn’t work at all!
Here are some of the wellness TikTok trends you shouldn’t fall into:
Chlorophyll Water As A Universal Healer
Gina Sell via Unsplash
In a world where we probably aren’t balancing our diets as well as we should be, supplements can get you the dietary points you’re lacking. Everyone loves a green powder in the mornings that gets you all your vitamins and minerals for the day…but then they took it further by putting chlorophyll drops in their water.
Sure, it’s safe, although you may experience stomach issues from overuse. But is it effective? Experts say no, there aren’t clear signs that it will clear your skin or detox your blood. It’ll also put you at risk for sunburn, so lather up if you’re going out!
Basing Your Diet On Someone’s “What I Eat In A Day” Video
Thought Catalog via Unsplash
In a world where diets and Ozempic are constantly trending, everyone wants to know the best way to achieve a healthy body. And while TikTok health influencers may eat a certain amount of calories, or stick to a gluten or dairy-free diet, remember that every body is different. What works for them — from calorie counts to dietary restrictions and more — may not work for you.
Plus, these influencers are admittedly further along in their health journey than those wanting to start theirs. It’s why you’re looking to them for advice in the first place, so understanding what your body needs may come with a visit to a dietitian or doctor. Following restrictive diets of any sort (or even the ones who binge eat on camera) may not be healthy for you.
Cleaning Ear Wax With Hydrogen Peroxide
Olivier Bergeron via Unsplash
While you may feel like you’re losing hearing, you could just have a buildup of earwax in your canal. Everyone on TikTok has a niche way of solving the age-old earwax problem…but you don’t have to buy a new gadget or seek household items for help.
While influencers push hydrogen peroxide; which can indeed break up earwax, it can also dry out your ear canal. Earwax typically falls out on its own and is a natural protector of the canal, so if you have persistent clogging, then visit a doctor as it may be a bigger issue! If you feel the need to clean your ears, just use drops.
Natural Contouring With Sunscreen
Batch by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific via Unsplash
I can’t even believe this was a trend…but your entire face needs sunscreen. It’s what helps fight signs of aging, prevents skin cancer, and evens your skin tone. By putting sunscreen on select parts of your face to make your cheekbones deepen and your jawline sharper, you’re negating the purpose of sunscreen altogether.
Do yourself a favor and invest in contour and bronzer…smear that sunscreen all over your face.