5 Trendy Tips You Find on Instagram (That'll Ruin Your Life)

Instagram is full of tips on how to get fit, get hot, and generally become a superior human being entitled to gaze down with disgust upon the unwashed Twitter masses. But with zero scientific oversight, actual tips like "Make peace with going to the gym three times a week" can be overshadowed by dumb fads like "Lose weight by injecting snake venom directly into your anus!" So please, for the love of god, do not attempt any of the following, unless you want your picture to end up in a Baby Boomer Facebook meme group called "This is whats wrong with kids these days!!!!"

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5
Detox Teas Are Terrible For Your Body

You can't live off of Likes, so Instagram personalities endorse products. That's fine in theory, but many influencers have lower standards than Krusty the Clown, which brings us to detox teas.

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It's the perfect health plan for people who've forgotten they have a liver and kidneys.

Astute readers may notice a subtle attempt in the above image to connect detox teas to health and attractiveness. There are countless brands, but they all offer the same basic pitch: Tea is natural, natural is healthy, therefore it's healthy to detox your body and lose weight. What does "detox" mean, exactly? Well, toxins are bad. What more do you need to know? Do you think having toxins in your body is good, you absolute rube?

Detox teas do help you lose weight, but that's because they're thinly veiled laxatives. They're about one step removed from promoting an all-natural starvation diet. The FDA advises consumers to not use laxatives for more than two weeks, and to only do so to deal with constipation, but these teas routinely come with a 28-day "plan." This can produce diarrhea, severe cramping, dehydration, and menstrual cycle disruption. There have even been reports of unexpected pregnancies because the tea ruins the efficacy of birth control pills, so that's a fun surprise.

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If you do lose weight after all that, uh, shit, it's not because you're shedding fat, but rather because you're losing so much water. And yes, shitting yourself into dehydration is technically all-natural, but so are the accompanying headaches, fatigue, and inability to concentrate. People are spending $30 to make themselves miserable for a month. But the confusion is understandable, given that the products are shilled with lines like "Kickstart your healthy lifestyle" and "Wellness starts here." It's like a gym session in a glass, supposedly, except for the part where that's impossible. It all sounds so stupid in isolation, but when an army of likable hot people are endorsing it, can you blame folks for being interested?

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If you're gonna turn your body into a 24/7 poop cannon, maybe keep the tea a smidge farther away from your ass.

The same logic applies to other "cleanses," by the way, like juice cleanses or the celery juice fad (celery, the notorious diva of vegetables, refuses to work with the other juices). They start from the false premise that your body is swimming in toxins, then say that you can combat those nonexistent evils with some pseudoscientific nonsense that does more harm than good. Remember, if the only evidence being offered up is that a miracle weight loss method is "all natural," it's also all natural to scream obscenities at your body fat until it withers away in shame. But that doesn't mean it's effective -- at least not until we find a way to sell it as a $29.99 package.

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Related: 5 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Good For (Killing) You

4
Do Not Try To Plump Your Lips With A Bottle

In 2015, the "Kylie Jenner Challenge" made the rounds, and somehow it was stupider than its contemporaneous sibling challenge which saw us all shoveling spoonfuls of cinnamon into our mouths. Despite the name, the challenge was not to grapple with the morality of presenting yourself as an aspirational figure while downplaying your uniquely privileged background, but rather to make your lips look plumper by sucking on a shot glass, Gatorade bottle, or similar apparatus. The results were ... unpleasant.

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Though comparable to the ill-conceived Hit In The Mouth With A Baseball Challenge.

Sucking creates negative pressure and fills your blood vessels. This creates decidedly non-sexy swelling, and can also break the vessels and produce bruising. If you only suck for 30 seconds, the effects should be minor, but if your sucking drags on for over a minute, you could suffer gross discoloration for a couple of weeks, or even long-term damage in the form of pigmentation and scarring. And you don't end up looking like Kylie Jenner, no matter how well it goes.

There are plenty of safe and affordable ways to plump up your lips if you feel the need to look like you've been stung by bees, but in a sexy way. Shot glasses, meanwhile, should only be used to pound back whiskey and mutter about what a day you've had to your disinterested cat, the way the manufacturers intended.

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Related: 5 DIY Projects That Ruin People's Lives

3
Charcoal Masks Hurt Like Hell And Irritate Your Skin More Than They Help

Most facial creams and masks wash or peel off with about as much resistance as wet cardboard. Charcoal masks, however, fight removal like they're being unlawfully evicted from their homes, so getting the damn things off stings badly. That is supposedly the appeal. Pain is nothing but ugliness leaving the body, right? Do you think looking hot for the internet is a game?

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Yes, gluing charcoal to your face and then ripping it off does remove dirt, blackheads, and other gunk. But you're also taking off a layer of protective skin and hair, leaving you vulnerable to irritation, discoloring, hypopigmentation, permanently enlarged pores, and scarring. Despite Instagram-friendly motivational slogans, if you're feeling pain in your beauty regimen, it's not because you're giving 210 percent to create the best you; you're just doing it wrong. Some people have even ripped their damn eyebrows off.

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This is a problem compounded by the fact that people are buying unregulated masks online, where maybe the sellers are ethical skincare lovers, or maybe are Chinese factory owners looking to make a quick buck off dumb foreigners. There are stories of people assuming "Well, charcoal is charcoal" and then giving themselves chemical burns.

If you think you need a peel, talk to a licensed esthetician or dermatologist, who will help you figure out what's right for your skin without torturing it like you need it to spit out nuclear codes. Anything that you can accomplish with a charcoal mask can also be accomplished with products that don't transform you into a low-rent Batman villain by ripping part of your face off.

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Related: 6 Stupid Internet Beauty Tips We Actually Tested

2
Burning Your Hair Will, Spoiler Alert, Damage It

Veteran readers know that Cracked has long railed against the endless evils of split ends. Methods designed to defeat them seem infinite, but so too does their resolve to return and haunt us anew. Any victory in the forever war is fleeting. But what if we could just burn the bastards away in a cleansing fire?

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Oh right, because that would involve setting your goddamn hair on fire. This has actually been a hair care tactic in Brazil since the '60s. When done properly, it involves twisting up a tight strand of hair, then running a lit candle over it to burn off the split ends that stick out, supposedly improving the look of your hair without affecting its length. But then trendy Americans learned about it thanks to a supermodel's Instagram account, and shockingly, they are not doing it properly.

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Or not as properly as one can reasonably manage when lighting yourself on fire.

Let's make the assumption that people are going to professionals instead of playing around with a lighter and their own head in the comfort of their own flammable homes. In that case, uh, dropping 200 bucks and two hours of your life on this treatment is still a lousy idea. It weakens your hair, dulls its color, and likely creates as many split ends as it removes. Shockingly, it turns out that the human body does not benefit from direct exposure to fire. Unless you happen to be a Brazilian supermodel who's held to extremely specific beauty standards, get a damn haircut and move on with your life.

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Related: 6 Popular Fashion Trends (That Killed People)

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1
Vitamin Vaping Is BS, Might Hurt Your Lungs

"Vitamin vaping" sounds like a terrible SNL sketch about millennials, but it is a very real, very stupid product brought to you by VitaminVape, VitaStik, BioVape, NutroVape, and other companies with names that will make you want to punch the screen you're reading them on.

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Seen here in a photo that we can only assume is titled "Peak Douche."

Some companies offer the dubious ability to vape all different kinds of vitamins and even, ugh, essential oils, but most focus on B12. Their product is based around several major misconceptions: that B12 is a magic cure-all, that most people don't get enough of it, and most egregiously, that vaping looks cool.

B12 is important, but unless you're elderly, have a rare disease, or are vegan, you're almost certainly getting enough of it through milk, meat, and eggs. Most medical conditions are best diagnosed by a doctor and not Instagram's BadassBossBabe, but a B12 deficiency is especially persnickety because its symptoms -- primarily fatigue -- are vague. And that's led to the myth that shoving some B12 in your body will magically give you more energy, like caffeine but without the downsides because something something all natural. You can pay for B12 injections and IV drips, even when you really, really don't need them. And now you can vape it.

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Pose all you want; vaping still looks dumb.

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Why spend $45 on three packs of "citrus flavored vitamin B12 mist" when you could buy a bottle of vitamin pills for $10? Well, the real reason is that there's a huge market for vaping products, but also concerns over the long-term impact of their use, and having attractive, hip women pose with your product makes for easy advertising of a "healthy" alternative. But the stated reason is always some crap about vaping providing a relaxing aromatherapeutic environment wrapped in claims broad enough that the FDA can't tell them to stop spewing bullshit.

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Manufacturers also like to point to a few vague studies from the 1960s that hinted at the benefits of inhaling vitamins, because we all know that medical science peaked in the '60s and has been on a rocky downhill slide ever since.

... And yet we suddenly want to buy a box. Go figure.

In reality, the science on vaping is still so preliminary that we don't know what all the other crap -- the flavoring, the propellant, etc. -- does to your lungs in the long term. Vaping is also so thinly regulated that companies are under no obligation to use the ingredients they say they are in their "personal diffusers" and "aromatherapy sticks." It's like if vitamin pill manufacturers started pushing for you to eat the plastic bottles their pills come in, just in case that somehow helps. Whenever the best-case scenario is "nothing happens" you've found a fad you should skip.

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