The words "wellness" and "trends" are pretty contradictory if you think about it. How can something as crucial to our health and well-being also be glossed over as a passing trend? But let's face it, we've all fallen prey to these health fads in one way or another. Every few months, a new miracle product comes to market that claims to firm our skin, flatten our bellies, kick-start our metabolism, banish our anxiety, or increase our energy. Sometimes, like in the case of coconut oil, they're labeled as a single fix-all for any all of our woes, and things like kale and cauliflower are suddenly given much more value than they might actually deserve. But more often than not, these health fads are hotly debated by doctors and professionals and might even come with the risk of putting your health—the thing you were trying to boost—in jeopardy.
Below are some of the wellness practices that either backfired on us or just plain didn't have the effect they promised. We're not saying that you need to avoid these things (take our advice with a grain of salt), but we thought it would be interesting to share the diets, supplements, fitness routines, and wellness products that simply didn't deliver on their promises. Curious? Keep scrolling to read what didn't work for us and then, of course, what did.
What Didn't Work:
"I'm not sure if this counts as wellness but I've been using a Gua Sha for a few weeks now and haven't noticed any difference whatsoever. I was hoping it'd bring out my cheeks bones and reduce inflammation (supposedly lymphatic drainage does that?), but I haven't noticed a difference." — Stephanie Limiti, Senior Social Media Editor, The/Thirty
"When I was about high school age, I would do pretty much anything to lose a few pounds. Looking back, my relationship with my body was far from healthy (but that's another story for another time). One of the many fads I bought into was juice fasting. I drank nothing but vegetable and fruit juices for days on end, sometimes even up to seven days if I was committed enough. I definitely bought into the promises that it would rid my body of toxins and reboot my appetite, thus helping me lose a few pounds.
"Pounds were lost and gained (usually it was just water weight), and after each time, I was never able to sustain the benefits in the long-term. On top of that, I learned that my body definitely needs fiber to function properly and going days without eating solid food was, well, detrimental to my gut. No thanks, I'll stick with far less extreme modes of detoxifying." — Anna LaPlaca, Assistant Editor, Who What Wear
"I know probiotics are huge right now (and important!) but I’ve had a tough time incorporating them supplement-wise into my routine. (So many make my stomach hurt or make me feel bloated!) The best ones I’ve found are from Sakara, but after talking to various experts I discovered that if you already have a pretty healthy gut with ample bacteria, you don’t really need a supplement and they can actually aggravate your system and cause symptoms like the above." — Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor, Who What Wear
Photo:Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm/Getty Images
"Dry brushing is a practice I have tried to adopt, but I can't seem to get it to stick. In theory, I love the idea of simultaneously exfoliating and moving energy toward my heart, but it's an extra step from which I didn't see enough of a noticeable impact. I know avid dry brushers are out there though, so perhaps I just don't have the discipline to add something extra to my hurried mornings." — Kat Collings, Editor in Chief, Who What Wear
"One wellness practice that has failed me is essential oils—as much as I love the idea of a bottle holding the solution to solving my anxiety and stress, it truly never has done anything for me other than smell good and further add to my stress because I just spent $15 on something that doesn't work." — Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Community Manager, Who What Wear
"I tried two times with different brands and had terrible rashes for months." — Colleen Saunders, @hello_its_me_colls
"I've gotten acupuncture treatments done several times (ear seeds included) and have never noticed a difference in my anxiety. Although, it does feel really relaxing! I think acupuncture is one of those experiences that's different for everyone. Perhaps if I dealt with more physical pain—and thankfully I don't!—I'd notice a difference." — Limiti
"I tried the Keto diet for two months. I saw results, and lost over 15 pounds on my already small frame, but I constantly felt horrible. Cranky, lethargic, generally weak. After going off the diet I’ve gained some pounds back, but at least now I feel like myself!" — Sydney Hollis
"Coconut oil on everything = pimples on everything." — Sydney Smith, @syddedonem
The practices that have stuck:
"Infrared saunas! I know the studies show that they may not have much of an impact on your health or weight loss, but I also feel really good and relaxed after a session and have incorporated it into my routine whenever I can." — Limiti
"I do my best to eat probiotic-rich foods in my diet, so I’ve found digestive enzymes to be truly miraculous instead—these ones from Hum in particular. I take one capsule before lunch and dinner and I swear they iron out all digestive kinks, prevent bloating, and ensure your system is breaking down food and nutrients as efficiently as possible. Not that it’s about weight or how my body looks (I’m more focused on feeling my best), but for what it’s worth, my stomach is never flatter than when I’m being good about taking them regularly. I even stash them in my bag if I’m going out to eat. I’m just that hooked." — Jahns
"Zinc and elderberry are my two secret weapons for making sure I never get sick. I load up before I travel so my immune system is stronger than usual. Also if there are any signs of falling sick, I take this as soon as possible. By the next day, if I get a good night's rest, I'm back to normal. So far, this has worked flawlessly; I'm going for 0 sick days in 2019!" — Collings
"Lemon water is a tale as old as time. I blame my love of lemons on growing up in a Sicilian household (we used to eat them like apples—don't ask) because they were used for any ailment or woe. It was a little bit like the dad's obsession with Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Even though I don't use lemons for every little thing these days, I still swear by good old lemon-infused water for a jolt of hydration and wholesome, all-natural detoxing. It helps flush out the liver, aids in digestion, and rids your body of toxins—and I'm telling you it works. And since lemons are filled with vitamin C, it's also a great way to boost the immune system and ward off any potential illnesses. It's seriously god's gift to Earth (spiritual beliefs notwithstanding)." — LaPlaca
"What always works for me is yoga. I don't think true peace comes from anything outside of ourselves, and having a serious weekly practice has been the key to my sanity." — Fox-Suliaman
"I swear by my jade roller; it changed the shape of my face." — Smith
"I always use exercise for sanity. To be more specific, I’ve recently splurged to go to boutique barre classes two to four times a month, and the results are worth the price." — Smith
"I just started intermittent fasting and drinking ketogenic coffee (grass-fed butter and MCT oil in black coffee), and it has greatly improved the afternoon crash." — Saunders