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When fashion is bad for your health

Choices. The ability to make them is one of the most valuable gifts that we have as human beings. In all strata of life, we are faced with choice. In big things, in little things and in all things that concern us, including our moods, we have the gift to make a choice. Fashion is no exception to this rule and if you take a look around, you will see that the style stakes around us have gone very high. In our dear Naija today, colossal sums of money are spent daily on the maintenance of style and looks of our various societal cadres. Also, women in general, regardless of their societal position, are known to happily spend whatever little or much they have on their looks. Don’t ask why; there’s just something in our genetic makeup that causes this as this trait is not limited by tribe or nationality. Female spending is most on hair, face and body in that order!

The tricks and processes applied to beauty are many. With the growth of science, more processes abound. Each person is therefore faced with a myriad of choices in every area of their personal care and beauty/grooming regimen. Marketing gimmicks promise all manner of miracles and women and men of all ages fall for the promises in droves. Caution must be applied, though. There’s an increasing number of processes and products which eager patrons apply and buy that aren’t too good for the health. There are also some seemingly basic regimens and products applied daily that can adversely affect another precious gift we all treasure good health. Below are samples of beauty regimens, applications and processes that may rebound on good health. If you didn’t know before, please take note of them.

Some cream ‘mixtures’ are dangerous. By this, reference is made to the potions sold in our major cities by beauticians and many self proclaimed aestheticians. These creams are usually touted to lighten the skin dramatically and maintain its luminosity when the desired degree of ‘yellow’ has been attained. Because light complexions are so desired in our societies, this is probably the single most silent inducer of skin cancers in women. The market for it, though largely silent (many women will not own up to purchasing these creams, but they do), is in droves. It is quite amusing that one would buy what is essentially a mystery product because what goes into it is neither stated nor known to the buyer. Indeed, its ‘secret’ potency is made to be its attraction! Take heed, that some of these ‘potions’ have been found to contain a wide range of dangerous chemicals, high mercury levels and heavy metals. Many of these elements are well known carcinogens. Amusing but scary is the story of the ‘producers’ of some of these creams who are said to add toothpaste, hair gel, washing liquids and all manner of ‘ingredients’ to their ‘potent’ potions! While it certainly will not be all of them who will be so uncouth, Style’scape’s advice is that if you don’t know what’s inside it, avoid it.

-Platform shoes can be dangerous. Reports of very serious injuries have been increasing worldwide, as shoe heights increase. Very high shoes are now the order of the day either as platforms or wedges and the higher they go, the more dangerous they become. Should you wear them, beware of cobbled walkways, marbled or polished floors, staircases and uneven terrain. While the fit forward may be comfortable, should they twist to the side, there’s trouble for the ankles! In recent times, legs have been placed in casts, hip operations carried out and severe wounds treated because a fashionista wore a pair of shoes that became her albatross!

-Heavy earrings you stand the chance of tearing your ear lobes with each pair of heavy earrings you wear. More women are reporting in with this ailment now, so if you don’t feel comfortable in those earrings, take them off. You can buy another pair, but you’re only given one pair of earlobes for life.

-Girdles and tight belts dangerous for asthma patients as the constriction can induce attacks.

-Black eyeliner stick with only the good names. Some dodgy ones and some locally made ones are said to contain everything from bird poop to bat droppings to get the blackness and the thick consistency that are basic qualities of eyeliner. These can then cause eye irritation and disease. Is there any beauty regimen that’s worth you putting bat droppings on your eyelids?

-Tooth bleach now widely used, but not advised for prolonged use. Why? It’s the easiest self induced cause of tooth sensitivity. Can’t drink hot tea or take a cold drink without feeling a sharp pain in your teeth? That’s tooth sensitivity.

-Hair relaxers can cause serious wounds and blisters on the head if applied for too long or if the quality is bad. Be careful what you buy here. Apart from the intense burning pain that takes over your head when you apply bad relaxer, it can seriously break your hair and leave you looking like baby geese.

-Beware the new fads teas that promise everything from detoxifying your body to helping you lose weight to giving you great skin……. Again, stick with a good brand that has a name and heritage to protect and whose processes are strictly regulated. Stay away from dodgy products with funny print and cheap covers, no matter what they promise. Apart from the fact that you do not know what is really inside, you expose yourself to the risk of serious intestinal injury.

-Waxing for your own good, only do this at a good spa with well trained personnel. Also always insist that the wax applied is not too hot, especially when being used on the eyebrows or any other sensitive area. Why? Ever seen waxed brows gone wrong? One wrong application of too hot wax and you’ll never be the same again. Burnt, singed, puckered eyebrow skin is the result and really, who needs that?

There you have them. Various ‘simple’ and everyday processes, products and applications that can cause damage to health. While the pursuit of beauty is good, it must be done with safety in mind and the realization that there are dubious people lurking in the shadows, making all manner of crazy products because they want to take advantage of the desire for good looks that most people have.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.