Why These Unusual Celeb Health Habits Are Actually Harmful

If you've ever tried some weird health advice from your favorite celebrity only to bitterly regret it afterward, you're definitely not alone. It's no secret that some celebs do some very weird (and sometimes incredibly gross) things in the name of being healthy. We mere mortals believe that, because they look amazing, their advice has to work, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Thanks to social media, celebrities' influence have become more powerful than ever — and it can be hazardous to your health if you take what they say at face value. Bogus celebrity health advice has become such a concern that scientists have conducted research on why people are so eager to buy into the things they recommend. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Medicine found some answers: People's natural instinct to follow the majority and their admiration for their favorite celebs cloud their judgment. Their idols seem trustworthy, so they want to believe them. Psychology also has a lot to do with it — people's favorite celebrities usually represent who they want to be, and following health advice from that person seems rational. There's also what scientists call the halo effect, which refers to how celebrities' success leads to people believing them over other qualified professionals like doctors.

Celebs can really mess with our minds if we let them, so we've compiled a list of the most unusual celeb health habits and why you should steer clear of them.

Eating clay like Shailene Woodley is not a good idea

When actress Shailene Woodley rose to fame, she revealed to the world an incredibly strange health habit: eating clay. In a piece she wrote for Into the Gloss, she explained that "clay is one of the best things you can put in your body," adding that the clay isn't absorbed but is instead utilized by the body to rid itself of heavy metals.

However, this doesn't mean that you should start swapping your lunch for a lump of clay. Speaking to Today, Roshini Raj, M.D., explained that not only can eating clay cause constipation when consumed in excess, but it also won't provide any additional nutrients that you won't already get from a nutritious diet. "[Eating clay] is a practice in some indigenous cultures, and I think that probably came about because they did not have access to certain nutrients in their diet, like calcium from dairy, or iron, and there are some minerals in dirt or clay," she explained.

Clay also doesn't actually do anything to rid the body of heavy metals or toxins as Woodley claims. "[T]he average person is not so full of heavy metal toxins that they're not getting rid of them naturally," Aaron Carroll, M.D., adds. Speaking to Insider, Caroline Apovian, M.D., explained that clay should not be consumed, as it may contain dangerous quantities of lead and arsenic. So, you can rest easy. Eating dirt is definitely not something that will improve your overall health.

Drinking your own urine as Ke$ha does is a bad idea

While discussing her documentary series "My Crazy Beautiful Life" during an interview with BBC Radio 1 (via Us Weekly), world-famous singer Ke$ha revealed that people can expect some visuals of her drinking her own urine. Yes, that made us raise our eyebrows, too. "I was told drinking my own pee was good. I was trying to be healthy," the singer said, quickly adding that she stopped doing it because she found it too disgusting. Good call, Ke$sha, good call.

If you're even a little curious about whether or not drinking your own urine has some health benefits, we're here to let you know that it does not. According to Healthline, Ke$ha didn't invent this weird health habit — it dates back millennia, and some people in certain parts of the world still do it. But, again, you'll be better off sticking to clean water, because there's no scientific evidence that proves drinking your own urine is good for you. In fact, existing research found that you'll be doing yourself more harm than good.

Urine is not sterile as many believe, according to a 2014 study published in the journal of Clinical Microbiology. By drinking it, you could be ingesting some nasty toxins and bacteria. Yuck. Not to mention that you'll potentially put additional pressure on your kidneys, which, by the way, already worked incredibly hard to remove said toxins and bacteria from your body through your urine.

Gwyneth Paltrow's vaginal steaming habit could cause some serious burns down there

In case you didn't know already, actress and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow is the one who made vaginal steaming a thing. This practice, which is also referred to as V-steaming or yoni, consists of sitting over steaming hot water that contains herbs like wormwood, basil, and rosemary (via Vogue). According to GoodRx Health, it is believed that vaginal steaming has the ability to improve fertility, and can help ease painful menstrual symptoms. But does it, really?

According to experts, you're wasting your time and putting yourself at risk for some nasty genital infections, not to mention that the steam can burn the delicate skin down there. "It can cause over-heating of the vagina and vulva," Dr. Clare Morrison told Vogue, adding that the practice could "increase the risk of genital infections, such as thrush, plus the risk of burns." She says that many people feel like steaming cleanses their vagina, but the truth is that this organ cleans itself and doesn't need (or really want) your help. If you really like that super clean feeling, Morrison suggests opting for some warm water and a gentle, un-fragranced soap.

The true irony regarding vaginal steaming is that it doesn't actually steam your vagina at all — the body's anatomy doesn't allow for it. The chance that any steam actually enters the vagina or uterus is practically zero. You'll be much better off spending that time taking a nice, long nap.

Mariah Carey's purple diet isn't as nutritious as it sounds

Many admire singer-songwriter Mariah Carey's physique, so when she revealed that she followed the so-called purple diet to shed weight after her pregnancy (via HuffPost), many naturally thought that it must work wonders (and be very healthy). But the saying that too much of a good thing isn't all that good still rings true, even if the likes of Mariah Carey recommend it.

Speaking to Insider, dietician Brittany Markides explained that eating purple-colored foods is indeed good for your health, but not if you cut out other foods and entire food groups in the process. Variety is the name of the game, and Sioned Quirke, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, agrees. "Eating just one color of food is really restrictive," she told HuffPost, explaining that a variety of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with everything it needs to stay healthy. She does not recommend people follow Carey's purple diet and warns against the dangers of fad diets. "We must break the cycle of yo-yo dieting," Quirke says, emphasizing that sticking to healthy foods, controlling your portions, and engaging in exercise is "the only way to lose weight (and keep it off)." Hear! hear!

Willingly getting sucked on by leeches like Demi Moore is not advisable

During a 2008 interview with David Letterman, actress Demi Moore revealed that she uses leeches to help her body detox. Yup, you read that right. "I was in Austria doing a cleanse and part of the treatment was leech therapy. These aren't just swamp leeches, though — we are talking about highly trained medical leeches," she told Letterman at the time (via Total Beauty). 

Moore claimed that her blood was cleansed by the leeches and that she could feel the difference in her body afterward. That was, however, likely a placebo effect, according to Dr. Frank Lipman. Speaking to Total Beauty, Lipman explained that leeches won't make a significant contribution to the body's natural detoxing process. "[Leech therapy is] an old Asian remedy, and it's not really detoxing," he explains. "It may work on a small part of the detox system, but you need to support the liver and the gut for a true detox," he adds. According to Healthline, medical practitioners commonly use leech therapy when they need to improve a patient's blood circulation or prevent tissue death. Of all the medical uses that exist for leech therapy, detoxing the body is not one.

Leech bites also come with risks. According to a 2014 study published in Surgical Infections, some people develop bacterial infections after being treated with leeches. Sometimes, this bacteria is drug-resistant. This alone should convince you to stay away from these bloodsuckers.

Brushing your teeth six times a day like Katy Perry is asking for gum trouble

Katy Perry is reportedly obsessed with oral hygiene. According to Heresi Dental Care, someone close to the singer revealed that Perry brushes her teeth up to six times a day. Our gums are bleeding just reading this. Apparently, Perry wants to prevent cavities at all costs, but she might actually be creating more problems for herself, according to dental experts.

Per Lyme Road Dental, overbrushing (also referred to as toothbrush abrasion) has some serious side effects. What Perry is doing will essentially lead to receding gums and super-sensitive teeth. This is because excessive brushing damages the enamel on your teeth, as well as your sensitive gum tissue. Once the gums start to recede, your teeth's roots start to appear. Because roots are supposed to be protected by gum tissue, it's vulnerable once exposed, and you might face problems like tooth decay and periodontal disease. Cavities look pretty mild right about now.

Along with receding gums, the loss of enamel can also cause super sensitive teeth that can't handle very hot or cold substances, according to Colgate. If you love your morning coffee and enjoy indulging in some ice cream during the hotter months, we highly recommend you stick to brushing your teeth twice a day. If Perry is okay with missing out on the good stuff, that's her loss.

Bathing in wine like Teri Hatcher will leave your skin bone dry

Most of us like to enjoy some wine every now and then, but bathing in it seems a bit excessive, not to mention expensive. But according to Express, famous actress Teri Hatcher is a big fan of doing just that, saying that leftover wine that no longer tastes great is perfect to bathe in. "This make-up chemist that I know was talking about all the good properties in wine – antioxidants and stuff, exfoliating qualities – and she said, 'Never throw it out, dump it in your bath,'" Hatcher revealed.

Now, we're not against utilizing every last drop of wine, but experts say that bathing in it is actually not the best idea. For one, it can actually be harmful to your skin's lower layers, as Dr. Gabriella Baki told Wine Spectator. Baki says that taking a dip in red wine isn't exactly a stellar health practice, as it "has many ingredients in much larger amounts than resveratrol, which can actually dry out the skin." Aside from its alcohol content, wine also contains tannins. Both of these compounds are anything but skin-loving ingredients. 

You also shouldn't forget that wine includes alpha hydroxy acids, which, as skin enthusiasts will know, work as a chemical exfoliant. Baki says you can expect irritated and photosensitive skin after soaking in wine — not exactly the skin benefits we're looking for.

Skipping the shower like Jake Gyllenhaal is not the best idea

During an interview with Vanity Fair, actor Jake Gyllenhaal revealed that he doesn't find bathing to be "necessary." He also told the outlet that "there's a whole world of not bathing that is also really helpful for skin maintenance, and we naturally clean ourselves." Do we, though, Jake?

According to Bustle, experts say that taking a shower every two to three days is actually best. But this does not mean that Gyllenhaal is on to something here, because your skin will not, in fact, clean itself. That's why showering every other day is recommended, and if you're someone who's very active during the day, a daily bath or shower is a must, as Dr. Janette Nesheiwat states. "If you are someone who sweats a lot, has a history of bacterial infections, works out daily, or works in a high-risk environment [such as a school teacher or healthcare provider] then it's best to shower daily to prevent infection and to prevent the spread of infection," Nesheiwat explains. She adds that breakouts and acne are other conditions that might pop up if you skip your shower sesh.

Meanwhile, Dr. Aisha Muhammad warns that you'll also likely start to deal with skin irritation due to dead skin cell build-up. You'll also put yourself at a higher risk of developing infections and colds because, well, you're simply not clean. Then there's also the bad B.O. that's sure to follow.

Forgoing nightshade vegetables like Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen is not advisable

Famous quarterback Tom Brady and Brazilian fashion model Gisele Bündchen have their own private chef, Allen Campbell, and he told HuffPost that the couple doesn't eat nightshade vegetables (like potatoes and tomatoes) because "they're not anti-inflammatory." The couple also doesn't include coffee, alcohol, or meat in their diet.

Speaking to Insider, professional nutritionist Caroline Apovian explained that, while there's nothing wrong with including less alcohol, caffeine, and meat in your diet, forgoing nightshade vegetables isn't exactly a healthy choice. "Nightshade vegetables are nutrient-rich options, and many of them, such as tomatoes and bell peppers, provide essential antioxidants to the body," Apovian explains, emphasizing that these kinds of vegetables (which most of her patients consume) are a necessary dietary inclusion.

According to Healthline, there is anecdotal evidence that cutting nightshade vegetables from your diet could improve symptoms of some autoimmune diseases, but there's no research to back this up. There's also no scientific evidence that this group of vegetables can make autoimmune diseases worse. It's possible that some people have sensitivities and allergies to these vegetables, but if you've always eaten them and never had a problem, there's no reason why you should start cutting them out now. You'll miss out on some crucial nutrients and health benefits, and that's simply not worth doing just because a celebrity power couple decided it works for them.

The Kardashians' skinny tea detox is downright bad for you

If one of the Kardashian clan's health tips did you dirty in the past, you're likely not alone. According to Insider, the family has, among other things, promoted skinny tea detoxes. Yahoo! reported that Kylie Jenner, in particular, came under fire for promoting such a product on Instagram. If you've tried it, you can likely testify that these so-called skinny teas don't do anything to help you lose weight (but boy, do they force you to make a few trips to the bathroom). 

According to experts, detox teas are totally bogus, and essentially, you're simply buying a very expensive laxative. Medical News Today notes that many of these teas include senna, which has laxative properties. Diuretics can also be found in some detox teas and can lead to diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, and even death. The claim that detox tea speeds up the metabolism is also highly questionable, since research regarding this claim is "very limited." Then, there's also the fact that these teas aren't FDA-approved. In fact, the FDA warns consumers against these products because they haven't been tested for safety or efficacy.

As for whether these teas actually do anything to detox the body, the answer is a firm no. "Detoxification of the body is a natural process carried out by the kidneys," professional nutritionist Caroline Apovian told Insider, adding that there is literally nothing you could consume that will help along the process. 

Using cat litter on your face like Snooki can do more harm than good

Speaking to Conan Obrien for Glamour, reality television star Snooki revealed that she uses cat litter to exfoliate her face. "Clean" cat litter, might we add. Snooki got this idea where we all get our ideas: mighty Google, of course. When a skeptical Conan asked her if she just sticks her face in the cat litter box, Snooki replied that it's not like that at all. "No! Some exfoliants have rocks in them, and it makes your skin really smooth and cat litter is a substitute for that." Snooki added that she hadn't had any breakouts after she tried the cat litter scrub. So, is she on to something?

Experts seem to side with Conan, who clearly thought a cat litter scrub is a bad idea. Speaking to Cosmopolitan, esthetician Rebecca O'Sullivan explained that there are certain chemicals in cat litter that you don't want on your face. "Some brands of kitty litter contain aluminium silicate, the same ingredient used in glass-making as well as housing insulation. Plus, it's a known neurotoxin for humans." Well, count us out. 

Additionally, O'Sullivan warns that you can actually cause tears in your skin, because cat litter is so coarse. This can not only lead to wounds on your face, but also cause premature aging and breakouts. O'Sullivan says you're much better off opting for a clay mask.

Harry Styles' bulletproof coffee holds no health benefits

Hey, we'd be lying if we said we're not big fans of Harry Styles' trim figure, so we'll forgive you if you thought bulletproof coffee will help you achieve the famous singer and actor's physique.

Styles made this drink famous when he revealed to the Sunday Times Style Magazine (via the Daily Mail) that there's a magic drink that helps him keep the hunger pangs at bay. "Bullet coffee. It's black coffee with a spoonful of butter in it and a spoonful of coconut oil, all mixed up together. I've been on it for two days. You don't get hungry," he told the outlet.

If you're thinking that that's a lot of fat for one cup of coffee, you're right. According to Healthline, this drink is popular among people who follow low-carb diets, but it lacks essential nutrients, and using it as a food replacement is a bad idea. Also, keep in mind that the saturated fat content in this drink is super high. Saturated fat in moderation isn't a bad thing — our bodies need it to function optimally — but consuming excessive amounts is unhealthy. This drink's high-fat content can also put some people at a higher risk of developing heart disease as well as elevated cholesterol levels, according to a 2018 study published in the British Medical Journal of Open Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Beyonce's Master Cleanse Lemonade diet will mess with your metabolism

If you're a Beyoncé fan, chances are you've heard about the singer's supposed success with the Master Cleanse (or Lemonade) diet. This cleanse requires you to follow a strict liquid diet that, wait for it, includes a saltwater drink, a lemonade beverage, and herbal laxative teas (via WebMD). You do this for 10 days, and apparently, you'll feel like a brand-new person afterward (we don't see how that's possible, to be honest).

Dr. Hansa Bhargava told WebMD that while people will see weight loss with this diet because it's so restrictive, it won't just be fat you'll lose, but muscle as well. "This diet puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, too," she warns, adding that all the pounds you lost will probably come back after you resume your regular diet. Registered dietitian Ysabel Montemayor agrees. "Drinking (juices) solely will put participants at risk of nutritional deficiencies, and to put simply, starvation," she told USA Today, stating that you'll be missing out on healthy fats, protein, and fiber, not to mention that these cleanses are incredibly high in sugar.

Kate Hudson's alkaline diet doesn't do anything for your blood's pH levels

During an interview with Glamour, actress and businesswoman Kate Hudson revealed that she tries to stick to an alkaline diet. "[I]t's no dairy, it's no wheat, it's gluten-free, no meat, and no sugar. I just cut all of that out. And no wine and no beer—only vodka and only tequila, straight up," she told the outlet, adding that becoming "more alkaline" improves digestion and guarantees a proper pH balance in your blood. Is this true, though?

According to Dr. Melinda Ratini, Hudson's claims aren't entirely accurate. She told WebMD that no matter what you eat, it can't really impact your blood's pH levels. Our bodies are so amazing that it keeps pH levels constant at all times with no additional help from us. Moreover, the alkaline diet can also be very hard to follow, since it entirely cuts out foods like sweets, bread, fat, meat, and dairy. This can lead to protein and calcium deficiencies if you don't supplement accordingly.