5 Instagram Beauty Hacks You Should NEVER Try (and 3 That Actually Work)

Something’s happened on social media in the past year. Suddenly beauty hacks have gone from being immensely helpful to &?!*%$?!.

So after we got done asking the inevitable question (seriously, &?!*%$?!), we turned to the next logical one: Do these actually work?

As it turns out, if you’re the type who’s adventurous (or desperate) enough to try a DIY beauty remedy?a couple of these are actually legit.

The rest? Give these vloggers a double-tap for creativity, but let’s call these hacks as we see them?HACKS.

#1 The Claim: Spritzing Listerine at your roots can get rid of dandruff.


dandruff beauty hack


The Reality: Shockingly enough, this claim is true, and it’s been around for years. “Interestingly, in the 1930s, the makers of Listerine used to advertise their product as a treatment for ‘infectious dandruff,'” explains Shereene Idriss, M.D., of Wexler Dermatology. “The essential oils that make up the active ingredients of Listerine are menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate, and eucalyptol?all of which have an antiseptic effect that inhibit the growth and spread of many microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and viruses.” The menthol that’s found in Listerine is often used in antidandruff shampoos, due to its anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate irritation and itch.

Final Verdict: Keep this hack on the back burner: If you’re on a date and notice your dry shampoo is not doing you any favors, sneaking a few spritzes of Listerine on your hair in the bathroom might help.

#2 The Claim: Diaper-rash cream can clear up acne.


diaper rash acne philadelphia


The Reality: “Zinc oxide, found in diaper rash cream, forms a protective barrier that soothes the skin, keeps it dry and wards off the effects of bacteria or irritants,” says Dr. Idriss. “The drying properties of zinc oxide can be helpful for those affected with oily skin and acne.” Just keep in mind that the formulation is key, as ointments can be comedogenic (read: pore-clogging) and worsen your acne.

Final Verdict: If you’re a new mom and the closest thing to beauty shopping you’ve managed to do in the past few months is picking up rash cream for le bebe, no one will judge. Otherwise, there are plenty of better ways to treat your outbreaks.

#3 The Claim: Elmer’s glue can effectively remove blackheads.


glue blackheads philadelphia


The Reality: Dr. Idriss isn’t so keen on the idea: “I do not recommend this practice, as glue is not formulated for skincare. It can cause skin irritation and hypersensitivities, resulting in scarring and changes in pigmentation.” If you think about it, putting an adhesive on your bare facial skin just isn’t a great idea.

Final Verdict: Definitely pass on this one. Save your glue for Pinterest crafts and stick to one of these effective ways to clean your pores.


#4 The Claim: Scrubbing turmeric on your teeth will whiten them.


teeth whitening insta


The Reality: This practice seems a bit gross, but it might actually work. “Turmeric is an abrasive astringent, as abrasive as baking soda,” says Dr. Idriss. “Given its’ abrasive properties, it can put a nice polish to your teeth and maybe even make them appear white over time.” However, the strong coloring of Turmeric can actually stain your teeth (and toothbrush!) if you don’t rinse thoroughly enough.

Final Verdict: Orange teeth? No thanks.

#5 The Claim: Rubbing garlic on a pimple will make it disappear.


acne beauty philadelphia


The Reality: Surprisingly enough, this weird beauty hack has some legitimacy behind it. “For centuries, ancient practices relied on garlic to stimulate the skin after an inflammatory response,” explains Dr. Idriss. But this is 2016, and no offense to our forefathers, but rubbing garlic on the blemish itself won’t make much of a difference, and could even irritate the skin more.

Final Verdict: Unless you’re trying to ward off vampires or dig the smell of garlic, go with a product with Salicylic or Glycolic Acid to help clear up any blemishes.

#6 The Claim: A turmeric and papaya face mask will get rid of facial hair.


facial hair philadelphia


The Reality: This is just plain old false. According to a study published in The Indian Journal of Dermatology, which examined the use of turmeric for excessive hair growth in women, there was no apparent effect found during the trials. Also, papaya has long been believed to have hair strengthening properties (although never scientifically proven), so the combination of these two ingredients in a facial mask seems highly unlikely to prohibit facial hair from growing.

Final Verdict: See a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist if you’re concerned about facial hair. That way you can discuss a strategy that works best for you.


#7 The Claim: Applying clear nail polish to cold sores will help hide them.

cold sore treatment philadelphia


The Reality: Cold sores are painful and very visible. So, one beauty vlogger decided to try using clear nail polish as a way of hiding the small outbreak. After applying a thin layer of nail polish to the affected area, she claims she was able to use lipstick to glide over the spot seamlessly and effectively hide the cold sore. The video seems to prove it works, but will it ultimately stunt the healing process? According to Jessica Weiser< M.D., of New York Dermatology Group, it probably will. “Nail polish can cause significant irritation and may further delay healing of cold sores,” she explains.

Final Verdict: Sorry to say, no makeup is going to help this. Get thyself to a drugstore and pick up a cold sore ointment. Make sure to reapply often so it’s covered?it’ll help speed up the process.

#8 The Claim: Egg membranes can brighten and hydrate the skin.

egg skin care philadelphia


The Reality: As weird as it sounds, there is some truth to this. “The egg shell membrane is composed primarily of collagen, but is also known to contain hyaluronic acid, in addition to glucosamine and amino acids,” explains Dr. Weiser. It’s actually so effective that many skin care brands use it as an ingredient in their formulations. “Skin care products containing this membrane harness a combination of these anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, hydrating, and healing properties.”

Final Verdict: Although Dr. Weiser advises to simply use products that contain the membrane instead of raw egg membrane itself (raw eggs may harvest bacteria, plus it’s way easier than having to peel out the membrane), the overall beauty benefits are still there.