Crazy Health and Beauty Trends--Snails and Vinegar...but not together
As an anti-aging expert, I thought I’d heard it all when it comes to beauty treatments. Bee venom facials. Fish pedicures. Urine therapy. Swallowing tapeworms. (Yuck.). But I have to say, two new beauty trends took me totally by surprise. So I talked to some friends who are up on all the latest fads, and here’s what I learned about each one.
1. Snail facials. Yep, you read that right! People are spending $250 a pop to let snails slither all over their faces, all in the name of beauty. (If it makes you feel better, “snail facialists” are on hand to make sure the snails don’t crawl over clients’ eyes and mouths.) Why snails? Supposedly, the slimy goo they secrete is rich in proteins, antioxidants, and skin-smoothing hyaluronic acid. But I have to ask: No matter how gorgeous your skin looks after a snail facial, who’s going to want to kiss it?
Besides, there are easier ways to get skin-smoothing hyaluronic acid. You’ll get a big dose of it from bone broth (along with antioxidants and other skin-healing nutrients), and many high-end wrinkle creams contain it. So unless you really, really love snails, I suggest voting “no” on this one.
2. Drinking vinegar. When I visualize a fun Saturday night out with the girls, vinegar isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind. However, trendy New Yorkers are guzzling flavored vinegar drinks like crazy—and even adding vinegar to cocktails—in an attempt to lose weight. You can get vinegar drinks in flavors ranging from beet and carrot to pineapple and fennel.
I’m less skeptical about this trend than I am about the snails, because people have used vinegar since the dawn of time as a weight loss tool. What’s more, some scientific research supports this practice.
For instance, one study involving people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes found that a dose of vinegar before a high-carb meal increased insulin sensitivity afterward. In fact, the researchers concluded, “Vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to acarbose or metformin.” Since anything that increases insulin sensitivity helps to burn off fat, that’s a point in vinegar’s favor.
Another study conducted in Japan found that obese adults who consumed one or two tablespoons of vinegar every day in beverages lost two to four pounds after 12 weeks, while participants drinking beverages without vinegar didn’t lose weight. This suggests that vinegar could play at least a small role in melting off extra pounds.
So it looks like flavored vinegar drinks earn a thumbs-up—with a few cautions. First, people who have problems with histamines or tyramines can react badly to vinegar. Also, drinking vinegar can cause acid reflux, burping, and gas. So start out slow, and see if it works for you.
— Bottom line for me: I’m passing on the snails, since I can get the same benefits from bone broth without the slime and the $250 price tag. However, I definitely could be talked into trying a vinegar-and-vodka cocktail at least once. How about you?
P.S. My Cocktail Recipes Booklet contains 7 fun cocktail recipes that use SLIM Collagen Broth for a nutritional "power up".