Five Things You Buy That Don't Actually Work The Way You Think
Sometimes hopefulness gets the best of us. There are alot of products out there that generate a lot of hype and media attention, but are they really all they are cracked up to be? Or are they just a waste of your hard earned money? Below are some examples of things that don't work, plus a list of things that DO work.
1. DIET SODA
Diet soda exists to try and provide a healthier alternative to its sugar- or HFCS-based counterpart. While diet soda does provide a decreased calorie count, a study by the American Diabetes Association found that it still poses serious health risks:
"Drinking diet sodas has been linked to developing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease including high blood pressure, blood fat (cholesterol) problems, and higher than normal blood glucose levels. Some people believe this link must be related to other unknown factors, such as diet, exercise, or personal characteristics. And some have speculated that the non-sugar sweeteners in diet soda may actually cause people to want more high-calorie foods or hinder their ability to estimate how many calories they need throughout the day."
At the moment, the link between diet soda and the development of metabolic syndrome is not fully understood, but it nonetheless exists along with the other noted health risks. You're better off exploring these tasty alternatives to soda.
Everyone loves a good story. A school teacher wanted an immunity booster and cold remedy so she created one, and now many people pop an Airborne in a glass of water and drink it as a preventative measure. It would be great if Airborne actually worked, but it's our inherent hopefulness in the magic of over-the-counter drugs that allows us to be misled. Good Morning America first raised concerns over the products claims which launched a greater investigation into the product's efficacy. CNN Money offers a quote from Center for Science in the Public Interest Senior nutritionist David Schardt:
"There's no credible evidence that what's in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment. Airborne is basically on overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that's been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed."
This led to a law suit and, eventually, a settlement. Anyone who has a package of Airborne can return it to the company for a full refund. The bottom line is that you're better off taking a much cheaper multivitamin, but those aren't incredibly effective without already eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Sunscreen can work and actually protect your skin, but the problem is that many sunscreens don't really do anything at all. Most of us look for a high SPF rating and call it a day, not really understanding what it means. The SPF rating essentially explains how long the sun screen should protect you from the harmful effects of the sun, and that amount of time varies greatly depending on your type of skin. (This infographic is a quick and easy explanation of SPF and sunscreen in general.) But an SPF rating doesn't really tell you much about the efficacy of sunscreen. Instead of picking a high rating, you want to look for the right amount of specific ingredients. Ocean and beach-loving blog The Scuttlefish explains:
"What it comes down to is not so much the SPF rating (which easily provides a false sense of security to consumers) but only two active ingredients available in the United States, which are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-both cover the entire ultraviolet spectrum (UVA and UVB), and only when the proper amount is used. A concentration of at least 18% of one or the other is recommended for the best sun protection."
So when you're out shopping for sunscreen, make sure you look for an 18% concentration of either zinc oxide or titanium dioxode. If you want a little help, it turns out sunscreens made for babies tend to work better on average. These top-rated sunscreens are also a good start.
4. NASAL STRIPS
Many of us suffer from allergies or other annoying breathing problems. I can count myself among those people, and I've tried many things-including breathing strips-to solve the problem. Unfortunately, they don't really do much to help you breathe better-unless you're a racehorse or suffer from a deviated septum. Mark Leyner and Dr. Billy Goldberg, authors of Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? explain:
"Unfortunately, scientific studies have failed to show any significant improvement in the amount of oxygen you receive, your endurance, recovery or overall performance. Some studies have also been done in racehorses and here there appears to be some proof that they work better in horses. There is a debate.
These strips were originally approved for the temporary relief of difficulties due to deviated nasal septum. They do seem to work for some snorers. This has been confirmed during sleep testing and measured by a respiratory disturbance index (RDI)."Super Short List of Things That Do Work:
So while they're not useless product, many people employ the aid nose strips for the wrong reason. They're not going to help you breathe any better unless you have a deviated septum or turn into a horse. If you're a heavy snorer, however, they're worth a try.
5. ACNE TREATMENTS
If you've got an acne problem, or you're buying for someone who does, you don't want to just grab any product you find on the shelf. Many brands contain several irritants that can make the problem worse. My Best Beauty Buys took a look at the research and found some of the worst:
- Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions contains several irritating plant extracts like eucalyptus and fennel.
- The Neutrogena Rapid Clear 7 Day Acne Intervention Kit uses beta hydroxy acid (BHA), which is good, but adds alcohol and witch hazel, which is bad. It can dry out your skin (to excess) and potentially make redness worse.
- Avon Clearskin is a BHA-based product, but isn't "formulated at the right pH range (3-4)."
- Kiehl's Blue Herbal Collection contains many irritants, such as aluminum chlorohydrate, cinnamon, ginger, and alcohol.
They also note that ProActiv is a good solution, but it uses AHA glycolic acid instead of BHA (which they believe is better). To find a good acne treatment, you want to look for a BHA treatment with a pH range level of 3-4 and avoid any possible irritants. If you have a serious acne problem, however, be sure to consult your doctor.
Want something you'll love that has an excellent reputation, zero false advertising and millions of fans? Try a Subaru. Head to our website or stop by to check out our new or used inventory, service and parts departments, or order some accessories to dress up your Subaru.
2. Stanley Subaru
We strive to make sure our guests are more than satisfied when they come to Stanley Subaru. We offer Lifetime Powertrain Protection on most of our used vehicles, Tires For Life on our new Subaru purchases, and offer a Preferred Guest Package Program that is similar to an exclusive membership at a country club with specials and discounts. We offer Free Coffee For Life to ALL of our guests, and warmly welcome furry co-pilots.
3. Duct Tape
No need to explain. It just works.
2. Our Friends at Burlington Subaru