Star-Studded Instagram Campaigns That You Should Be Wary of

May 6th 2016

Laura Donovan

Celebrity Instagram accounts provide a window into lavish lifestyles that many of us will never know.


A photo posted by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on

Social media platforms also give fans some insight into the normal routines and relatable moments of the rich and the famous.


A photo posted by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

When stars achieve a high number of followers, they may start promoting specific brands and products on social media for pay.


A photo posted by Lea Michele (@msleamichele) on

Many will buy featured items to emulate their favorite stars, but in recent years, health experts have expressed concern over the promotion of certain products.

Here are some celebrity-endorsed products that have faced skepticism from health experts.

1. Diclegis

Kim Kardashian Diclegis

Last summer, reality star Kim Kardashian famously posted about the medication Diclegis, which she claimed helped her significantly with her morning sickness during her pregnancy. Kardashian, who had upwards of 40 million Instagram followers at the time, included two hyperlinks about Diclegis at the bottom of the post.

Robert Dean of the FDA’s Prescription Drug Promotion office went on to issue a letter of warning about the post, arguing that Kardashian did not properly communicate any of the risks of Diclegis.

"The social media post is false or misleading in that it presents efficacy claims for DICLEGIS, but fails to communicate any risk information associated with its use and it omits material facts," the letter states. "Thus, the social media post misbrands DICLEGIS within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and makes its distribution violative. These violations are concerning from a public health perspective because they suggest that DICLEGIS is safer than has been demonstrated."

Kardashian's representative, Ina Treciokas confirmed to The Los Angeles Times last year that Kardashian removed the post.

“Kim gave her personal experience and ran this statement by the company, and the company signed off on it,” Treciokas told the publication. “Any additional questions should be directed at the company.”

2. Teatoxes


A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

An extensive Racked piece by writer Chavie Lieber reveals that teatoxes can create health problems that users might not be ready to handle. But they're promoted by a slew of celebrities from Nicki Minaj to Lea Michele, and promise to cleanse the digestive system, decrease bloating, and assist with weight loss. Nearly all Teatoxes include the primary ingredient senna, which has the same effect as a laxative. According to Lieber's post, many health experts don't recommend regular consumption of senna. In other words, constantly going on a teatox could be harmful.

Kylie Jenner teatox

"It can cause cramping, indigestion, dehydration, and is also just not particularly pleasant," Scott Gavura, an Ontario-based pharmacist, told Racked. "Taking a laxative when you think you're bloated or overweight is not something you want to do from a medical perspective. That's not healthy to yourself, and if you take it for a long period of time, it can be disruptive for your digestion and to the bacterial flora in your colon."

Some experts say the body already has a filtering system through the kidneys and the colon and believe consumers should be skeptical of detoxifying trends.

Liz Applegate, the director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis, told Live Science that "the body does not need any help in getting rid of toxins."

3. Waist trainers.


A photo posted by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on

The Kardashians and Amber Rose are just a few celebrities who have promoted waist trainers on social media, claiming the products literally train their waists to slim down and give the waist an hourglass look. Some medical experts, however, claim that waist trainers can harm one's body over time.

"It just crams all of your organs together," Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, a health and wellness expert, told USA Today in 2015. "So over a long period of time, wearing it too much and too frequently, it can cause damage too."

Holly Phillips, MD, a New York City-based internist, told Yahoo Health last year that wearing waist trainers often can bring on health issues such as acid reflux and ribcage bruising.

“You’re compressing your stomach so much that when you take a bite of food, you end up with acid reflux,” Dr. Phillips said. “What is a myth is that you can change your bone structure by wearing them. For [adult] women, your bones are formed. You can bruise them and harm them, but you can’t change them.”


A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Spinal surgeon Dr. Paul Jeffords also questioned the logic of waist trainers in an interview with USA Today.

"If I were to take a rubber band and wrap it around my finger tightly and leave it there for an hour, I'm going to have this indentation in my soft tissue, but it's not going to be permanent," Dr. Jeffords told the publication. "An hour later, my finger is going to look normal again."

4. Oil pulling.


A photo posted by Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) on

Actress Lindsay Lohan has promoted Cocowhite, which "originated on the back of a well known practice called Oil Pulling," according to its website. Oil pulling entails swishing oil around the mouth to remove bacteria from the mouth and achieve whiter teeth. Several celebrities, such as Katie Price, Vanessa Hudgens, and Scott Disick, have all promoted Cocowhite. Actress Shailene Woodley famously sang the praises of oil pulling in 2014.

Robert J. Collins, a clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, told The Atlantic in 2014 that there don't appear to be any health issues associated with proper oil pulling. That said, he is skeptical of its benefits and seemed to say that it should not be a substitute for formal dental care.

“From a public health point of view, we certainly do not want to encourage people to use things that, while they may be harmless, we have no evidence that they work,” Collins said. “It’s kind of like chiropractic. If somebody feels that they can go to the chiropractor, get a back adjustment, and it makes them feel better, I’m okay with that. If people start selling chiropractic as a mechanism to cure cancer then I have a problem with that.”

RELATED: Waist Trainers May Not Be the Best Thing for You