Whether or not you buy Gwyneth Paltrow as a lifestyle guru, you have to admit the Goop founder always looks damn-near flawless. Which makes her move into beauty guru-dom one of her most intuitive forays yet. The just-released book Goop Clean Beauty includes tips for red-carpet- and grocery-store ready hair, dealing with adult acne and no small amount of “detox-friendly” recipes. Touting “clean” beauty, the book is sure to draw interest — and ire. (For the uninitiated, Paltrow’s take on “clean” beauty is heavy on superfoods, low on stressors and “toxic” beauty staples and promotes that impossibly elusive “no-makeup makeup” aesthetic.) We teased out five of the book’s tips to see whether they’re worth test-driving.
The tip: Drastically alter your diet
The claim: “If you’re ready to look and feel better, here are the rules: No alcohol, no caffeine, no dairy, no eggs, no beef, no pork… no nightshades…” [Ed. Note: Quote trimmed for length].
The verdict: No fun. Just guessing, but if you cut out most types of commonly consumed food, you’re infinitely more likely to look (and feel) haggard rather than glowing. The chapter’s one saving grace? GOOP’s “detox-friendly” Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie — a thick helping of cacao, almond butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.
The tip: Sauna, sauna, sauna
The claim: “…sauna sessions have been shown to have positive effects on endorphin levels, musculoskeletal ailments, blood flow, and the immune system’s cell activity. And, by the way, we swear that it makes our skin clearer, fresher, looking and dewier.” But wait, there’s more: This chapter also includes tips for installing personal saunas (like: opt for infrared and avoid toxic construction materials, of course.)
The verdict: So-so. A report out of Harvard Medical School claims saunas are safe overall, but “there is little evidence that they have health benefits above and beyond relaxation and a feeling of well-being.” Also: All the sweating.
The tip: Stimulate your system with foam rollers
The claim: “The benefits of foam rolling are numerous: It can help your lymphatic system get rid of toxins; reduce inflammation, puffiness and cellulite; tighten skin; elongate muscles; and bring the body into alignment.”
The verdict: If it feels good, roll it, but, sorry, your cellulite is here to stay.
The tip: Embrace face oils
The claim: “Conventional moisturizers are often made with so many fillers and stabilizers to affect texture and shelf life that they are actually considerably less moisturizing than straight-up oils. Oils feel incredible, and they can leave your skin glowy and ultra-hydrated.”
The verdict: Face oils can, in fact, be ultra-hydrating, but many are pretty pore-clogging. Find one that’s right for you here.
The tip: Massage your feet for better sleep
The claim: “[Massages] help relax the muscles in the feet, and ease any aches from being in heels for an evening or on your feet all day. It creates a real grounding sensation, which may help relieve some of the mental tension from the day, and prepare you for a truly restful sleep.”
The verdict: Pass the lotion.
The tip: Get zen about zits
The claim: “Once you do whatever makeup you’re going to do, as you go through the day, think often about the unblemished parts of your skin and how they are shining through.”
The verdict: Goop advice, but good advice nonetheless.