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Celebrity Beauty & Health Advice Is Often Wrong, Say Scientists

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/30/2011 11:40 am Updated: 01/21/2012 4:19 pm

Supermodels and celebs always seem to have some secret method for looking so good.

Elle Macpherson swears by copious amounts of water and "organic, locally sourced food," while Miranda Kerr had eyebrows raised when she expressed her devotion to coconut oil (four tablespoons a day!) For Gwyneth, it's those kickass Tracey Anderson workouts and those famous detoxing cleanses. And the Duchess of Cornwall supposedly swears by a face mask made of bee venom.

But scientists have decided to rain on our Celebrity Beauty Secrets parade. Sense About Science is a non-profit that aim to make sense of scientific and medical claims for the average citizen. In a recent paper, spotlighted by Racked, Sense About Science asked several scientists and doctors to take a closer look at celebrities' nonchalant claims.

The conclusion? Lots of celebs have no idea what they're talking about.

For example, Juliette Lewis' claim that "coconut water is pretty much the most hydrating thing you can drink, and much better than man-made sports drinks"? Not true, says sports dietitian Ann Ashworth: "Coconut water has about half the amount of carbohydrate but also a different balance of salts than a typical sports drink, and so could be less hydrating."

As for Pippa Middleton's claim that rinsing her hair in cold water "closes the pores and gives it a lift and shine," beauty and grooming senior scientist Dr. Frauke Neuser said, "Rinsing with water -- whether hot or cold -- doesn’t close or smoothen the cuticles" of one's hair -- moreover, hair doesn't have pores.

And in response to Gisele Bundchen's self-serving explanation of sunscreen ("I cannot put this poison on my skin… I do not use anything synthetic"), pharmaceutical scientist Gary Moss stated, "You might be surprised that you use a wide variety of synthetic materials in many aspects of your life: 'synthetic' does not automatically mean bad, just as 'natural' does not automatically mean safe or beneficial."

Moral of the story? Don't get your health and beauty advice from people whose expertise is acting, singing, socializing, posing for cameras and/or wearing couture. Get it from people whose expertise is, you know, health and beauty.

Read more of Sense About Science's study here -- and see just a few of celebrities' beauty tips and secrets below.

Gwyneth Paltrow
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Gwyneth is a devotee of Tracey Anderson's workouts and also helped popularize detoxifying cleanses on her site GOOP. (Getty photo)

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