Hollywood may be filled with weird and wonderful celebrity beauty treatments, but no one loves a wellness “hack” quite like Gwyneth Paltrow.
Since launching her wellness empire, goop—which started out in 2008 as a weekly email newsletter—the actor has developed a reputation for doing the absolute most in the name of “health” (please note the inverted commas), with her willingness to try anything and everything oft detailed on the site. “I’m always the guinea pig to try everything,” she told the New York Times back in 2016. “I’ve got to try them all.”
While some of goop’s wellness advice has merit, a lot of the recommendations sit somewhere on the spectrum between eyebrow-raising and actually absurd.
For example, this month a clip from her interview on The Art of Being Well podcast, in which she admitted to having “used ozone therapy, rectally”, has gone viral. What in the goop-iverse is that, I hear you ask? Well, per Healthline, the process involves administering ozone (a form of oxygen) into one’s body as a gas—in Paltrow’s case, by shooting it up her rectum (which the FDA warns against doing, by the way).
This practice is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the actor and her company’s weird and wild wellness recommendations. So for that reason (and because if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry) we’ve decided to rank nine of Gwyneth and goop’s strangest hacks, from coffee enemas to the good vibe stickers that got fact-checked by NASA.
Nine strangest wellness hacks, courtesy of goop and Gwyneth Paltrow:
9. Oil Pulling
As per the Wall Street Journal, Paltrow starts her Monday mornings by swishing coconut oil around her mouth. It doesn’t actually sound that bad, except that for the full benefits, she explains you need to do it for 20 minutes.
“I love it,” Paltrow said. “You do that and then you have a tongue scraper—wow! Your mouth feels super fresh in the morning.”
8. The controversial vagina eggs
This is perhaps one of Paltrow’s more famous wellness recommendations—though not her most outrageous. The company initially wrote that the “Yoni eggs”—ping-pong-ball-sized jade spheres designed to be inserted into the vagina—could prevent one’s uterus from sagging, regulate periods, balance hormone levels, and prevent incontinence. None of this was proven to be true, and the company ended up having to pay US$145,000 in civil penalties for misleading customers about their benefits.
In an interview with the New York Times, the actor defended goop’s choice to sell the eggs, saying that the lawsuit was the result of it being “a little company curating and buying third-party brands that were making claims around their products”.
Following the dispute, goop continued to sell the eggs but just updated the language on-site. In the interview, she didn’t acknowledge one doctor’s claims that the jade eggs could cause toxic shock syndrome, either.
7. Burn your bra to get over an ex
Turns out burning your bra is more than just a feminist statement, according to goop. In a 2017 goop article, one writer claims that women associate their underwear with the men they’ve slept with. Accordingly, you can free yourself from memories of that person by burning your lingerie in a “fire ritual”.
6. The vagina steam
Back in 2015, Paltrow caused a stir (again) when she recommended that women steam their vaginas every once in a while. “You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al,” she explained.
5. The goat's milk cleanse
If you’ve heard of a juice cleanse, then the easiest way to explain this is that it is exactly like that, but worse. In 2020, goop published a blog post warning that “you probably have a parasite” and that a great way to get rid of it is to drink nothing but pure goat’s milk for eight days. “In my experience, an eight-day, mono-diet goat-milk cleanse—accompanied by a specific vermifuge made of anti-parasitic herbs—is the most successful treatment,” the article read.
4. The sex dust
Chocolate may be considered aphrodisiac, but of course, goop’s Sex Bark recipe doesn’t actually contain any chocolate. Rather, the snack’s special ingredient is “Three teaspoons sex dust” (and some cacao). The viral recipe, which is supposed to help increase arousal, isn’t the only reference to sex dust on the site. In fact, that recipe was followed up by one for “Gwyneth’s morning smoothie”, which called for various types of “moon dust”.
'Gwyneth drinks one of these every morning, whether or not she’s detoxing,' the post explained. “Choose your Moon Juice moon dust depending on what the day ahead holds…brain before a long day at the office, sex dust before a date, etc.”
3. The vibe-altering stickers
This one would be lower ranked (it’s not really that interesting, let’s be real) if it weren’t for the fact that NASA came out to confirm it was a scam. Released in 2017, goop’s Body Vibes were stickers that could be worn to “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies”. “The concept: Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems. Body Vibes stickers come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances”.
Initially, the blog post also claimed that the stickers were “made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear”. This claim was quickly dismissed when Gizmodo contacted NASA, who told them they “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits”.
2. The bee sting facial
Kim Kardashian’s ‘vampire facial’ may be the most famous (infamous?) celebrity face treatment, but Paltrow’s ‘bee sting facial’ is most certainly the most painful. “I’ve been stung by bees,” she told the New York Times. “It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy. People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring. It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it.” She did later admit, “Man, it’s painful.”
1. The coffee enema
When goop released its annual detox guide back in 2018, the editors raised some eyebrows with one recommendation in particular; Implant O’Rama’s at-home coffee enema. The device includes a small glass bottle, a pump and two catheters which means you can give yourself an enema in the ‘comfort of’ your own home.
While coffee is commonly used in alternative therapy, HuffPost noted at the time that there have been multiple deaths related to coffee enemas, and at least one recorded case of a subject giving themselves rectal burns.
This piece originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar Australia.