“Unsexy” Wellness Habits No One’s Talking About, but Make a Major Difference


You’ve probably seen the “unsexy beauty products” trend on social media, where content creators share humble beauty finds that may not look pretty but work so well they’ve earned a coveted spot as the tried-and-true go-to in a beauty routine. Think: The tube of Aquaphor that you wouldn’t think to tell your friends about (like you might recommend a viral highlighter or celebrity brand’s lip balm) but has had a spot at the bottom of your purse or bedside table drawer for years. Or maybe it’s the Nivea cream your mom gave you when you were 15 that you still use to take your makeup off every night, rather than the balms, oils, and tools with virality and trendy packaging. It’s the unspoken heroes—the products you wouldn’t see in stylish bottles or displayed proudly in GRWMs, but are arguably more important and last longer in your routines than the buzzworthy products influencers are raving about.

This got us thinking about the unglamorous, untrendy, sometimes embarrassing wellness habits that people aren’t raving about in “that girl” TikTok videos, but are so beneficial for your health that they deserve more attention. Not the colostrums, red light therapies, or cold plunges that every wellness girlie is talking about, but the Aquaphor tubes and Nivea creams of the wellness world. Those staples that you wouldn’t leave out on display, post on social media, or rave about with friends, but make the biggest difference in your health. Keep reading for the habits that wellness influencers are definitely doing behind the scenes, but aren’t sharing on social media.

“Not the colostrums, red light therapies, or cold plunges–but rather, the Aquaphor tubes or Nivea creams of the wellness world.”

1. Tongue scrape

Tongue scraping may not be as “sexy” and cool as a red light mask or ice roller in your morning routine, but what it lacks in presentation, it more than makes up for in function. The ancient Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping helps rid the buildup of bad bacteria, toxins, food debris, and dead cells that have formed a layer on the surface of the tongue overnight. Tongue scraping removes the layer of toxins on the tongue that would otherwise be re-ingested in the body once you drink or eat, making it an important habit for detoxification. A tongue scraper may look like something you’d find at your OB/GYN’s office, but don’t let that deter you from the health perks it delivers: reduces bad breath, improves digestion, and boosts the immune system for starters. For more benefits and the how-to on tongue scraping, click here.

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2. Get annual blood work

I have a palpable fear of needles: My heart races, my palms get sweaty, and my anxiety rises every time I get my blood drawn. Routine bloodwork certainly doesn’t feel luxurious or relaxing like a facial or lymphatic drainage massage. But I do my blood tests at least once a year anyway because they give a snapshot of my overall health. Supplements get all the buzz, but without blood work to identify deficiencies or what your body needs, you’re likely wasting money on supplements you don’t need, or neglecting what you do.

A complete blood count (a breakdown of your red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit) can help identify nutritional deficiencies, while a comprehensive metabolic panel (information about how the liver and kidneys are functioning, details about your protein levels and electrolyte levels) may be used to help diagnose the cause of certain symptoms you have. Getting routine bloodwork is not pretty enough for Instagram, but it will do way more for your health than most of the trends that are.

3. Apply castor oil

When we talk about detoxification, juice cleansing, lymphatic drainage massages, or sauna sessions get all the buzz. But there’s an unsung hero of detoxification that may not be trendy, but it works—and it’s super easy and affordable. It may sound like it belongs in a car, but castor oil has been used for centuries (dating back to ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans) for detoxification purposes and as a treatment for inflammation. Because of its omega 3, 6, and 9 oil content, it boasts anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, anti-microbial, and detoxifying properties. While the body naturally detoxifies on its own, when placed over the liver, the oil stimulates and speeds detoxification by aiding the organ in moving toxins out of the body. It can also be put in a cloth or pack to help alleviate menstrual cramps and put the body in a parasympathetic state (AKA the “rest-and-digest” state), which is beneficial for hormonal health, detoxification, and decreasing inflammation. For a how-to guide on castor oil treatments (including how to try them yourself), read this deep dive.

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4. Eat (whole) grains

Protein gets all the buzz, from creators posting their high-protein snacks or how they get in 120 grams a day. Wellness girlies also love their juices, smoothies, and salads, and know to load up on healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds. Carbohydrates are the most misunderstood (and least appreciated) macronutrient—specifically whole grains, an essential building block of proper nutrition. Whole grains deserve more love: They’re high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive and hormone health, and high in the nutrients that are the most common dietary gaps (as identified by U.S. Dietary Guidelines), such as B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.  

But not all grains are created equal. Opt for grains in their whole form like oats, barley, farro, rice, and quinoa. When shopping for refined or processed grain products, opt for sourdough bread or whole-wheat pasta. Whole wheat (while not a “whole grain” since it’s processed), contains the entirety of the grain meaning more fiber and nutrients that pack the benefits. Refined grains (conventional white bread, processed bakery items, etc.) strip most of the nutrients in the whole grain. Hot tip: Check the ingredients to make sure the first ingredient says whole wheat; if the word “whole” isn’t there, the fiber has been removed.

5. Take a multivitamin

Take it from someone who has bought more supplements than I know what to do with: It’s easy to get sucked into the latest supplement that promises better sleep or longevity. But let me tell you that spending hundreds of dollars on supplements is not necessary. Your body may be getting the nutrients from your diet (see point #2), while others may be too good to be true. It may not be the trendiest supplement on the market but don’t overlook a high-quality multivitamin that can become a tried-and-true staple to fill any gaps in your diet rather than the latest wellness product.

Dr. Taylor Wallace, a scientist, professor, and lead researcher in the field of nutrition science, gives his stamp of approval in his Forbes article: “Research shows the risks are low, and there are real benefits for most people. Taking a daily multivitamin is a cost-effective way to insure against hidden micronutrient insufficiencies that can sap your immunity, health, and long-term vitality.”

6. Go to the dentist twice a year

I know, I know. You’ve heard this advice a thousand times (whether or not you are actually consistent with your dentist appointments). But the truth is that most of us think of wellness as red light therapy and superfood smoothies we see on social media rather than paying our dentist a regular visit. Sitting in the dentist’s chair certainly does not give off the self-care vibe like getting a massage or facial, but it can make a bigger difference in your health than the wellness trends.

Your oral hygiene affects way more than just your teeth and mouth; it plays a massive role in your overall health and can say a lot about what’s going on with the body. Namely, it is directly connected to gut health. Experts are looking to oral health and dental hygiene as the root cause of many symptoms, such as bloating, acid reflux, and even weight gain. The gist of the mouth-gut connection: Digestion begins in the mouth and the gut microbiome is directly affected by the bacteria in the mouth. Keep up your biannual dentist visits and brush (with a non-toxic or clean toothpaste option to avoid ingesting any added toxins and chemicals), floss, and tongue scrape on repeat.

7. Use a pH-balancing vaginal wash

Vaginal irritation? UTIs? Unpleasant odors? All subjects you don’t want coming up in any convo, even with your gyno (side note: we’re here to normalize creating dialogue around all the topics related to female wellness). But if you have a vagina, having a good vaginal care routine and a pH-balancing wash is essential for your health. A 2017 study suggested that using external feminine washes, particularly those containing lactic acid with an acidic pH that promotes ongoing skin renewal and can help with vaginal infections, is an important aspect of female intimate hygiene and overall vulvovaginal health.

Like the gut, the vagina has a microbiome with beneficial bacteria that create an ideal acidic environment to keep harmful bacteria from thriving. When there is a loss of said bacteria, the balance of the vaginal microbiome is disrupted, making the vagina susceptible to infections, odors, and other discomforts. Translation: Choose a non-toxic, pH-balanced, and hypoallergenic cleansing product to ensure you’re not throwing off your vaginal microbiome.

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https://theeverygirl.com/unsexy-wellness-products/unsexy wellness products

https://theeverygirl.com/unsexy-wellness-products/unsexy wellness products

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8. Create a budget—and stick to it

When you think of your wellness routine, balancing your checkbook probably doesn’t make the list. But financial wellness is a critical part of health that we’re not talking about enough. According to a 2024 survey, 73 percent of Americans consider finances the number one stressor in life. And as many of us know, chronic stress can negatively affect our well-being. Plus, you need money to keep up with basic healthcare (even with insurance, copays can get extensive). And while it’s not necessary to spend on luxury treatments or products, you want the freedom to be able to buy organic produce or a gym membership if you decide those things are part of your healthiest life.

Financial health is physical health because money is a tool to live your healthiest life. It’s knowing how to use the money we have for our well-being (and grow that money for more well-being). Think: achieving whatever makes us happy (creating a home, taking care of a family, or having amazing experiences), as well as spending money on our health, whether it’s necessary healthcare, high-quality food, or regular acupuncture sessions. Creating a budget can reduce financial stress since it gives you a clear picture of where you stand with your finances and helps you make decisions on where you can spend less money that’s not worth it so you can invest more money in your health. Click here for tips on how to create a budget.

9. Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth

While you may see mouth-tape all over TikTok, you probably wouldn’t be caught dead sporting it in the company of a new SO, and only the bravest of us are posting mouth-tape selfies after waking up. We love that an unsexy topic like mouth versus nasal breathing has gained popularity among wellness girlies, and for good reason. Whether you breathe through your nose or mouth may make the difference between quality shuteye and a night of tossing and turning. Nasal breathing (versus mouth breathing) increases circulating blood oxygen. Because of the resistance of nasal airways to the airstream, oxygen uptake can be 10–20 percent higher. For many people, nasal breathing leads to better sleep quality and waking up with more energy. Mouth tape has become the latest (most surprising) trend because it stops your body from mouth breathing while you sleep, so ensure you’re nasal breathing to reap the benefits.

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10. Remove toxic people from your life

Self-care is often equated to bubble baths, journaling, and romanticizing your life. But the best way to care for yourself is not what you can add to your life, but by removing the things that are causing you stress. The best “detox” isn’t celery juice or activated charcoal; it’s detoxing what’s no longer serving you—including people. You know the people who drain your energy every single time you’re with them, make you question your sense of self, only take from you, or are controlling (i.e., a manipulative friend or a pessimistic coworker)? Those relationships could be holding you back from your happiest and healthiest life possible.

Take stock of your inner circle, and safely communicate your decision to pull back from the relationship, distance yourself, and set and maintain boundaries with the help of a therapist or mental health professional. If cutting them out completely feels hard (or impossible, in the case of a family member or coworker), limit your time spent with them. Don’t engage in conversations that may be triggering or only get together in group settings. Fill your time and social calendar with people who lift you up and help you become your best self.



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