Ask your average 17-year-old woman what she can’t leave the house without, and she’ll usually say something like “my phone” or “my wallet”. Makes sense — in 2015, these are considered essentials.
For Kylie Jenner, however, the answer is “weight loss detox tea”.
The youngest member of the Kardashian fan seems to be following in big sister Kendall Jenner‘s footsteps, by using ‘teatoxing’ as a way to stay slim. Yesterday, Jenner posed for an Instagram shot with a packet of FitTea, which she captioned: “Couldn’t leave the house without my @FitTea detox….”
So far, that photo has amassed 1.2 million likes and hundreds of comments.
Jenner isn't the first celebrity to jump on the teatox bandwagon. Her sister Kendall revealed earlier this year she drinks "like, 12 cups a day" of detox tea in preparation for her runway appearances, while E! presenter Giuliana Rancic reportedly followed the Ultimate Tea Diet in the leadup to her wedding.
Sarah Hyland, Scott Disick, Vanessa Hudgens and Lindsay Lohan have also spruiked detox tea programs on their personal Instagram accounts. “Love my @booteauk teatox! So easy to use on the move,” Lohan wrote in a caption last month.
If you haven't heard of the teatoxing trend before, it's exactly what the name suggests — a 'detox' program involving specially formulated teas that claim to offer a host of health benefits. Some of these teatoxes last a week, while others recommend 28 days of use. In most cases, you order the products online.
Often these tea programs are marketed on weight loss benefits. Jenner's product of choice, FitTea, claims on its website that it's "The best fat loss tea and dieter's tea". Nutritionist and dietician Arabella Forge says this marketing is concerning, because many detox teas are known to contain laxative ingredients that could induce weight loss in a potentially damaging way.
"Certain herbal ingredients have quite a strong laxative effect, and that can do quite a bit of damage to the body particularly if you're consuming it in excess," Arabella explains.
"It might make you feel that you're losing weight because you're going to the toilet all the time, but that can actually have quite dire consequences — it can affect your bowel and how it functions, and long term implications as well. Definitely, this kind of product can be taken to extremes." (Post continues after gallery.)
Indeed, some users might lose weight after embarking on a teatox, but Arabella says this isn't necessarily attributable to the tea itself; it could simply result from that person becoming more interested or proactive about their overall approach to health and eating well.
However, people don't only use teatoxes for the 'weight loss' aspect. Some brands boast clear skin, improved digestion, increased energy and less bloating positive outcomes of their teas.