The INSIDER Summary:
- Goop just recommended a line of stickers called Body Vibes.
- Each sticker pack costs $US60 to $US120.
- They claim to ease anxiety, pain, and hangovers and to improve strength, endurance, skin, sleep, and focus.
- A doctor told INSIDER that they’re really just an expensive placebo.
Ready your very best eye roll: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop — the lifestyle brand famous for spewing pseudoscience — is at it again.
A recent post on the site introduces readers to a new product: “Stickers that promote healing.”
The stickers, made by a company called Body Vibes, range in price from $US60 (for a 10-pack) to $US120 (for a 24-pack). They’re targeted for different issues. There’s one for your skin, one for hangovers, one for focus, one for endurance, one for anxiety. The stickers also claim to hydrate, detox, boost mood, improve sleep, and better your “self-love.”
Goop says that the stresses of daily life can “throw off” our bodies’ “ideal energetic frequency.” The stickers, the site claims, can “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies.”
“This term ‘rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies’ makes no sense medically,” she said. “There is no medical way to measure energy frequency.”
Gunter also questioned how the stickers (supposedly made from “the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits”) could possibly “come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances,” as Goop writes.
“What does that even mean?” Gunter said. “How do you program a fabric?”
Gizmodo’s Rae Paoletta actually contacted NASA to figure out whether the spacesuit claim was true. Unsurprisingly, a rep said that the NASA spacesuits “do not have any conductive carbon material.” In response, Goop removed the spacesuit claim from its website. Whoops.
Body Vibes says that the “technology” behind their product was invented by Richard Eaton, owner of a company called AlphaBioCentrix. If Eaton has any science training whatsoever, he doesn’t say so in his company bio. He does have a background as health “marketing expert,” however.
Public health professor Bruce Y. Lee, MD noted in Forbes that there’s simply no published, peer-reviewed research backing up the product’s claims. Eaton told Well + Good that conducting such research would be prohibitively expensive for a small company like his. He also told Gizmodo that research done on the products is “confidential.” Pretty convenient, huh?
The bottom line: These stickers look a lot like good old-fashioned snake oil. But if you really want to wear them, there’s probably no harm in doing so. You might even feel better.
“It is highly possible that wearers of the patches gain some real benefits, but it’s most likely due to the placebo effect — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Shin Lin, PhD, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at University of California, Irvine told Well + Good.
But why drop $US60 to $US120 on a placebo?
“It is like when kids ask to wear band aids and they feel better, but instead of a box of band aids for $US3 you are paying $US60,” Gunter said. “This is simply obscene.”
This article has been updated to reflect NASA’s comment.