If you’re a woman between 18 and 44 years of age, then you’ve no doubt seen SkinnyMint Teatox ads in your social feeds – over and over and over again.
Chances are, you’re being regularly micro-targeted until maybe, just maybe, you start to believe that “detox” comes in a tea.
If so, then you really need to read this article.
There are lots of grandiose marketing claims floating around cyberspace, much of it downright confusing, and some of it simply deceptive.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to:
- Explain what SkinnyMint Teatox is;
- Break down the ingredients and their effects on your body;
- Evaluate and discuss the veracity of the marketing claims;
- Discuss side effects and safety concerns; and
- Provide a closing summary of the facts
What is SkinnyMint Teatox?
According to the company website, the 28 Day Ultimate Teatox is a two-step morning and night tea detox program:
“The Morning Boost is designed to give you a boost throughout the day and start the morning right. It contains Green Tea, Yerba Mate and Guarana with a naturally sweet fruity taste. It can replace your daily morning coffee/black tea.”
“The Night Cleanse is designed to naturally purify the body which could lead to reduced bloating. It contains all natural ingredients to promote the restoration process. It is the perfect bedtime ritual, take one every alternate night.”
Right, so what the heck is in it anyway?
SkinnyMint ingredients list
There are a lot of “teatoxes” out on the market these days and it’s important to think safety first and spend the time investigating a product’s ingredients before putting it in your body.
I’ve done most of the legwork for you below and have included links to more detailed information.
Morning boost ingredients
Green tea leaf
Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine which might give you a feeling of pep in your step and help suppress appetite.
Yerba mate leaf
Yerba mate leaf is a caffeine-containing central nervous system stimulant. It might make you feel more mentally alert and can bump up your heart rate and blood pressure. Note: if you have any underlying heart problems, talk to your doctor before taking this product.
Nettle leaf, also known as stinging nettle, has a diuretic and laxative effect in the body.
Dandelion leaf may exert a diuretic (makes you pee) and laxative effect to increase bowel movements. It may also increase appetite.
Guarana contains the central nervous system stimulants caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Similar to yerba mate, guarana can jack up your heart rate and blood pressure.
Night cleanse ingredients
Senna‘s active constituents are called sennosides which stimulate the bowel and causes a laxative effect.
Ginger may exert a laxative effect on the body by stimulating the bowels and may be useful for upset stomach, gas, and diarrhoea. It may also promote fluid loss as a diuretic. Ginger might also stimulate appetite which may counter other ingredients in the teas that decrease appetite.
Orange leaves may exert a mild laxative effect on the body.
Lemongrass leaf may help improve digestive tract spasms and relieve stomach aches.
Peppermint leaf may be helpful for digestive problems such as heartburn, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Depending on the dose, it could have a laxative effect on the body.
Licorice root may help people with irritable bowel syndrome by soothing inflamed tissue, helping to relax muscles, and exerting a mild laxative effect on the bowels.
Hawthorn berry is known to be a potent diuretic (which makes you pee) and may have value in patients with congestive heart failure by reducing water retention.
Psyllium seed is a bulk-forming laxative which soaks up water in your large intestines to make bowel movements easier.
Categorical review of SkinnyMint marketing claims
SkinnyMint claims that its teatox “reduces bloat and boosts energy,” is “designed for real results in 28 days,” and is an “all natural cleansing formula.”
If you’re trying to “lose weight” then this might be music to your eyes, but before you pull out your credit card, you need to first consider the phrasing and what it means to you versus what the product can actually deliver.
Claim 1: “Reduces bloat and boosts energy*“
I’ll break this up into two parts for clarity.
This is where the marketing sleight of hand comes into play. It’s not what you’re being told but instead what you’re led to believe – or can make yourself believe.
First, the company does not specifically define what they mean by the term “bloat.” Bloat is plastered across a lot of different weight loss products these days and can mean a lot of different things to different people. Does it mean fat? Water retention? Glycogen storage?
In looking at the website, the company is very careful not to explicitly make weight loss (or fat loss) claims because that would be illegal.
No problem. Break out the testimonials.
At the bottom of the page, there are a number of before and after pictures of different women claiming the product did indeed result in weight loss specifically as a result of using the product (without mentioning which diet and exercise changes they made).
Taking on board the SkinnyMint’s vague claims and the more explicit testimonials, a reasonable person looking at the website in its entirety might assume that “bloat” means fat. And by using this teatox, it will result in bloat (fat/weight) loss.
So can SkinnyMint cause fat loss? Highly unlikely. As with all “teatox” programs, they are full of both diuretics and laxatives which will result in “weight loss” in the form of urine and feces. But as a stand alone product, it is not likely to result in any noticeable change in body fat.
If you are restricting your calorie intake and doing more exercise than you were before, then you will lose stored body fat. If this happens to occur in conjunction with taking a teatox product, then you might fool yourself into thinking your fat loss was solely the result of drinking a tea – instead of all your hard work.
To wrap up this point, I cannot stress this enough when I say there IS a difference between “weight loss” and “fat loss.” Anyone can “lose weight” by starving themselves or downing diuretic- and laxative-laden teas, but losing fat safely and effectively, and keeping it off, is something that happens slowly over time.
Read my article on 13 fat loss principles for losing fat and keeping it off.
This claim is misleading because “boosts energy” is not well-defined and can also mean different things to different people.
The product contains only 2 calories per teabag so it clearly has no caloric energy value in the way food has energy (i.e., carbohydrates: 4 calories/gram, protein: 4 calories/gram, fat: 9 calories/gram).
To be more accurate, the “energy” you’re getting from SkinnyMint is not actually energy at all. It is simply a stimulant effect from some of the caffeine-containing ingredients which may make you feel more alert.
Claim 2: “Designed for real results in 28 days*“
This claim begets more questions. First, what does SkinnyMint mean by “real results?” Are they talking about weight loss? Fat loss? How much weight loss or fat loss?
And second, why 28 days? Why not 27 or 29 days?
Where did SkinnyMint come up with this number? Is it based on research? Is it just cutesy marketing similar to those 28 day fitness challenges?
I conducted a search of the biomedical databases and was unable to locate any scientific research on SkinnyMint.
It would be helpful if the company was more specific and transparent in its claims.
Claim 3: “All natural cleansing formula”
Just more vague and meaningless marketing bluster. First, “all natural” is yet another one of those marketing terms that means different things to different people.
In some readers’ eyes, “all natural” means safe and effective (as opposed to those “drugs” pushed by evil pharmaceutical cartels). However, this is not always the case and even “natural” remedies can have health risks too (can I interest you in a delicious cup of all natural hemlock, arsenic, and cobra venom tea?).
And what, specifically, does SkinnyMint mean by a “cleansing formula.” What is it actually “cleansing?” Is it “cleansing” your liver or any other organ?
To be clear, there is no such thing as “detoxing” or “cleansing,” as Scott Gavura points out in an article on Science-Based Medicine:
“Detox” is a legitimate medical term that has been co-opted to sell useless products and services. It is a fake treatment for a fake condition. Real detoxification isn’t ordered from a menu at a juice bar, or assembled from supplies in your pantry. Real detoxification is provided in hospitals under life-threatening circumstances — usually when there are dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or other poisons in the body. Drugs used for real detoxification are not ingredients in a smoothie.
Damn you pesky asterisk!
And what about that pesky asterisk (*) after the claim? According to the SkinnyMint website:
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary from person to person and are not guaranteed.
English translation: “yes we’re kinda sorta making claims but not really, the FDA hasn’t reviewed our claims, and your “results,” whatever they may or may not be, may vary.”
SkinnyMint side effects and risks
SkinnyMint and other teatox products on the market are unlikely to cause harm when used as directed (and for the short term). But side effects are always a possibility.
First, senna leaves and a number of other ingredients in the tea exert a laxative effect on the body that could lead to diarrhoea and possibly dehydration, particularly if you are consuming a lot of the tea and leaving the bag in the water for longer than recommended.
Electrolyte imbalances and nutrient deficiencies
Second, the combined diuretic effect of many of the ingredients could further promote dehydration. If you have diarrhoea, then it could further hasten dehydration and contribute to a dangerous electrolyte imbalance and nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, if you are dieting and exercising a lot, this can hasten dehydration.
Low blood pressure
Third, if you have cardiovascular disease and are taking medications that promote fluid loss, then the tea could have a compounding effect which might further lower your blood pressure and make you susceptible to dizziness and fainting. Please consult your doctor if you have high blood pressure or any other cardiovascular disease.
Reduction in birth control effectiveness
Fourth, you should know that the laxative effect of these “teatoxes” can reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pills, particularly if you take your pills within 4 to 5 hours of using the tea.
Reduction in bowel movements
Fifth, the tea should be used for the short term. Long term use could result in your body adapting to the laxative which may lead to a reduction in bowel motility (leading to intestinal paralysis, lazy gut, and irritable bowel syndrome) and make you dependent on the tea for normal bowel movements. If you’re having problems with your bowel movements after using the tea, you should consult your doctor for further evaluation.
Weight loss abuse
Sixth, because the teas promote “weight loss” through increased urine and feces loss, consumers obsessed with quick-fix weight loss products may be at higher risk for abuse. If you’re the parent of a teen with body image issues, you should pay particular attention to their use of the products.
How much does SkinnyMint Teatox cost?
If you’re looking to buy SkinnyMint, it isn’t cheap. It will cost you about $55 US dollars and $70 dollars in Australia if you buy it on their website. I’ve also seen it sold on Amazon at higher and lower price points.
Return / refund policy
There is a return policy, but there’s also a catch.
According to the website, you can return your order within 60 days of purchase, but it must be unopened and in the original packaging.
So if you try the product and don’t like it or get the “results” you were expecting, then tough luck, no refund for you.
If SkinnyMint wants to put its money where its mouth is, then they should be willing to offer refunds to unsatisfied customers.
Bottom line: Should you buy SkinnyMint Teatox?
I hate having to be the jerk that ruins all the fun, but please allow me to smack you in the face with a wet fish and state unequivocally that there is no such thing as a “detox tea” except perhaps in name and branding only.
Let’s be clear that the word “detox” and its taxonomic offspring “teatox” are marketing terms and have no scientific basis.
Neither SkinnyMint nor any other “teatox” on the market causes fat loss. If you’re expecting to lose fat with the product alone (without eating less and exercising), then you will be disappointed.
If you’re expecting to “lose weight,” the laxatives and diuretics will do that, but you can expect to gain it all back when you stop using the product.
Bottom line: if you insist on using this product, then make sure you do not have any underlying health issues and use it only for the short term (for reasons I listed in side effects and risks).