10 Modern "Essentials" You Don't Really Need

Publish Date
Monday, 8 August 2016, 1:32PM
Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

THEY are the so-called essentials, the modern must-haves that make us healthier, wealthier and more beautiful. Or do they?

Last week, dental experts said that flossing does little for our oral health. And flossing, it seems, is not alone – as our panel of consumer experts reveal here, there are other products of dubious value...

1. BOTTLED WATER: It’s expensive and the bottles create a mountain of plastic rubbish that clogs up landfill sites.

2. MULTIVITAMINS: If we stick to a healthy diet, we can obtain all the vitamins we need from food.

3. EXTENDED WARRANTIES: The Consumer Rights Act (2015) provides plenty of protection. And electrical items can be cheaper to buy new than repair in any case.

4. UNIVERSITY: Most research indicates the majority of students will never get their money back. Although graduates are said to earn an extra £100,000 during their careers, many will see any benefit wiped out by loan repayments.

5. PROBIOTICS: Instead of taking a supplement that you’ll pay for separately, eat foods that naturally contain probiotics.

6. SHAMPOOING TWICE: An advertising ploy to encourage us to use more shampoo than we need. Experts say lathering twice simply dries out the hair.

7. FABRIC CONDITIONERS: These can reduced the ability of certain materials to manage moisture and breathe – especially items of sportswear.

8. TOP-OF-THE-RANGE SMARTPHONES: The cheaper ones can do the same thing.

9. NEW CARS: You can buy a six-month-old car for much less than an equivalent new model.

10. OVERDRAFT PAYMENTS: Many banks charge huge fees for unauthorised overdrafts. Use a credit card with an interest-free period instead