True or false? We get to the bottom of 7 beauty myths
In today’s age of photoshopping and airbrushing, the beauty industry has become notorious for being somewhat flexible with the truth. With this in mind, we’re here to bust 7 common beauty myths that sound convincing enough on the surface, but don’t necessarily hold up to scrutiny.
1. The cleaner your skin, the healthier it is
You know that nice, tight feeling you get after giving your face a good clean? Well, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Using harsh products, scrubbing too vigorously or washing your face more than twice a day can strip away the natural oils acting as a moisture barrier to keep your skin looking and feeling good. You’re better off opting for a gentle cleanser, like one based on glucose or made from coconut oil, that removes residues of dirt, oil and makeup, without drying out your skin. Something else to remember: if you use cleanser at night, a quick splash of cool water in the morning should be enough to shake off any nighttime build up.
2. With beauty products, you get what you pay for
We have a tendency to think that the price of a beauty product is directly proportionate to its quality. That’s why we’re often willing to pay a small fortune for a well-known brand, especially if it comes in a pretty package. But, in fact, the cheaper drugstore equivalent may be just as effective in terms of active ingredients. Before you head out to the shops to buy a certain product, check out what actual users are saying about it in their reviews – you may be surprised. One last tip – you don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a commercial product – there are plenty of simple home remedies that do the same job, for a fraction of the price.
3. Natural or organic products are better for your skin
Yes, organic fruit and veg is likely to be better for you, because it isn’t full of chemicals and pesticides, but the same isn’t necessarily true when it comes to skincare products. Essential oils, for example, can be harsh on the skin because they are so concentrated. On the other hand, synthetic ingredients can be milder and more effective, because they have been specifically formulated for use on the skin.
4. Shaving makes hair grow back thicker
Whether legs, underarm of facial hair, wisdom handed down through the ages tells us that it’s best to avoid shaving, unless you want to end up hairier than when you started. In fact, hair growth is determined by the follicle deep within the skin, so shaving the tips poking out of the surface won’t affect it at all. It is however true that, as the hair regrows, it may feel rougher or thicker, because the fine tip has been chopped off.
5. Eating junk food causes acne
While avoiding unhealthy dietary choices, such as hamburgers, chocolate, greasy and fried foods, is to be encouraged in general, there is currently no actual scientific evidence that connects these foods to breakouts of acne. There are many causes of acne, including heredity – if your parents were spotty, you’re more likely to be; hormones – you may find yourself more prone to breakouts during your period or if you’re taking certain contraceptive pills; and certain skin care products – some can actually clog pores.
That’s not to say that diet doesn’t affect acne at all. People who are prone to flare-ups are advised to avoid dairy and high-glycemic foods and refined carbohydrates, like sugars and processed grains, while as little as one portion a week of anti-inflammatory foods, like green tea, broccoli, and oily fish can reduce the risk of acne.
6. Facial exercises keep wrinkles at bay
Exercise is a great way to firm and tighten up, but not so much when it comes to your face. By creasing the delicate skin over and over again, exercising our facial muscles can actually contribute to wrinkling. There’s also no proof that such exercises help reduce sagging or loose skin, because this is caused by reduced collagen, elastin and fat, rather than a lack of toning.
7. Drinking water hydrates your skin
Before we debunk this myth, it’s important to stress that it is incredibly important to our overall health to drink plenty of water – as much as 6-8 glasses a day. It’s just that, unless you are severely dehydrated, there’s no proven causal link between how much water you drink and the state of your skin. If you do suffer from dry skin, you’re better off applying a moisturizing lotion straight after your shower, and avoiding using skincare products that contain ingredients like alcohol, sodium chloride and Salicylic acid.