When it comes to beauty tips, some advice defies logical explanation. And yet these beauty myths are widespread and continue to trip us up. With theories like facial yoga preventing wrinkles (cough, waste of time!) and feeling that you need to buy all your skincare products from the same line, here are the 10 biggest beauty myths—and the truth behind each.
1. Myth: Chocolates gives you spots
Truth: The connection is likely to have been made because many women eat more junk when they’re pre-menstrual or anxious – if you are feeling moody, chocolate stimulates serotonin which gives you a thick lift or cortisol during times of stress and it’s those two hormones that are responsible for stimulating the sebaceous glands which create spots.
2. Myth: You should wash your face multiple times a day
Truth: If you are the kind who is obsessed with washing your face multiple times a day, stop! Washing your face frequently causes your skin to feel dry, irritated and dehydrated. The soap and water strip your skin of its natural oils. Wash your face once or twice a day with room temperature water and a mild cleanser. Hot water makes your skin feel drier.
3. Myth: Never use oily products on oil skin
Truth: Skin is a sensory organ that responds to message from within. So if oil’s been stripped at the surface in an effort to keep it looking shine-free, it will actually produce more sebum from beneath to compensate. Today’s oils are of such high quality, they can help balance skin and they’re fine enough to be quickly absorbed.
4. Myth: Sunscreen is only for summer
Truth: Skipping or skimping on sunscreen is an absolute no-no! Sunscreen is a must, all through the year. The reason is that sunscreen protects you not only against the sun rays, but also against UV rays, and these ultra-violet rays are present all through the year, irrespective of the season.
5. Myth: The harder you exfoliate, the better
Truth: Exfoliating your skin aggressively does more harm than good. The granular nature of an exfoliating agent, when scrubbed too hard on the skin can cause the skin to bruise. So use your exfoliating agent to gently massage your skin and clean out the pores.
6. Myth: White spots on nails are a sign of calcium deficiency
Truth: As your nail grows, fat cells are pushed up from growing matrix – the soft area below your cuticle – until they flatten and rupture, pushing out a liquid called cysteine that forms the layers of nail plate. Sometimes they don’t rupture – maybe because there’s a disruption to the growing process caused by a heavy knock to the matrix – and the white spots you see the cysteine intact in cells. They have nothing to do with how much milk or cheese you eat, as many believe, and simply grow out with the nail.
7. Myth: Drinking two litres of water a day keeps your skin clear
Truth: "Our bodies are designed to detox the whole time – that's what our liver and kidneys are for – and there are incredibly sophisticated mechanisms in place to keep our water content balanced for the good of the whole body," says Emma Edmonds of the British Skin Foundation. "So you just need to drink when your body tells you to - when you feel thirsty."
8. Myth: Leaving make-up on overnight ruins your skin
Occasionally does no harm. However, leaving very heavy make-up on repeatedly can block pores, build up and help cause acne. Caked on mascara can also plug the oil gland openings along the lids and may trap bacteria on your lashes, both of which can cause infections.
9. Myth: You have to wash your face with hot water
Truth: Hot water is not good for the health of your skin. It strips your skin of its natural oils and leave sit feeling dry and dehydrated. It can also damage the outer barrier of the skin if you use very hot water on your face. Use room temperature water to wash your face and you can always steam your face to open up those pores for a deep clean!
10. Myth: You do not need moisturizer for oily skin
Truth: Oily of dry, moisturising your skin is a must and is vital to keeping your skin healthy. The inner layers of your skin need the extra moisture and the nutrients provided by a good quality moisturiser. If you have oily skin and are sceptical of using moisturiser, start by using a gel-based one, which is light on the skin.