How many times have you heard that eating your crusts makes your hair curly, or that eating a surplus of carrots will give you a healthy looking tan? Although there might be some scientific truth in the latter, the beauty industry bombards us with incorrect ‘facts’ about our appearance and how to fix it, many of which we willingly believe. But fear not! Disregarding the following top ten beauty myths will mean you’re a bit more savvy when you’re next perusing the make-up aisle …
1. You can’t put oil on oily skin
This myth is as popular as it is untrue. A well-chosen oil can act as an amazing moisturiser and treatment. The preconception that by putting oil on oily skin you will make it – you guessed it – oily, is totally untrue. Skin that is well moisturised and nourished will produce less oil. Try to use natural oils which will make your skin look healthy and will act as a treatment. Just make sure you’re not using something to which you’re allergic.
2. Only dry skin can be dehydrated
Dry skin is a problem. But, just because one day you discover a few patches of flaky skin, it doesn’t mean your skin magically turned into the Sahara overnight – your skin is just dehydrated. It mostly happens during the winter when the central heating is up and running and the weather is being less than kind to our skin. It’s at this point that you have to pay special attention to your skin – give it some TLC. If you notice your skin becoming dry in places, don’t try to convince yourself it’s “simply impossible!”. Rather, give it a bit of a hydra boost with a hydrating face mask – a little winter pamper.
3. Expensive means better
Good news, bank account – expensive does not mean better! There are many products that are equally good (or even better!) than ones that insult your student loan. Sometimes, with low price comes high quality. It also works the other way – if I had a pound for every time that reading the ingredients list of a cream that cost over £50 made me open my eyes in disbelief, I would be quite rich. Try to look for gems that won’t make your wallet weep – there are plenty out there!
4. Toner should have alcohol in it, not that anyone needs toner …
Objection! Having alcohol in toner would actually cause more problems that it would solve. Sometimes you need a bit of alcohol for other ingredients to work, but it shouldn’t be too high up on the ingredients list. Toner also isn’t something you use to remove what was left of your make up after cleansing your face – there shouldn’t be any make-up left on your face when you reach for your toner. None. You may, of course, not like using toners and think they are pretty useless – and I won’t point fingers at you for that. But they might help you with a few of your dermatological troubles, so consider the potential benefits for your skin before you turn toner away.
5. What you eat doesn’t affect your skin; it’s what you put on it that matters
Although the myth that chocolate causes acne has long since been busted, hardly anyone knows that your skin condition can be improved by eating the right foods. Fruit and vegetables are good for you, with alcohol and cigarettes being a no-no. I’m not saying you should refuse an occasional drink (or five!), but regular, excessive drinking will make your skin dry and dull (oops). Also, cutting down on sugar and dairy is likely to be beneficial for your skin (especially if you cut down on sugar). You are what you eat!
6. A good cleanser foams and gets you “squeaky” clean
This is by far the biggest beauty myth ever, and one of the most widespread. To make foam, you need a surfacent. This, in turn, will turn your skin alkaline, making it a perfect place for bacteria to start their families – enter an untimely and unsightly outbreak. You don’t want that, especially on acne-prone skin. You might as well just wash your face with dish soap. Instead, find a cleanser that’s very gentle on the skin, such as a balm or cream cleanser. You won’t be squeaky, but you will be clean.
7. You can close your pores
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is simply impossible. The size of your pores is genetic, they don’t open or close. Nor do they get smaller or bigger. They are what they are and will always be the same, no matter what you do. Love them for what they are.
8. Tans are healthy, sunscreen is not
Getting A BIT of sun is fine – it gives us vitamin D and puts us in a good mood. However, spending hours in the midday heat on a beach in Egypt without much clothing or an SPF is not ideal. Not only will you get sunburn (from the UVB rays) but you also run the risk of causing damage to the deeper layers of your skin (with UVA rays). Personally, I use an SPF every day throughout the year. Yes, sun is there in winter too. Who’d have known?
9. Natural = hypoallergenic
Ooh, ‘natural’ – it must be sent from heaven. Wrong. Being uncritical about ‘natural’ skin care products will do you no good. Firstly, natural products aren’t always better than your regular skincare brands and can often be more expensive for no good reason. Secondly, despite popular belief, natural products are not hypoallergenic. Far from it, really. Essential oils are, in fact, one of the strongest allergens. If you are allergic to something, check if the product you want to buy has it on its ingredients list. You might be surprised by how close you were to an allergic reaction. On your face! Yuck!
10. Toothpaste can clear spots
It just can’t. Sorry. It might dry out an occasional spot and make it disappear, sure. But, it can also make it even worse. Toothpaste is for teeth, don’t put it on your face.