We’ve all heard that toothpaste can clear up a zit, and that sleeping on your side can cause those dreaded wrinkles. Have you ever wondered where these beauty “rules” originated, and if they’re fact or purely urban myth?
Recently, I overheard a gal in my salon exclaiming one should never pluck a gray hair, or else multiples will grow back in its place. That's when I decided to investigate (Nancy Drew style) and expose some popular beauty myths once and for all. Surprisingly, some of the most absurd are actually true! Here's a roundup:
Products that contain oil are bad for your skin: Not true. As long as the product you’re using is “noncomedogenic” (non pore-clogging), oil is actually good for your skin. (While it seems counterintuitive, oils help lock in your skin’s natural moisture.) In fact, many anti-aging skincare products contain hydrating oils, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil.
Toothpaste is a sure-fire blemish spot treatment: Sort of. Toothpaste contains ingredients that can dry out skin – thus drying out the pimple. But drying out the skin can also cause irritation, and potentially cause more blemishes to crop up. So, when using a spot treatment, stick with one that’s designed for blemishes, such as Bliss’ No Zit Sherlock Spot Treatment, $18.
Cutting, shaving, or waxing will make hair grow back faster, courser, or thicker: Not true. When you cut, shave, or wax your hair, despite the popular urban legend, it will not grow back at a faster rate or in a different texture. In fact, your hair grows at the same rate (which is typically half an inch, give or take) every month. To boot, hair cannot grow back courser. Period. (So go ahead and wax that upper lip peach fuzz, ladies.)
Split ends can be mended: Not true. Beyond your roots, your hair is actually “dead” – therefore, split ends cannot grow or “fuse” back together. Frayed, split ends are permanent. However, there are split-end remedies (such as Nexxus ProMend Split End Binding Creme, $10.99) that work temporary magic by bonding the ends back to together for up to three days.
Related: 4 Services that Could Save Your Hair
Enlarged pores can be reversed: Not true. Sorry, gals. Enlarged pores (due to genetics and other factors) cannot be reduced. However, there are a bevy of pore-shrinking beauty products that can help temporarily shrink pores (such as Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pure, $30), as well as professional facials, including chemical peels and microderm treatments.
Plucking one gray hair will cause multiple grays to grow back: Not true. (Thank goodness!) This one might be the biggest urban legend of them all. Plucking a gray hair will most certainly not cause another (or multiples) to grow back in its place . However, you might want to skip the pain of pulling your hair out and embrace DIY hair color. Over-the-counter from-a-box hair color (such as L’Oreal Sublime Mousse by Healthy Look Hair Color, $9.99) can be just as fabulous as a professional salon color for a fraction of the cost!
Related: Top 3 Hair Color Trends for 2012
Sleeping on your side will cause wrinkles: True. Unfortunately, sleeping on your side and pressing your face against your pillow or another surface can cause “sleep lines." Over time, these can result in deep, permanent wrinkles. So, fellow side sleepers, try to get your beauty ZZZs while sleeping on your back. Just can’t avoid sleeping on your side? Then try a silk pillow. (This urban myth is a true one, as the softness of the material will cause less face “smooshing.”)
Dryer Sheets can tame frizzy hair: True. If you need a quick fix for fly-aways and frizz, simply take a dryer sheet and run it through your hair. You’ll have frizz-free hair all day long, not to mention your tresses will smell amazing!
Now that we’ve exposed these urban legends, you can rest assured that your single rogue gray hair won’t multiply, nor will your leg hair grow back as thick as a grizzly bear’s!
Readers, are there any beauty myths you discovered were actually true? Share them in the comments section!
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