So many different beauty tips are always floating around, from suggestions in magazines to wacky videos on Instagram. There’s the usual helpful suggestions such as drinking water to help hydrate your skin and greasy food gives you break-outs, but how many of these myths actually have no real truth behind them? Here’s my de-bunking of five myths I’ve heard of over the years that turned out to be completely made up.
“Never apply more oil to naturally oily skin.”
For absolutely ages, I’d been avoiding any skincare products with the slightest sign of oil for fear that it would make my skin even greasier. I have combination skin so I suffer with oily skin in certain areas, particularly on my nose and this is a lot worse in Summer. I used to use so many different oil-fighting cleansers and clay masks that never made any difference so I thought I was just stuck being a shiny disco ball. This is until one day I read that it’s all a complete myth that I should be avoiding any kind of oily skincare.
Apparently, the science behind it is that by not interfering with your skin’s natural production of oils, they balance themselves out. If you’re using those oil-fighting products, your skin is trying to produce even more oil to replace what has been lost. So all that time I was slathering myself in drying face masks were a complete waste of time as I was only creating a bigger problem! By using products such as serums, cleansing oils and oil-based moisturisers this can actually help to balance things out. The oil in these products can help to dissolve the bad stuff like excess grease and leftover make-up without stripping away your natural oils. Now I’ve got a drinking game for you: go back and read this section again – take a shot every time I say the word “oil.”
“All of your skincare should be from the same brand, and the same with haircare.”
If you take a look at basically any mainstream branded bottle of shampoo or conditioner, you can guarantee it will say something along the lines of “use this product with this other product that we also sell for best results.” This is such an easy way for companies to make more money as they’re convincing you that you need to spend more money on their particular products in order for them to have the best effects. Apparently, choosing a duo of shampoo and conditioner from the same brand is “essential” as they “work together in harmony” but it actually makes no difference if they’re from two separate brands. Although there’s obviously nothing wrong with having matching products (and it’s aesthetically pleasing on your bathroom shelf) it can actually be beneficial to have odd products. For example, I suffer from an oily scalp but dry ends so find I have better results using separate products that target those specific problems rather than a duo that only solves one of them.
With skincare, it can actually sometimes be dangerous to use all-matching products – more specifically if they contain active ingredients such as retinol or glycolic acid. Using multiple products that all contain these ingredients can be an overload for your skin and run the risk of breakouts and red, irritated skin. If you’re using just one or two of these types of ingredients on your face, this can be really beneficial to your skin but constantly using multiple of these products can quickly go bad.
“Shaving will make your hair grow back thicker and darker.”
Back in secondary school, for some reason I got super paranoid at one stage that my arms were too hairy. I noticed that a lot of girls shaved their arms so I started doing the same thing. I remember people older than me telling me that I shouldn’t do it as my arm hair will grow back much thicker and I’ll only regret it. Luckily, this is all a vicious rumor; I no longer shave my arm hair and it’s completely the same as it once was. This has also been proven as scientifically inaccurate as it’s advised that the hair you shave is always thinner at the end and thicker at the follicle (closest to your skin). When the hair starts to grow back, it can initially appear to be thicker or darker but this thins out the more it grows out. So never fear, if you want to experiment with shaving patterns into your arm hairs then feel free as it will all grow out exactly the same eventually. Plus, 2009 me has one less beauty-related problem to regret which is always a positive – I can’t say the same for my past eyebrow choices.
“Never wash your face in the shower.”
Although there is some slight truth to this one, it’s still easily debunked. According to many rumours, washing your face in the shower is really bad for your skin as the hot and pressurised water can be too harsh as the skin on your face is so delicate. This can leave your skin feeling super dry and damaged, completely defeating the point of taking care of it. I hate washing my face over the sink because I just end up getting water all over my hair, down my sleeves and all over the bathroom floor. For that reason, I do wash my face in the shower but there’s just a certain way I go about it to avoid damage. The key is to keep your shower at a lukewarm temperature rather than blasting the heat all the way up. Also, rather than putting your face straight under the running shower head you can collect the water in your hands and rinse your face that way. This is a lot less harsh on your skin without having to resort to the sink.
What are some of the most ridiculous beauty rumours you’ve heard?