When it comes to looking good, we’re an easy sell. That’s one of the reasons the beauty industry is such a huge, profitable sector of the economy – promise us a miracle in a jar and some of us will be convinced it’ll work. It’s not gullible as such, just… a nation of eternal optimists!
Where there is opportunity there is the chance for exploitation. Many a company has made their fortune off the back of peddling myths and outright lies to expectant customers, selling products and techniques that have no hope of ever actually working. Some of them have become so popular that we don’t even think that they’re a problem or a potential issue; we just seem them as established fact, when in reality, they’re anything but.
So, let’s bust a few of the most common ones.
- A Topical Cream Can Fix Cellulite
No, it can’t.
The studies used to validate these claims are usually relying on a placebo effect, because what does help cellulite is manipulation. You could rub cooking oil into your cellulite for a month if you wanted and it will make a difference; the cream isn’t doing the work here, it’s the act of rubbing it in.
- Apply Toothpaste To Clear Pimples Overnight
For a start, this outright doesn’t work – it just leaves a section of your face skin feeling minty and dry. It might make the pimple reduce in size initially, but over the course of the day they will begin to get their life back.
Secondly, toothpaste has a tendency to be quite abrasive and can burn the inside of your mouth – never mind your external skin. Multi-tasking products are attractive, but toothpaste over a pimple isn’t the solution here. Keep the toothpaste for your toothbrush and your skincare products for your skin.
- Give Nails A Break From Nail Polish
Your nails are dead – that’s why we can cut them without squealing in agony. This is such a strange myth given this absolute, biological fact. Your nails don’t “need a break” from nail polish anymore than your bathroom mirror “needs a break” from being wiped down.
There’s some truth in the fact that acetone – a compound found in nail polish remover – can thin and weaken nails, which – if we’re being generous – might be where this idea comes from. But given you can now buy acetone-free remover or nail polish that lasts for a week without chipping, this is at best an anachronism and, at worst, an outright lie.
- Waxing/Shaving Hair Makes It Grow Back Thicker
Nope, nope, and nope again! A total myth but you’ll see it peddled across the internet and even on TV shows by those who should know better.
This is nothing more than an optical illusion. So feel free to use whatever hair removal techniques you prefer – any regrowth is exactly the same in look and texture as what came before it.
- You Need Lather For Shampoo To Be Effective
Take a browse through reviews for any shampoo and somewhere, someone will have commented on how well (or not so well) a product lathers. We seem to have an association that lather is how shampoo cleans and without it, our hair isn’t going to get that fresh, bouncy feeling that we covet.
The science behind shampoo makes it clear that the lather isn’t necessary at all. In fact, it’s mostly just been added in, using a chemical compound called sodium lauryl sulfate. This does nothing but add foam – oh, and it can trigger reactions such as a sore, red, dandruff-prone scalp in certain people. Using an SLS-free shampoo will allow you to clean your hair and skip all of the potential side effects of SLS.
6. Heated Eyelash Curlers Are A Good Idea
This applies to both products that are self-heating and the oft-quoted “life hack” of warming curlers up with a hairdryer prior to use.
Will this work? Yes; the curl will be more defined and it should last longer.
Should you do it? Absolutely not.
You probably know that, when you style your hair, you should be using a good heat protector spray. This is because too much excessive heat is widely established to be bad for hair, causing it to thin, break, and become too dry.
Your eyelashes are exactly the same – and you don’t even have the chance to use a heat protector with them. While the impact of using a heated eyelash curler might be nice initially, after a couple of uses, you’re going to grow tired of losing lashes and damaging the look of the remaining ones. A good mascara with a brush that lets you pick up as many of the small lashes as possible is a far better idea.
- You Should “Pump” Your Mascara To Pick Up Product
Talking of eyelashes – we’ve all seen people pump a mascara (rapidly inserting the wand in and out of the tube several times) before application. Maybe you even do it yourself. It’s usually done on the basis that it’s meant to allow you to pick up more product, especially if the tube is running low.
It doesn’t work – and it can dry your mascara out even quicker, as the more you pump the more air gets released into the tube. This can also be a health risk, as even air carries microscopic bacteria who will be more than happy to set up residence in the cool, safe environment of a mascara tube.
It’s better all around to loosen the cap (while still keeping the wand inside) and then swirl the wand against the edges to pick up the last dredges of product. But given you should only be keeping a mascara for three months anyway, how many of us actually even run out?
Love it? Pin It!