12 Beauty Myths Debunked

12 Beauty Myths Debunked

We were all told not to eat too much chocolate otherwise we would break out with a face full of pimples the next day.  Or how about women who cross their legs will get varicose veins?  Sound familiar?  Thankfully, these two examples are in fact false.  There has been no correlation to suggest that chocolate, let alone any food, causes acne or that crossing your legs will cause varicose veins.  Actually, according to a Chicago dermatologist, people who stand a lot are much more likely to get varicose veins because of the extra work it takes for the vascular system to pump blood from the legs to the heart.  Who knew?  Genetics also plays a big role in determining who gets varicose veins as well as who gets acne.  Now that we have already debunked two myths, lets keep the questions coming.

Can I shrink the pores on my face?
Unfortunately not. Pore size is determined by genetics.  Bacteria and dead skin cells can make pores appear larger, which is why many dermatologists prescribe Retin-A and alpha hydroxys to bring pores back to their original appearance. You can also use egg whites to make pores look smaller, but this is only a temporary effect.

How do I get rid of cellulite?
Only in our dreams. Cellulite are fat deposits that get trapped in between fibrous bands that connect the skin’s tissues.  Again, genetics is the primary determinant for who will get cellulite.  There is no way to completely get rid of it; even liposuction is useless in batling this stubborn fat!  The most you can do to lessen your genetic lot is use a firming cream or even a moisturizer, which causes the area to swell as it becomes hydrated, making cellulite less obvious. Another popular camouflaging technique is to use a self-tanning lotion.

Do I need to use sunscreen on a cloudy day?
Yes!  Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean its rays aren’t affecting you.  Ultra violet (UV) rays can penetrate through clouds and burn your skin as much as on any sunny day.  Always apply sunscreen before heading outside.

Will shaving my legs cause my hair to grow in thicker and darker?
No way.  Hair that hasn’t been cut naturally grows to a point – widest at the base and narrowest at the tip.  When you shave, you cut the hair at the base causing it to temporarily look “stubbier” as it grows back .

Will washing my face more help my acne go away?
Nope.  In fact, scrubbing your face too harshly can trigger oil production leading to…more acne.  Aim to wash your face twice a day – morning and night.  Don’t scrub your face with a cloth or other harsh material.  You only need water, soap and your hands to clean your face.

Does using Preparation H reduce puffiness under my eyes?
Isn’t this what all the Hollywood stars do?  They may, but no clinical studies have been done. One of the ingredients in the product is derived from yeast and is supposed to reduce puffiness.  This ingredient, however, is no longer found in the version sold in the United States (as of 1994). phenylephrine, another ingredient credited with reducing puffiness, temporarily constricts blood vessels, but this can cause dry and inflamed skin.  Bottom line?  Stick to using Preparation H for its intended purpose – it’s not a beauty cream.

Will using cocoa butter or olive oil reduce the appearance of stretch marks?
If only [sighs heavily]. Stretch marks occur when skin expands quickly, breaking the elastin and skin fibers that support it.  Like so many other beauty flaws, they are also determined by genetics.  Since stretch marks are formed below the top layer of skin, creams and ointments can’t reach the area; although, cocoa butter can relieve the itching caused by stretch marks.

Will sleeping on my back prevent facial wrinkles?
Not really. As we age, the elastin and collagen fibers begin to break down so that when we lie with our face in a pillow and put pressure on the fibers for extended periods of time, they are less likely to snap back to their original form.  If you tend to sleep on your left side, that side might show more wrinkles, however, it isn’t anything that would be apparent to the the naked eye.  Wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent premature wrinkles, not sleeping in an unnatural position.

Will plucking gray hairs cause more to grow in its place?
Nope, pluck away. There’s no way that one hair follicle can magically increase to ten.  If you want a painless way to get rid of those grays, you might consider making an appointment with a local colorist.

Do I need to drink water to keep my skin hydrated?
Drinking water is necessary to help your body function properly, but not for your skin. Oil is what keeps skin hydrated. Plenty of people drink eight glass of a water a day and still have dry skin.  The best way to manage dry skin is to purchase a noncomedogenic facial moisturizer and apply it morning and night.

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