Beauty secrets have been passed on for generations. Granny’s dog-eared diaries have long been prized possessions among the women of the family! But these beauty tips – often masked in mystery – need not be true. Sure, not everyone is brave enough to rely on trial and error; so let’s distinguish fact from fallacy and explore some popular beauty myths, and find out if they are actually the miracles they’re cracked up to be.
Myth: Eating chocolate and fried foods causes breakouts.
Fact: Chocolate doesn’t necessarily cause a breakout! The formation of acne or pimples is an allergic reaction. When there is a clash of digestive fluids and toxins in the body, the toxins are pushed into the bloodstream, which increases the growth of pimples. A poor diet also can also irritate the skin. So, keep a check on all those cravings… not just the chocolate ones.
Myth: Cucumbers can help treat puffy eyes.
Fact: Puffiness of the eyes is genetic! What cucumbers do is reduce the puffy bags that are often the result of a long night. The cooling effect to the blood vessels reduces the swelling under the eyes. Cucumber only acts as a cooling agent, and can soothe tired eyes.
Myth: Sunscreen is not required in winter or on cloudy days.
Fact: Not true! Even if you cannot feel the rays of the sun on your skin, the powerful UV rays can penetrate through the layers of clouds, even on the most overcast days. Even in the comfort of your air-conditioned car, there is no escaping these skin-damagers. Just because the name conjures up images of a bright day, it doesn’t mean you should only use it when the sun is shining bright. When travelling by air, use a generous amount of sun protection cream. The air above is much thinner and there is no escaping the harsh sun rays which can enter through the aircraft windows. So, if you can see a shadow, remember to put on that armour of sun-block!
Myth: Drinking lots of water makes the skin beautiful.
Fact: It’s true that drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the toxins in the body. But that does not mean one must go overboard! Adequate fluid intake must be supported by a healthy diet and regular exercise. If one is not eating right and exercising, drinking lots of water will not be enough to maintain a good complexion.
Myth: Trimming the hair regularly makes it grow faster and thicker.
Fact: This is one old wives’ tale that refuses to die or fade away. A good trim prevents split ends, in addition to keeping the hair in a good shape. But it cannot influence the rate at which hair grows! This is something that belongs to the genetic department. And of course, the environment, diet and even the time of the year can affect how quickly your hair grows.
Myth: Using cocoa butter prevents stretch marks.
Fact: Every would-be-mum would heave a sigh of relief if this were true! Stretch marks occur when the skin expands; but whether the skin breaks out or not will depend on its elasticity. Applying cocoa butter regularly will make the skin soft and supple, which helps the outer layer of the skin. But it’s the deeper layers where the stretch marks are formed.
Myth: Using soap regularly is harmful to the skin.
Fact: Not all soaps contain chemical mixtures which cause irritation to the skin. Recognising the skin type (whether dry, oily or sensitive) and choosing the appropriate soap is important. Experts advise using moisturizing soap for softer skin.
Myth: Popping a pimple is okay, as long as it is done once in a while.
Fact: Leave the zit alone… especially during a breakout. Popping a pimple (or zit) only aggravates the pores and spreads the bacteria to the cleaner parts of the skin. And you might end up with worse-looking skin than before you tried to get rid of the zit.
Myth: Conditioner is bad for the hair.
Fact: This is a myth that has been around for quite a while. While many people think that regular use of conditioner after every wash damages the hair, some even believe that conditioners cause hair breakage and dryness. Studies have shown that it is choosing the wrong type of conditioner that causes damage, and not the product itself. So, like your skin type, determine what your hair needs, and choose the right kind of conditioner to keep your mane free from damage.
Be it health or beauty tips, remedies that are shared often enough come to be accepted as the truth. But just because it has been around for a long time, it’s not always accurate. Explore the truth behind all the tips you hear and find out if it’s fact or just a popular myth that’s been floating around. After all, you don’t want to do (or not do) something ridiculous, just because so-and-so’s great-aunt’s best friend once said so, do you?!