Do you splurge on pricey cellulite creams? Swear by blackhead removing stripes? They may not be as effective as you think. To separate fact from fiction, we expose 10 of the biggest beauty myths.
1. Blackhead removing strips work
False. The truth is, the only way to remove blackheads is via manual extraction, something that’s typically part of a facial. Those black spots you see when you rip off a strip from your nose are nothing more than dirt and hair.
2. Cellulite creams work
False. It’s unfortunate, but true, no matter what a particular cream or gel tube tells you, there is no miracle in a bottle when it comes to fighting cellulite. That said, some products can create a tightening effect, but nothing permanent in the way of ridding the body of dimples.
3. You only need sunscreen when it’s sunny
False. UVA rays (the ones that cause wrinkles), are equally strong all year round and unlike UVB (the ones that cause sunburns), they penetrate through window glass. You might not see the damage now from not wearing SPF year round, but age spots, wrinkles, or in the worst cases, skin cancer, begin to appear as you age.
4. Serums are a waste of time and money
False. Many women don’t apply a serum under their treatment product and while it’s not the end of the world to have your anti-aging cream, moisturizer, or whatever cream you are applying to improve your skin texture perform to its optimal potential, applying a serum beforehand will not only help loosen up your skin making it more permeable, but serums have a higher concentration of active ingredients, making it critical when you’re having a hard time seeing results.
5. Toners are a waste of time and money
False. A skincare routine should ideally start with a toner (if you find your toner irritating it might be because it contains alcohol, so opt for an alcohol-free one to be on the safe side), especially in the wintertime to maintain optimal skin hydration.
6. You can use the same skincare products year round
False. Skin reacts to weather, so it acts differently from summer to winter, meaning that products have to be adjusted. For example, skin tends to produce less oil in the winter, so opting for moisturizers and hair products that target dry skin is crucial for most people.
7. Greasy food and chocolate will make you break out
False. If the grease in your burger and fries is drizzling all around your mouth area while you eat, I imagine you might break out, but there has been no hard evidence to suggest that just eating these foods causes breakouts.
8. Oily skin doesn’t need hydration
False. Moisturizing is an essential component in maintaining healthy skin cells. When treating oily skin (common in the summer), skip greasy, oil-based moisturizers and opt instead for water-based, oil-free ones.
9. Crossing legs will cause varicose or spider veins
False. A commonly held belief is that sitting with your legs crossed increases vein pressure resulting in varicose or spider veins, but this theory has never been proven. The main culprits are family history, pregnancy, and aging. Some studies, however, have shown that wearing compression hosiery can help prevent them (to a minimal degree), since they apply slight pressure around the leg, decreasing the volume of the veins.
10. Heavy creams are the most effective
False. More is not better when it comes to skincare. Skin can only absorb so much and if you over-apply, especially when dealing with heavy creams, skin will have a hard time absorbing what you’ve applied. As a result, the product will just sit on the skin’s surface, weighing down skin tissue.
image: Ipanema ad/Gisele Bundchen