While the age of the Internet has heralded a new era for almost every field and niche, it is especially true for the field of beauty and skin care. Before the advent of technology, whatever skin care we practiced relied upon the cumulative knowledge of the generations that preceded us, the treasured nuskhas that had been passed down with every generation.
But today, we rely on DIY tutorials on YouTube and follow beauty bloggers on Instagram for their sage and sometimes, covertly advertised advice. With so much advice and knowledge coming our way, it can be difficult to decipher what is actually the truth and what is just a marketing gimmick. Since we are forever at your service, we decided to help you make your way through this beauty maze. We have compiled a primer on a few common beauty myths that you might have believed to be true. Here they are:
Remember that pore-shrinking facial that your salon lady recommends so enthusiastically? Well, that might be a hoax. The size of one’s pores is dictated by their genes and no treatment can alter that. What does happen is that sometimes dirt and grime can clog the pores making them stretch and appear bigger. And during a clean-up, the salon lady just removes these impurities making them revert to their previous size. It can give you the impression that they have shrunk, but it is just a matter of perception (1).
Well, it is one of the most popular and widespread beauty myths. Let us make it clear, no such thing is going to happen. Though plucking hair by its root might damage the follicle which can result in a bald patch. Only one hair grows out of one follicle, therefore, plucking a hair can’t give you a greying mop of hair, though it can cause fatal damage to the follicle (2).
You must’ve been told to do this when you went to school with an angry red pimple. Or maybe you yourself have passed on this quick fix to others, but we are here to tell you that it does more harm to you than you could imagine. It’s true that toothpaste does make a pimple vanish as it contains xylitol (an alcohol) and triclosan (an anti-bacterial). These do help in unclogging pores and killing the bacteria, thereby reducing the pimple.
But the abrasives present in toothpaste can cause burns or cuts on your skin if you use it regularly (3). So maybe just use it as an emergency fix?
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard this refrain that it’s better to start using anti-aging products once you have entered your late twenties for they can begin renewing cells and supplementing collagen in your body as soon as you begin to lose it. However, at that age, your skin is naturally elastic and healthy, which allows it to repair itself quite easily.
What can make those premature wrinkles appear though is smoking, and not using sunscreen. So if you are looking for the fountain of youth, stay away from those cigarettes and apply your sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, regularly (4).
Does it really work? Or is it just some marketing gimmick cooked up by the fashion industry to make us spend more money in salons? Probably the latter. You see, the hair grows from its root, in the scalp, and not at the tips which is where the haircut happens. All a haircut does is remove the split ends and prevent the hair damage from spreading to the follicle. So it’s good to get a haircut every now and then to weed out damaged and broken hair, but if you want to grow your hair make sure you are having enough of vitamin B complex, protein, and zinc in your diet (5).
Contrary to what most cosmetic clinics claim in their adverts, laser removal isn’t meant to completely remove the hair, rather it works to reduce its density. So if you had about 100 strands of hair, it would get reduced to about 50. It reduces the girth of hair, making it softer and barely noticeable. This creates the perception of less hair. And then also, to see a noticeable difference you might need to get more than one session (6).
In this hyper-real world, it becomes quite difficult to separate truth from fiction. But when faced with a too-good-to-be-true claim, one should always ask questions to verify its accuracy and not be taken in by marketing gimmicks. Hopefully, we’ve encouraged you to ask the right questions by busting these beauty myths. If you know of any other common beauty myths, share them with us in the comments section.
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