When we were struggling through those awkward teenage years, when our hormones were wreaking havoc on our bodies and our skin, we were most likely inundated by advice from our mothers and even our girlfriends, on what we should do to keep ourselves beautiful whilst riding the storm of changes upon us and upon our bodies. Sensible or absurd, we followed them all desperately. And even today, there are some that we simply can’t seem to shake off; why let go off of a good thing if it is working somewhat?
Nonetheless, a time comes when we are basically reasonable people, and there is a need to ask. Do the beauty practices handed down to us by our mothers, grandmothers and girlfriends that we have religiously observed through the years hold a grain of scientific truth in them, or are they merely beauty myths spun by old wives? Let’s find out.
Beauty Myth #1: Plucking white hairs yields more white hairs.
This is definitely just a beauty myth. Our hair whitens as part of the natural process of aging, and some of us see our hair start turning white earlier than usual compared to others. It only seems to us that we are developing more and more white hairs after we catch sight our first strand, because our mind is now trained to look for them in our head, and so we are now more likely to notice.
Beauty Myth #2: Shaving hair makes it grow back thicker.
This is definitely another beauty myth. Shaved hair seems to grow back thicker only because when we shave, the razor cuts the hair off only on the skin’s surface. They were not plucked off directly from the follicle. Therefore, when the hair grows back, the wide part of the strand grows out, making the hair appear thicker.
Beauty Myth #3: Mayonnaise makes for a great conditioner.
No, this is not a myth! Mayonnaise, as long as it is true mayonnaise, and not the complicated versions that are now sold expensively in varying bottles, brands and names, actually does make for a great hair conditioner*. The oil and eggs in real mayonnaise are is rich in fatty acids and protein that nourish the hair generously.
Beauty Myth #4: Applying ice to the skin makes the pores smaller.
In actual fact, nothing can shrink your pores. The size of our pores is the result of genetics, not of temperature applied on the skin, so some people just have smaller pores than others. Astringents, however make help to make your pores look smaller temporarily, as they dry out your skin.
Beauty Myth #5: Toothpaste can cure pimples
Well… we must admit that this is true! Toothpaste has menthol and other active ingredients that can dry up a pimple and make it heal much quicker than if left alone. However, the same active ingredients in toothpaste that can heal a pimple can also dry up and irritate the skin of your face, so it is better to use a pimple cream rather than toothpaste.
Beauty Myth #6: Crossing your legs leads to varicose veins.
Please. You didn’t really swallow that one, did you! The true causes of varicose veins are as yet unknown, but again, some people are more prone to having them because of factors such as heredity, age and weight. Crossing your legs will not cause you to have varicose veins, but if you already have them, it can worsen their condition.
Beauty Myth #7: Washing your feet when tired will make the veins swell.
Not a bit. The veins in your feet swell naturally when your feet have been active. It is the body’s own attempt to soothe the tiredness of the feet. In fact, it is best to soak the feet in warm water to further increase the blood circulation to your lower extremities, and take the tiredness away.
Beauty Myth #8: Never pluck ‘above’ your eyebrows
If you’ve got awkward growth or rogue hairs, I recommend that you pluck away. It is however important to think about the overall shape of the brow, and many of you will have gathered from some of the absolute horror shows walking about. Brows will look half-done if the bottoms are nicely groomed and the tops are an overgrown mess. Just don’t get carried away and over-pluck your brows –it’s so easy, if you either aren’t being careful, or else are being obsessively so. Avoid potential disasters by investing in a good Eyebrow Shaper. Place the stencil on your brow and imprint the desired shape firmly on your skin with an eyebrow pencil, then simply pluck away at those strands around the edges that are spoiling it!
Beauty Myth #9: Chocolate causes spots
Girls, you will be glad to know that this is an old wives’ tale. True, chocolate contains sugar, and some fat –but these won’t cause breakouts. Genetics, hormones and stress are far more likely to be the cause. In fact, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are great for the skin. It is also lower in calories, so if you have to indulge –DO! If your skin is prone to blemishes, switch to a light mineral based moisturizer, which allows skin to breathe.
Beauty Myth #10: White marks on nails signify illness
White marks known as leukonychia are occasionally caused by formaldehyde-based nail products, but nine out of 10 times white marks have been caused by an impact to the nail. Our nails comprise of five layers with air pockets in between. When the nail is bumped air may get trapped in one of these areas, and will appear as a white mark. White marks won’t fade but will grow out. While you’re waiting, enjoy painting your nails in this season’s hottest colour!
Beauty Myth #11: Avoid oil-based products if you have oily skin
Actually,The best way to treat an oily complexion is with an oil-based cleanser: the oil from the cleanser will break down the natural skin oil (sebum), and get rid of toxins and dirt. If people with oily complexions use products that strip the skin of oil, the skin believes it is drying out and will go into overdrive, producing heaps and heaps more! (If you have been doing this, get a sebum corrector moisturizer.) Replace night cream with a facial oil to regulate sebum production as you sleep.
Beauty Myth #12: Diet and exercise can get rid of cellulite.
This is actually one of the most important of all myths because many women will do just about anything in order to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The truth is, however, that cellulite is not a fatty deposit; it is a break-down in the elasticity of the skin. Diet and exercise may have some effect on this (especially weight training) but don’t worry too much. There are now several creams on the market, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite considerably.
Myth or no myth, there are 6 basic and steadfast rules to maintaining both health and beauty: AGELESS!
~A balanced diet (less junk, more fresh, organic veggies and fruits!)
~Good Spirits (not the alcoholic kind, the good attitude kind!)
~Exercise (take it wherever you can get it, if you don’t want to do the gym thing!)
~Lots of Water
~Someone to love!
~Something to live for!