Does toothpaste actually get rid of spots? Can a silk pillow really prevent those dreaded wrinkles?
These are the beauty questions we all want the real answers to; can we actually rely on these little bits of info that have been passed down over the years? We look at the truth behind some popular beauty myths and shoot down a few old wives’ tales…
1. Your hair gets used to your shampoo if you only use the same one
Hair salon director, David Fletcher, told us: ‘It doesn’t get used to your shampoo, but your hair can change, meaning the shampoo becomes less effective. This can be due to external factors, such as stress, environmental aggressors, toxins and your general health. If this happens, it’s time to swap.’
2. A silk pillowcase will prevent wrinkles
‘Silk is much thinner than cotton, so you’re less likely to wake up with those dreaded pillow lines after a good night’s sleep,’ explains Malvina Fraser, skincare expert and beauty guru. ‘And as silk is a much cooler material, it also works to de-puff your eyes during the night.’
3. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker
This is one of the most common beauty myths, but waxing expert, Alley Laundry, told us, ‘Shaving causes re-growth to feel sharp and stubbly, which gives the impression of thicker hair. If you don’t like that feeling, try waxing as the re-growth tends to feel finer and softer.’ Good to know!
4. You should change your make-up brushes every six months
‘However, to avoid spreading bacteria from your make-up bag to your skin, get into the habit of washing them to prevent the build-up of product, especially on foundation or concealer brushes,’ says beauty guru Katie Corcoran. ‘Use your cleanser and warm water, press out any excess liquid, then leave to dry naturally.’
5. Dark circles are caused by poor sleep
‘The cause is more likely to be a build-up of toxins and fluid, which is actually made worse by too much sleep!’ says Emma Thomson, skincare innovations expert for L’Occitane. ‘Most of us also use too much eye product. You only need an amount equivalent to a grain of rice, applied to the bone under your eye.’
6. You should never wax before or during your period
Alley Laundry explains, ‘We generally advise against waxing when you’re close to your period because you tend to be more sensitive to pain around that time. Your body can also be more bloated, increasing sensitivity due to water retention – which is why we also recommend not having a bath before waxing.’
Read more: 11 beauty and make-up hacks celebs swear by
7. You should stick to one brand of products for the best results
This is one of those beauty myths that brands often use to their benefit. Facialist Abigail James told us, ‘Every beauty brand is formulated with ingredients that should work in synergy with each other. But you might actually get just as good, if not better, results by combining brands. Remember, not every brand has everything you might want or your skin needs.’
8. Toothpaste will make a spot go away
‘Toothpaste contains chalk and other ingredients that dry the spot out,’ says Malvina Fraser. ‘It also takes away the inflammation to cut down the time the spot takes to heal. Remember though, your spot won’t disappear overnight, and that toothpaste gels don’t work!’
9. Your products are only really working if your skin tingles
Emma Thomson says, ‘This is a huge beauty myth. Tingling may mean an ingredient like menthol has been added to give a cooling effect, or it may be that your skin is having a mild reaction. I normally prefer natural products where the ingredients work with the skin.’
10. Constantly wearing polish is bad for your nails
‘This is a common misconception, as nails, like hair, are dead tissue and don’t need to breathe. In fact, keeping your nails painted is good for them, as polish adds extra strength and protection to prevent breaks, splitting and peeling,’ says Laura Cowley, an experienced manicurist.
11. Facials will make skin break out
‘This is a big fat no!’ says Abigail James. ‘It just should not happen, unless your therapist has not removed products thoroughly, used a product that doesn’t suit your skin or has used an unsuitable technique, such as deep massage on acne-prone skin. Try treatments that are bespoke and tailored to your skin type.’
12. Your mascara should be changed every 3 months
You can transfer bacteria from your mascara wand to your eyes and back to the tube. Every 3 months is about right, but if it gets dry and clumpy before then, ditch it and get a new one. Ultimately, this is one of those beauty myths that’s less myth, more useful (and protective!) information.