beauty

7 common beauty myths officially busted - by science.

Forget celebrity gossip – the world of beauty gossip has more ‘what ifs?’ than the relationship status of your favourite reality TV couple.

Sometimes it can be near impossible to sort the speculation from the straight-up facts.

Here, we’ve tackled busted seven common beauty myths. You’re so welcome.

Myth 1: Dry skin needs moisturiser by the pot load.

VERDICT: There’s actually something it needs more. When your face feels tighter than a pair of men’s speedos, your instinct is to drench, drench, drench it in moisture. The problem?

One of the most common causes of dry skin is actually under-exfoliating; if you don’t get rid of those dull, ash-grey dead cells, they will use your skin as their local hangout. And they won’t let any moisturiser join their club.

The best way to tackle dry skin is this: first, kick out those dead cells by exfoliating, then use a moisturiser with hyaluronic acid, which draws water in.

 Related: Zoe Foster Blake tells us all how to use face oils properly.

Myth 2: Always shave body hair in the opposite direction to the way it grows.

VERDICT: Not if you’re sensitive. Yes, this technique does give the smoothest results. But if shaving is usually followed by an attack of the in-growns – the itchiest little enemies on the planet – you might want to change tack.

When a shave is extremely close, hairs can retract into the skin and curl back on themselves in the days afterwards. To prevent this in-grown assault, shave with the direction of hair. Bye-bye bumps.

 (And, FYI, shaving doesn’t make hair grow back thicker – because you feel the blunt end of the hair when it grows back, it gives the illusion of thickness. Waxing regrowth doesn’t have the same sharp end, but the volume is the same).

Damn that soft, sensitive skin of ours.

 Related: The makeup that will leave your skin clearer and healthier than before you wore it

Myth 3: A blob of toothpaste is great for getting rid of spots.

VERDICT: Only in emergencies. If toothpaste is literally your only option – say, you’re stranded on a desert island and Channing Tatum is coming to rescue you tomorrow, then, OK, we’ll let you. The menthol in toothpaste can help dry out a zit. But other ingredients, especially fluoride, can irritate or even burn skin.

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 Related: 5 beauty hacks using a tub o’ Vaseline.

Myth 4: Wearing nail polish all the time makes your nails yellow.

VERDICT: It won’t if you prep properly. In the (almost) words of Meghan Trainor, it’s All About That Bass… Coat. Nails are porous, so they will absorb the colour from polish – and the darker the nail varnish, the higher the risk of staining as it has more pigment. Think of a base coat as your nails’ protective suit of armour (no sword required).

Boom! Busted.

 Related: How to pick the right nude nail polish for your skin tone.

Myth 5: If you pluck a grey hair, 10 will grow in its place.

VERDICT: Terrifying – but untrue. We don’t know what kind of evil sorcerer came up with that theory, but – secret pluckers of the world – relax. It’s wrong. Hair experts agree that the worst consequence of tweezing a hair from its root (even a grey one) is that the regrowth might not lay perfectly flat like your other hairs.

 Related: Does this mean grey hair is officially a thing?

Myth 6: Fake tan gives you some protection from the sun.

VERDICT: Not a single grain of truth. Beware: a faux ‘base tan’ might improve your beach confidence, but the pigment offers absolutely no protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Literally none. The only thing that will is a product with SPF – and we’re talking a 30+ minimum, ideally 50.

We've all been there.

 Related: Common mistakes people make when applying fake tan.

Myth 7: Your hair gets used to your shampoo.

VERDICT: Nope – but product build-up may stop it doing its job. Like the old saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, hair pros agree that there’s no scientific evidence to change shampoos if what you’re currently using is working for you. However, using the same shampoo, in the same way, under the same circumstances, will always have exactly the same effect.

If you’re noticing a sudden dullness, you’re more likely to be suffering from a build-up of other product, such as hairspray and wax, rather than having a follicular fallout with your usual go-to. In this case, a purifying shampoo may help blitz the backlog.

Related: 13 things you didn’t know dry shampoo could do.

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