While the internet has numerous advantages, it also allows the spread of misinformation, which is why we have put together a list of common beauty myths and falsehoods, in the hope that you will not fall prey to them.
MYTH: Skincare products should be chosen based on your age
FALSE: Many products on the market target specific age groups, but it is important to bear in mind that age is not a skin type.
What’s true is that someone who is in their 50’s can have the same skin concerns and skin type as someone in their 30s. Oily skin and clogged pores don’t just automatically go away when you turn 50 and dry, dull-looking skin can be a problem in your 20s. While it is true that mature skin is thinner and drier and does need a little more TLC, it really depends on the individual.
Regardless of your age, fighting visible signs of ageing should start as early as possible. The ingredients it takes to do that are the same for everyone, and you can’t start too soon. It’s like your diet, what’s healthy for someone in their 30s is healthy for someone in their 60s. However, if you are in doubt, an appointment with your dermatologist can help determine your skin type, condition and need.
MYTH: Hypoallergenic products are better for sensitive skin
FALSE: The term hypoallergenic is meant to imply that a product is unlikely or less likely to cause allergic reactions and, therefore, is better for those with allergy-prone or sensitive skin. The problem, however, is that there are no ingredient restrictions or regulations for determining if a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic.
To be safe, instead of looking for “hypoallergenic” on a label, look for gentle, fragrance-free products packed with soothing, skin-replenishing ingredients.
MYTH: ‘Age spots’ are simply a fact of getting older
FALSE: The term “age spot” isn’t quite accurate. Uneven skin tone and brown spots come about from years of unprotected sun exposure that leads to enzymes in the skin’s surface causing visible imperfections.
Whatever you want to call them, these spots are unwanted and can show up at any age. For lightening stubborn dark spots, products containing hydroquinone are a must.
To brighten dull skin and improve an uneven skin tone, look for products that contain niacinamide, vitamin C, and certain plant extracts like arbutin which can also be used along with hydroquinone products for the ultimate complexion improvement. Treatments like laser and IPL also help lighten pigmentation and spots and is something to consider if budget and time permits.
But it’s important to bear in mind that for any skin lightening or brightening products to work, applying sunscreen 365 days a year is a must. If you skip or are inconsistent with this crucial step, the spots and uneven skin tone will not change for the better.
MYTH: Acne is only for teenagers
FALSE: Unfortunately, this is not true. Adults, even in their 60s can have acne just like teenagers. And just in case you thought it was safe, having clear skin as a teenager isn’t a guarantee that you won’t get acne later in life.
Dermatologists call this adult-onset acne and it is most common among women going through menopause. Women tend to get adult acne more often than men do. If you’re getting acne as an adult, it is likely due to one or more of the following reasons: fluctuating hormone levels, stress, hair and skin products, medication and side effects, family history or even an undiagnosed medical condition.
Be rest assured that adult acne can be cured with the help of a dermatologist and patience.
MYTH: Makeup causes acne
FALSE: While there is no research that shows that makeup causes acne if you’re not removing it completely, then you’re going to run into problems. When you don’t get all your makeup off at night or fall asleep in your makeup, it can clog your pores and cause a breakout. So while makeup itself is not harmful, bad hygiene is, so always be sure to double cleanse your face every night, no matter how late it is or how tired and drunk you are and keep your makeup brushes and sponges clean, with a weekly or bi-weekly wash or complete wipe down with an alcohol towelette.
6. MYTH: Toothpaste is an effective way to clear up pimples
False: You are better off using over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or resorcinol. Over time, the fluoride in toothpaste applied to the skin could actually aggravate acne so we would not recommend this.
7. MYTH: Exercise gets rid of cellulite
True and false: Because hormones and genetics are the leading cause of cellulite, exercise won’t get rid of it, unfortunately, but may reduce it. Cellulite is fat, so the less fat you have, the less noticeable it will be; however it should be noted that even very fit, toned women can have cellulite.
MYTH: Plucking stray grey hairs causes more to grow in their place
FALSE: This is an old wives’ tale. Plucking or over-plucking can result in bald patches, so while it won’t cause more grey hairs, if you are grey over a large area, it would be best to cover the greys with colour instead, rather than sport a bald patch.
MYTH: Hair grows back thicker and darker if you shave
FALSE: Not all of us can afford to sign up for laser hair removal, especially if we are ‘blessed’ with more hair than we need on our body (instead of our head, brows and lashes), which makes shaving the cheapest option available.
Unlike what most people say, shaving hair is just cutting the end, so it has no effect on root and therefore no effect on growth. Shaved hair may look different because the ends are blunt and not tapered, but rest assured, it does not grow back thicker, so go ahead and grab yourself a good razor and get shaving!
MYTH: Deodorants and antiperspirants cause cancer
FALSE: According to the NSW Cancer Council, research studies have reported no increased risk of breast cancer in women who used deodorant, including among those who use deodorant immediately after shaving.
The myth that deodorant causes breast cancer originated from an email hoax that claimed that deodorants/antiperspirants prevent the body from sweating out toxins.
However, since toxins are not released from the body via sweating but excreted through the liver and kidneys, the whole theory collapses on itself, so instead of being a little stinker, go ahead and apply some deodorant.