10 Beauty myths debunked

By: Julia McEwen
10 Beauty myths debunked

Carlyle Routh Author: Julia McEwen


10 Beauty myths debunked

By: Julia McEwen

These beauty fables range from skincare to cosmetics—we suss out fact from fiction with the expertise of industry insiders.

Concealer should be lighter than your skin tone: FICTION

If you buy concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your skin tone, your eyes will be left with an unnatural white aura, says Gregory Graveline, a Toronto-based freelance makeup artist. “Your concealer should be the same shade as your foundation or natural skin tone.” He warns that using high pigmented concealers can be too heavy, particularly for mature skin. Graveline suggests using a dab of liquid foundation instead. “The subtle preferable to a cakey-looking eye area,” he adds.

Drinking water keeps your skin from drying out: FICTION

Even if you are chugging the recommended eight glasses a day, your skin can still look dry. Of course, water is good for us, but can it really give dry skin a refreshed, hydrated appearance? Not on its own, says Kellett, “If this were true, then the simplest cure for dry skin would be to drink more water.” What keeps skin hydrated is oil, in conjunction with other factors. “Dry skin is caused by changes in the top layer of skin called the epidermis and stratum corneum,” she adds. Kellett treats patients suffering from dry skin by using high-performance diamond and silk peels, which remove dead skin cells and leave skin with a fresher appearance.


Image courtesy of Vichy

You only get cellulite if you're overweight: FICTION

Fat chance. You can chalk this one up to the genetic lottery. Genes dictate who gets cellulite, fat deposits that get trapped in pockets beneath the skin. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall and full figured or petite and svelte, no one is safe! “Anyone can get cellulite,” says Paul Cohen, a Toronto-based dermatologist, “It has nothing to do with your weight. It’s hormonal influences on the way that the fat in your body is compartmentalized.” Firming creams, self-tanners and basic moisturizers can help to temporarily diminish the appearance of cellulite, but not even liposuction offers permanent results.

You can shrink the pores on your face with the right skincare regime: FICTION

If only. “Certain lasers can minimize the appearance of pores, but no skincare regime can,” says Cohen. While you can’t permanently shrink pores, there are products in beauty aisles that can tighten them, such as exfoliators and toners. However, you’re left with only temporary results.

Split ends can’t be repaired with hair products: FACT

If your ends are looking frizzy and dull, chances are have split ends. Some products on the market claim to salvage your split ends but truthfully, nothing beats a regular trim. “The only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off. A haircut every six to eight weeks is best, especially for people with long hair,” says Pacheco. The best defense is a good offense when it comes to split ends, Pacheco suggests using heat-activated protecting products, which can help prevent damage caused by styling tools.


Image credit: Carlyle Routh

Crossing your legs will give you varicose veins: FACT

Sitting like a proper lady has it’s disadvantages. Crossing your legs can actually constrict the blood flow through the veins, “which may manifest itself overtime as varicose veins,” says Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist in Toronto. Kellett explains that these veins tend to crop up on people that have other risk factors such as obesity, history of leg trauma, family history of venous disease and occupations that require standing for extended periods of time. Standing makes the venous network work overtime, pumping blood from legs all the way up to the heart. If valves are out of whack, blood can pool, which leads to bulging veins.

The less you wash your hair, the healthier it becomes: FACT

Most women don’t have time to wash their hair everyday, but can this really improve the health of your hair? According to Luis Pacheco, master colourist and owner of Medulla & Co in Toronto skipping a few washes will help keep natural oils in your hair, making it appear healthy and shiny. “Excessive hair washing removes sebum from the hair and scalp,” says Pacheco. “ Sebum keeps hair moisturized and serves as a protectant against the elements.” If your strands are  thin and oily you’ll need to wash your hair more frequently. Choose a gentle shampoo that doesn’t leave buildup.

Self-tanner makes your skin less likely to burn in the sun: FICTION

Sunless tanners give skin no additional protection from UVA and UVB rays. “Self-tanners give people a false sense of security,” says Cohen, who supports sunless tanners because they keep people away from baking in the sun. But even if you’re rocking a fabulous faux glow, all sun-exposed areas need to be coated with sunscreen and reapplied every two hours. Even though some self-tanners include an SPF, the protection only lasts for a few hours (the same as sunscreens), so you still have to reapply sunscreen too.

Image credit: Geoffrey Ross

Storing your nail polish in the fridge makes it last longer: FACT

Any cosmetics, particularly chemically based ones, always benefit from being kept in a cool, dry place. The chilly environment helps ward off premature clumping in polishes. According to Lisa Hughes, Education & Esthetics Manager at Toronto’s The Ten Spot, it can help prolong the quality of the product, but no need to stockpile enamels in the refrigerator. To put an end to goopy polish, she suggests adding a few drops of polish thinner into the enamel to restore it to its original consistency.

Waterproof mascara will make your lashes brittle: FICTION

On the contrary, many waterproof mascaras contain just as many vitamins as regular water-soluble ones. Most mascaras on the market are gentle and even have conditioning ingredients in the formulas. The problem isn’t what is in the waterproof mascara, it’s how you remove it that can leave your lashes damaged, says Graveline. “If you’re not using the right product, this can cause problems from too much pulling and rubbing,” he adds. He recommends only swiping your lashes with waterproof formulas for special occasions or on the most humid summer days.

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10 Beauty myths debunked