Tales As Old As Time: 7 Beauty Myths Exposed

by Stephanie Montes

We’ve heard about them for generations but let’s face it; some beauty myths are just plain urban legends. We’re setting the record straight on some common misconceptions about hair, makeup and skin. See 7 beauty myths we all fall for, and which ones you should actually consider listening to.

Are You Guilty?

Which of these urban legends do you fall for and which should you live by?

Chocolate Causes Breakouts

We’re finally putting this myth to rest. Eating untold amounts of chocolate after a bad breakup does not cause the breakouts that you've experienced. When the body is under large amounts of stress, it releases Cortisol, a hormone that causes cravings for sugar and fat. The breakouts are credited to the stress, not the chocolate.

See for yourself: The next time you are feeling under pressure, try some breathing exercises or get out and do something active. This will lower your stress levels, preventing those breakouts and extra calories.

100 Brush Strokes For Strong, Shiny Hair

Since before the days of Marcia Brady, women have been vigorously brushing their tresses in hopes to gain long, strong, shiny hair. Consider this a major misconception. Over-brushing hair will actually result in weak follicles and broken strands.

See for yourself: A few strokes before bed will distribute oils and give you a healthy shine. Remember to limit yourself. Your hair will thank you.

Shaving Makes Hair Thicker and Darker

We've heard this before but shaving only gives the appearance of thicker hair. A person's hair naturally tapers at the end but when we shave, we expose only the thicker part of the hair near the skin. The resulting stubble might seem thicker but it's not.

See for yourself: If you are looking to make your hair thinner, waxing may be the solution. Waxing can cause trauma to the hair follicle, eventually causing it to no longer produce hair.

Plucking 1 Gray Hair = 2 More

We embrace any signs of wisdom here, except the very telling gray hair. Although we admit to plucking at least once, we assure you that this does not cause two more to grow in retribution. However, similar to waxing, this may be harmful to the follicle so we still wouldn’t recommend it.

See for yourself: If you are feeling like the grays are popping up by the minute. Be wise. Take this as an opportunity to treat yourself to a date with your colorist. Any excuse to get pampered, right!

Naturally Lighten Hair with Lemon

When life gives you lemons…lighten your hair. Back in the day, this was one of the most popular ways to lighten hair. Lemons contain citric acid, which in combination with UV rays create a natural lightening agent. However, this can be a myth for those with darker brunette hair.

See for yourself: Squeeze juice from four lemons and mix with ⅓ cup of water in a spray bottle. Distribute evenly to hair, at the ends for a natural ombre or strategically in chunks for subtle highlights. Grab yourself a magazine, a mojito, and a poolside seat. Let Mother Nature take care of the rest.

Shrink Pores By Sinking Your Face In Ice

A good, old-fashioned ice bath can work wonders on a puffy face. If you can handle the frigid wake-up call, the ice water temporarily tightens skin by constricting blood flow. However, don’t be fooled by the myth; hypothermia in a bowl doesn’t actually shrink pores, that’s just genetics.

See for yourself: Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Submerge your face in the water, holding it in place for eight to ten seconds at a time.

Crossing Legs Causes Varicose Veins

We’re guilty of correcting our crossed position in fear of becoming the next victim of the varicose vain myth. Luckily, we don’t have to do that anymore. It turns out that it’s actually caused more by standing too much. Standing all day increases the blood flow from legs to your heart. All this extra pumping results in puffy, blue veins.

See for yourself: If possible, take frequent breaks to walk around or, preferably, to sit with your feet up. Try to get in the habit of elevating legs regularly.