Monday, March 5, 2012

Beauty Myths Uncovered: Fact vs Fiction

It's true ... Sometimes you just have to draw the line. Too bad they don't teach these lessons in school, because there is a whole lot of fiction to beauty advice. Here are some Beauty Myths you need to know. 

Spot Reducing Exercise Works or You can turn Fat into Muscle 
This is scientifically impossible ... fat and muscle are two completely different types of tissue and nothing can convert one to the other. The layers are: Skin. Fat. Muscle. In that order. To see that six pack ab you need less fat over lean muscle! (Check out my Post about Skinny Fat)

Rinsing Hair in Cold Water Makes it Shinier & Cutting Hair Makes it Grow Faster
These ideas have been around a long time, but hair is dead and water is water. Although a splash of cold water will wake you up, if you want to make your cuticle smoother try a proper conditioner instead. Cutting or not cutting cannot stimulate growth, nor can brushing it 100 times a day ... more likely it will just pull more strands from your head.

Chocolate and Greasy Foods Cause Break Outs
According to dermatologists this is untrue, unless maybe you are smearing it across your face. The only foods known to exacerbate acne are those that contain high amounts of iodine like sushi, shellfish and soy sauce.

Tanning Clears up Bad Skin
For a brief moment a tan may mask the appearance of your acne but the sun can make the skin dry and irritated leading to more breakouts in the future! Plus, the sun's rays can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Scrubbing your face or washing it too much,  can also irritate the skin and lead to more eruptions.
Cucumbers or Preparation H Deflates Puffiness Under Eyes
There is no magic ingredient in cucumbers that will depuff your skin, but anything cold that is placed under the eye will help and because cucumbers are able to stay cold for long periods of time out of the refrigerator ...  "cool as a cucumber" is notably why this seems to work. The truth is that anything cold will do the trick so try placing spoons in a glass of ice underneath your eyes in the morning to reduce swelling.

Make up artists have long touted the magic effects of Preparation H to reduce inflammation under the eyes, but the active ingredient responsible for this, phenylephrine, is no longer found in the version available in the U.S. so unless you ordered in from Canada it is not present. (Check out my post about How to Depuff and Conceal Under Eye Circles)

Matching Eye Shadow with Eye Color Makes Your Eyes Pop
The fact is that it's the colors directly opposite of your eye color on the color wheel, called complimentary colors, that will compliment your eyes and give you your most dramatic look. Your shoes can match your outfit, but your eye color should match your complexion.  (Check out your best colors in my post Beyond a SHADOW of doubt ... the perfect color for your eyes!)

Organic Beauty Products Are Safer
Not always! There is no evidence that organic beauty products are better for your skin and some have a short shelf and could be harmful if the ingredients expire. This is a highly unregulated area and just because something is marked natural it still might contain bad stuff.

Misting Your Face with Water During Long Flights is Hydrating
Actually, the opposite occurs. After the water evaporates it makes your skin drier. Better to choose an actual moisturizer or a mist that has glycerin.

Cold Water Will Shrink Your Pores
Although you can temporarily make them look smaller with certain products, pore size is genetic and cannot be altered. Cold water constricts so the skin feels tighter, however, when pores are clogged with oil and dead skin they look bigger so clean them out!

Dry Skin Causes Wrinkles
If only moisturizers could keep the lines away! Unforunately, wrinkles form when collagen breaks down way beneath the surface of the skin. Sun exposure is the number one cause of collagen degeneration so use a moisturizer with a high SPF and an anti-aging antioxidant like Vitamin C. 

Shaving Will Make Your Hair Grow Back Darker/Thicker and Plucking a Gray Hair Will Make 10 More Grow in its Place
You are born with a certain number of hair follicles at birth. It is an urban legend that anything can create more. Plus only hormones can change the color or thickness of a hair. Uncut hairs thin at the tip naturally, they may appear thicker after cut when they begin to surface again until they taper.  If they seem darker it is only the perception as it grows in next to the paleness of your complexion. Neither is a reality. (Check out my post about Defuzzing the Myth of the Female Moustache)

Don't become over zealous when plucking out a gray hair on your head or your eyebrow, only one will grow back, but you may damage the root and a hair that can be colored at the salon is better than no hair at all! :)

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from

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