6 common beauty myths debunked by experts
Some are ancient and some are downright silly, but many beauty and skincare misconceptions are so ingrained we take them as grooming gospel.
Given they can be handed down from generation to generation, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction when it comes to beauty beliefs.
Experts kick six of the most common beauty myths to the kerb.
BEAUTY MYTH 1: Shaving makes hair grow back thicker
You may splurge on regular waxes fearing the results of the razor, but there is no need.
“Shaving blunts the top of the hair making it feel coarser and thicker than it actually is,” explains skincare expert and nutritionist Fiona Tuck.
“Waxing rips the hair straight out of the follicle meaning it grows back with a tapered end, which feel finer.
“The stimulation of pulling the hair out from the root however may in fact stimulate new hair growth.”
- Silky smooth: Your ultimate guide to the best hair removal methods
BEAUTY MYTH 2: Washing your face vigorously will eliminate acne
While it may seem logical that cleansing your skin to within an inch of its life will help curb acne, in fact it could have the opposite effect.
“Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating actually breaks down your skin’s self-regulating barrier,” says skincare scientist and founder of QR8, Dr Michele Squire.
“It can lead to dehydrated, irritated skin, and actually increase breakouts.”
- Fresh approach: 4 things you didn’t know about cleansing your skin
BEAUTY MYTH 3: You don’t need to wear SPF indoors
The harsh Australian sun isn’t only a concern when you step outside.
Turns out, even indoors we need to protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays.
“If you’re concerned about sun-related skin damage then unfortunately being indoors isn’t enough to protect you,” says Melbourne dermal clinician James Vivian.
“UVA can penetrate through windows and can also be emitted off some indoor lighting.”
So if you spend time sitting close to a window, protect your skin with sunscreen.
BEAUTY MYTH 4: You shouldn’t use oil-based products on oily skin
If you have oily skin and have been schooled to avoid oil-based products, stop and reassess – oily skin needs hydration too.
Paradoxically, one of the best ways to fight oil is with oil.
“If you have oily skin, don’t be scared of facial oils,” says Advanced Skin Spa head facialist Danielle McDonald.
“Facial oils often contain anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and soothing properties that can assist in combatting oily and acne-prone skin.
“Using oil-based can actually help to balance out your skin’s oil production.”
BEAUTY MYTH 5: White spots on nails are a sign of a nutrient deficiency
White spots on fingernails as a sign of calcium deficiency is a persistent misconception.
Rather than diet, these unsightly marks are a sign of injury rather than a lack of nutrients. “Abnormal marking on a nail is usually a sign of trauma or damage to the matrix or nail bed,” says Fiona.
BEAUTY MYTH 6: Using hot water ‘opens’ your pores
One of the most insidious of beauty beliefs is that hot water “opens” pores.
In reality, pores don’t open and close at all.
Excess heat can actually exacerbate other issues, such as rosacea.
“Pores are not temperature sensitive,” explains Brisbane beauty expert Lauren Lee, founder of Korean beauty store Style Story.
“Hot water can make the outer layers of the skin swell, which makes pores look more ‘open’, but that’s it. If you’re looking to clear out your pores, the best products are exfoliants.”
- Glass skin: How to embrace the latest K-beauty trend
Written by Paul Ewart.