There are a lot of theories out there about skincare. We read them in magazines, we hear them from friends, and with so many tricks and tips to follow, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.
The truth is, some of the most common advice you hear about how to care for your skin is based in myth, not fact. I’m no exception! I have lived my life by these hard and fast “rules,” only to recently find out they are just totally not helping my skin. Here are the most common myths I’ve heard, and the truth you really need to know. (You’re welcome in advance!)
Myth #1: Warm water opens your pores.
Truth: It doesn’t matter what temperature the water is when you wash your face – it has no effect on how open your pores are or how well your face wash is working. I don’t even know where I first heard this, but apparently it’s pretty widespread, because my sister said it to me over the weekend.
In reality, the temperature of water has no effect on your pore diameter. Of course, cold water is slightly alarming to splash on your face, and hot water can burn and irritate skin issues like rosacea and dryness, so warm water is probably what most women opt for anyway. What really matters is getting a good face wash that is geared toward your specific skin woes, whether that is acne, dryness or something else.
Myth #2: You can get rid of cellulite.
Truth: You can get rid of the appearance of cellulite, but not the actual stuff! I hate to break this to you, but no matter how much weight you lose, if you have cellulite, you will always have it – it’s in your genes. But this is actually good news! Your cellulite is NOT a sign that you are overweight. We are tormented by the media’s scrutinizing lens on the legs and bums of celebrities on the beach, but look, most of us have cellulite!
What you can do is invest in a good firming cream with caffeine to massage into cellulite-prone areas. These types of products firm up the skin, making it harder for fat tissues to poke up.
Myth #3: When you shave, your hair grows back darker.
Truth: All hair follicles are thicker (and thus darker) at the root, so when you shave them, the first part you see grow back is the thick part. Eventually, once they are their longest, they will appear soft again, because they grow to a narrow point.
I’m pretty sure this myth came from my mom trying to get me to wait to shave my legs when I was in junior high, but we can all rest assured today – no amount of shaving those pesky hairs will make them grow back thicker or darker.
Myth #4: Pluck one gray hair, and 10 more will grow in its place.
Truth: Pluck one gray hair, and you will start noticing all the other ones that are up there, too. Come on, how could plucking one hair from its follicle cause others to start growing in a different color? This myth most likely comes from a psychological place. Once we notice one gray hair, we become slightly obsessed with grays in general – making all the others look that much more obvious to us.
When you spot your first gray, instead of plucking it (and making it grow back straight up and more obvious) see a colorist. Or, rock that gray streak a la Bonnie Raitt!