|Source: Paula Begoun Cosmetics Cop
The world of beauty can indeed be beautiful, but all too often the information you get is anything but beautiful—actually, it can be downright ugly! Sometimes the advertising and sales pitches you read and hear are minor distortions of facts or borderline deceptive; in other cases, they are out-and-out lies. Whether this information comes from a physician or from a well-intentioned website, the Paula’s Choice Research Team spends a lot of time untangling the insanity to help you get to the truth.
Below we present five beauty lies that many people believe. Perhaps you have come across this information in a magazine or online, or heard it from your doctor, a friend, or a family member. No matter how you got this misinformation or where you heard these lies, we’re here to set the record straight—to give you the most up-to-date, reliable information so you can take the best possible care of your skin! Knowledge is beautiful!
Lie #1: Dry skin? Drink more water! The truth: We see this tip all the time, and wish it were true; after all, it doesn’t get much easier than just drinking water! But, have you ever met someone who said that their dry skin went away from drinking lots of water? It doesn’t happen. The truth is dry skin isn’t about water consumption. If all it took to get rid of dry skin was drinking more water, then no one would have dry skin, and companies would stop selling moisturizers—and we all know that’s not the case! The causes of and treatments for dry skin are far more complicated than just drinking water; plus, drinking more water than your body needs will only result in more trips to the bathroom. Read more about how to treat dry skin.
Lie #2: You can repair damaged hair. The truth: Countless hair-care products, including hair masks and so-called “deep” conditioners, make claims of repairing hair, as if all the damaging things we do to it (coloring, straightening, brushing, sun exposure) can be mended by using these types of products. The truth is hair is dead. Period. It’s dead, which is why it doesn’t hurt when you get your hair cut. Given that it’s dead, it cannot be repaired or permanently revert to its normal state. You can no more mend a hair strand than you can mend a dead leaf or soften a rock. What does happen when you use good conditioners and good styling products is that your damaged hair can feel smoother and softer and it can look shinier and more healthy, but it’s not repaired. These products provide only a temporary fix—if you don’t keep using them, you hair will go back to looking and feeling damaged. If a hair-care product could truly repair your hair, you’d need to use it only a few times and then you’d be done, but clearly that isn’t what happens!
Lie #3: There’s a product that can get rid of cellulite. The truth: The 85% of women who have cellulite would love it if this were true (all of us here at Paula’s Choice would, too), but, alas, it’s just one more falsehood. The cosmetics industry, and lots of doctors and aestheticians, want to sell you products and/or provide treatments (especially expensive ones) claiming to slim, trim, tone, and de-bump your thighs, but if any of those worked, who would have cellulite?
Trying to navigate and separate cellulite facts from fiction isn’t easy, but there is a bit of positive news. There are a few options, such as some lasers and retinoids, that may make a difference, but even these treatments, which do have some potential for working (and we mean only the “potential” for working; it’s not a sure thing) rarely live up to the claims asserted. Still, a bit of improvement, as opposed to merely wasting your money, is definitely a turn for the better! Read moreabout what you can do to improve (but, sadly, not get rid of) cellulite.
Lie #4: One special ingredient (like vitamin C or peptides) is all aging skin needs. The truth: Given the advertising, it would seem that most cosmetics companies believe this is true—that one ingredient alone can do it all—because they perpetually launch products with one showcased ingredient, be it plant stem cells, a special melon extract from the south of France, or a plant oil from Morocco. Although there are lots of special ingredients that are great for skin (and hair), the truth is that giving your skin what it needs to act younger and be more healthy is far more complex than providing it with one ingredient, no matter how good it is.
Lie #5: Parabens are bad for you, so avoid products that contain them. The truth: The “parabens = bad” myth is so pervasive that many people have opted to take a better-safe-than-sorry approach. We can’t say we blame you for being cautious, but make sure your decision is based on facts, not on media-fueled misinformation. As it turns out, parabens are actually some of the gentlest preservatives used in cosmetics.
Parabens may come in the form of butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben. They’ve been linked distantly (meaning in limited studies on only a handful of subjects or in animal studies) to breast cancer due to their weak estrogenic activity and their presence in a tiny number of breast cancer tissue samples. That cancer connection, however remote, has some people worried. The truth is: There is no research proving parabens should be avoided when shopping for personal-care products, for yourself or for your family, at least no more so than avoiding plants that have estrogenic activity.
According to published research and global cosmetics regulatory organizations, from the United States and Canada to Europe and Asia, parabens, especially in the small amounts present in personal-care products, are not a problem. According to these studies (and assuming the parabens get into the body), parabens are “fully metabolized before they enter the blood stream,” which is more than can be said for some plant extracts with estrogenic activity, but no one is trying to scare you into avoiding plants.
The next time you come across a beauty tip or a claim that sounds too simple, too good to be true, or downright scary, you can almost always count on it being a beauty lie—and you can count on us to help you understand why!
Looking for some fresh ideas for fall? These are some of my favorite picks for the season. Have fun!
1. A spritz of Fall– Lolita Lempika Fragrance is an enchanting and alluring fragrance that gently balances the sweetness of ivy leaves and aniseed with delicate violet and iris root, and finishes with a smooth hint of vanilla and musk. This sensual fragrance is pure, light, and endearing. $72 for 1 oz.
2. Fresh Locks– Rahua Voluminous Shampoo. This shampoo contains lemongrass and green tea, which are mild cleansers. The results are fresh scent, clean and bouncy fullness. $32
3. Perfect Skin In A Bottle– Arbonne Sheer Finishes Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 delivers sun protection and natural-looking coverage while restoring and maintaining optimal moisture balance. $38
4. The Lip is the Limit– Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm. On one side of this innovative, two-in-one product: a feather-resistant stain that won’t budge for 8 hours. On the other: a very emollient balm that can be worn alone or over the stain for a lustrous touch. Berry. $23
5. Get Cheeky– Lorac Pro Powder Cheek Stain. An innovative, 12-hour long-wear powder blush stain infused with skin-nourishing nutrients. Petal Pink $20
6. Get Your Gloss On– Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15. This is everything lips want- A wide range of glistening shades, each is packed with mouth-watering moisture and hours of long-wearing comfort. Protects lips from sun damage with SPF 15 sunscreen. Bamboo Pink $15
7. Mascara Mojo– Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara. Break every law of lengthening.4mm of measurable extensions! This waterproof mascara is amazing. This clump free formula extends every little lash. This is a must have! $15
8. The Midas Touch– Get in on the gold rush and adorn your tips with real, light-catching 18k gold flakes suspended in a shiny, clear base. The gorgeous polish dazzles on its own or adds a luxurious glimmer to your favorite shades. It’s Real 18k Gold by Sephora. $30
9. Sexy Gams– A sexy shimmer for legs, knees, and ankles that gives bare skin a healthy glow and the lush scent of Michael. You can use this shimmer stick anywhere on the body. In the fall we don’t get much sun so fake it with this amazing formula. Michael Kores Leg Shine. $10
10. Fall eyes– This season we are seeing rich berry shades, greens, and nude tones on the eyes. This palette is truly your BFF this season. Lorac Private Affair Palette. $38