On our quest for beauty, we’ve been fed many misconceptions. Some beauty hacks have been passed down over generations. From egg white to bicarbonate of soda, potato peels to lemon juice, turmeric to avocado. Women seem to put almost anything on the skin, any quick fix that promises beauty is always so tempting to try. But let’s get real – most are not dermatologist recommended or backed by science. So don’t waste your time.

Dry skin

10 Go-to beauty hacks that are actually myths

Myth #1: Petroleum jelly makes lashes grow faster

This is completely false – petroleum jelly does not make lashes grow faster. There are many uses of petroleum jelly in dermatology, but growing eyelashes is not one of them. In fact, petroleum jelly can do more harm than good to your lashes  – it leaves your eyes puffy and encourages whiteheads and may have occlusive effects in the area. For now, at least with falsies and mascara, you get quick and effective results (more on this later). Keep following our blog and I will share with you some tips on products that have proven to enhance eyelash length.

Myth #2: Lemon juice lightens and brightens the skin

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And by lemonade, we mean to drink, not splash on your face. Don’t let that little yellow fruit give you false hope for lighter and brighter skin, and reduced acne. Lemon juice actually has a negative effect on the PH level of the skin, and can irritate and damage it. Phytophotodermatitis is a condition in dermatology that is linked to the toxic effects of lemon and lime juice. So instead of splashing that sour substance on your face, rather keep it aside for your morning smoothies – this will be far more beneficial to your skin. LEMON JUICE – NOT RECOMMENDED BY DERMATOLOGISTS.

Myth #3: You shouldn’t use moisturiser if you have oily skin

If you have oily skin, you’ve probably heard by now that you should stay away from moisturisers. Oily skin does need moisturiser – just like every other skin type. Oily skin can get dehydrated. The skin’s natural oil production can actually go into overdrive if it receives too little moisture, and will produce oil in excess in an attempt to self nourish. For oily skin, I usually recommend a light moisturiser or a lightly textured moisturising sunscreen in the morning. So keep up that moisturizing regimen, regardless of your skin type. Your skin will thank you. 

Myth #4: Foundation is bad for the skin

It’s a common assumption that foundation causes bad skin. This is false, especially if the foundation is of good quality. In fact, wearing foundation has many benefits. Quality foundation protects the skin from environmental pollutants and UV rays, nourishes the skin, and is great for camouflaging skin problems. So don’t throw yours out! Wear it during the day when out and about, and then wash it off properly before going to bed. Most breakouts may be a result of irritation or an ingredient that is unique to you. Try a few out and see which gives you fewer reactions.

Myth #5: Natural is always better 

When we see ‘natural’ we think ‘real’ and ‘safe’. And when it comes to skincare ‘natural’ does not, in any shape or form, mean ‘better results. Firstly, there is no consensus on what “natural’ or ‘organic’ means. Skin products that are all-natural typically have no medical effect on the skin. By medical effect, we’re talking anti-ageing properties, atopic healing and long-lasting moisture barrier correction. For medical results that you can actually see and experience, it’s best to choose medical skincare ranges or cosmetic skincare with a medical backing and science. Contrary to what most people think, not all that are labelled ‘natural’ is, in fact, natural.

Myth #6: Shoe polish makes a good foundation

How many of you know this one? It’s an old myth and widely believed. This should go without saying – shoe polish is for your shoes, not your face. So let’s dispel the myth that it makes a good foundation today! Many shoe polishes contain toxic chemicals which can irritate the skin, and dry it out. So if you want beautiful, healthy skin, we suggest you keep clear of this non-foundation, ladies.

Myth #7: Surgical spirits get rid of stretch marks and dark marks

Stretch marks and pigmentation are such a pain. The marks appear out of nowhere and then refuse to leave. No matter what you apply! Many women follow the trend of using surgical spirits to diminish the appearance of stretch marks and dark marks. But the truth is, applying spirits of this nature to your skin causes more harm than good. While surgical spirits can effectively treat wounds (umbilical cord) and surgical instruments in the medical field, it’s far too strong to use on stretch marks or on the skin. Methylated spirit dries the skin, impairs its barrier and can actually cause dermatitis and scarring.

Myth #8: Biotin for hair 

Biotin supplements have no effects on hair growth. There is no good evidence to suggest that biotin does anything. In fact, unless there is a proven biotin deficiency, biotin supplementation can actually cause false-positive results in some biochemical markers. So, before reaching out for biotin and other vitamin supplements, find out what is causing your hair loss. 

Myth #9 : 100 brushes a day for shiny hair

Alright, it’s confession time – who’s guilty of believing this beauty myth? Most of us! This supposed beauty hack has strong historical backing but is unfortunately untrue. Though brushing can make the hair appear shinier (due to sebum production), brushing too frequently causes hair breakage and split ends, and can actually make your hair oily and dirty looking. So let’s pass on this ritual and get more shut-eye, shall we?

Myth #10: Toothpaste makes pimples go away

Well, you knew this one was coming – the queen of false beauty hacks! Toothpaste clearing pimples is a common misconception, as menthol can reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. Toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, triclosan. It’s for your teeth, not your skin. It can irritate and burn it. Toothpaste does not in any ways kill the bacteria that causes acne, and in most cases leaves blemishes and scars. TOOTHPASTE – NOT RECOMMENDED BY DERMATOLOGISTS.

For true beauty hacks, trust your dermatologist

Are your beauty hacks not working for you? If they are old wives’ tales, this should come as no surprise! Luckily, Dr Noks knows beauty facts from fiction, and can recommend skincare and cosmetic treatments that will work for you – and we mean really work! Book your dermatological consultation today.