10 Interesting “old wives tales” beauty secrets
From ‘watching too much TV will make you go blind’, to ‘touching toad will give you warts’, we’ve all heard the wisdom of old wives tales, but how much of it is actually true? Whilst most of us watched loads of TV when we were kids and can still see perfectly well, and most of us wouldn’t want to touch a toad anyway, when it comes to beauty tips, not all old wives tales are not as daft as they might first seem. Let’s take a look at ten old wives tales about beauty and see how much truth there really is in them.
1. Never use moisturiser if you have oily skin
This one is definitely an old wives tale to ignore. If you have dry skin, you should still use a daily moisturiser, but you should probably look at moisturisers that are light, and oil free. In fact, not moisturising could even make your oily skin worse, because, if your skin dries out too much, it will produce even more sebum to try to compensate for that.
2. Squeezing pimples will leave you with scars
No matter how tempting it might be to squeeze those little suckers, don’t do it! Squeezing pimples and blackheads is very likely to leave you with small scars and maybe even pits on your skin. Regular cleansing and exfoliation are your best bet to keep pimples under control, or if they are really bad, you can use specifically designed acne treatments and soaps. Grandma knows best on this one; leave them alone!
3. Shaving causes more hair to grow
This is one of the old wives tales that is pure myth; shaving your hair does nothing to increase the number of follicles you have, so it can’t possibly make more hair grow. Shaving doesn’t make hair grow back courser either, it just feels that way when the hair first grows back. How much hair you have is dictated by your genes and hormonal factors, and there’s not a lot you can do about it.
4. Cucumbers reduce swelling around the eyes
It is true that cucumber slices will reduce puffiness around the eyes, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you are using cucumber. The truth is that anything cold will reduce swelling and a cold teaspoon will be just as effective. Cucumbers do, however, have the added advantage of hydrating your skin as well, so they probably are better to use for puffy eyes than most other things.
5. Lemon juice lightens skin
It is true that lemon juice does have a bleaching effect on the skin, but it is very mild indeed. If you use lemon juice repeatedly on your skin, it will eventually fade scars and blemishes, but it will probably be some time before you see any real difference.
6. Carry an acorn in your pocket to stay looking young!
We have our doubts about the effectiveness of this particular anti-ageing treatment, but anything’s worth a try! Young ladies in ancient Britain, however, were 100% convinced that keeping an acorn in their pocket would keep them looking young, because of the long life that an oak tree has.
7. Have you washed your hands?
Everyone was told to wash their hands as a kid, and this is no old wives tale; it’s just common sense if you want to keep yourself safe from germs. But, do you always wash your hands before you wash face and before you put on your makeup? You should always wash your hands thoroughly before you lay a finger on your face. If you don’t, the dirt and bacteria on your hands will just end up on your face.
8. A girl needs her beauty sleep
If you think that this was just parents trying to get you out of the way when you were a child, then you should think again! Apart from the obvious fact that you feel and look tired the next day if you don’t get enough sleep, it will also show in your skin and, too much lack of sleep, could even speed up the ageing process. So, for great looking skin, try and get at least eight hours of sleep every night, you’ll feel a lot better for it too.
9. Using makeup every day will cause bad skin
This is one of those old wives tales that does have some truth in it, but it really does depend on the type of makeup that you use. If you use low quality makeup too often, it can block up the pores of the skin, but if you use high quality, mineral based makeup then there will be no problem at all. Whatever type of makeup you use, if you don’t remove it all before you go to bed, it can cause infection and breakouts.
10. Haemorrhoid cream can cure wrinkles
You may have heard the rumour that Preparation H, the Haemorrhoid cream, can cure wrinkles. There actually used to be some truth in that, because it used to contain Derivative (LYCD), which is an ingredient that was known for its anti-ageing properties. Today, however, Preparation H has been reformulated and it no longer contains LYCD, so if you are still using it on your face, it won’t help your wrinkles at all.