False Beauty Facts You Should Never Believe

We've all grown up being told beauty advice we need to heed — don't shave above the knee, put toothpaste on a pimple to dry it out, and sleep with a cold cream mask to prevent wrinkles. While cold cream's a great product for removing makeup and a good moisturizer, there are plenty of other overnight serums that are just as effective and won't leave a goopy mess on your pillowcase. And there's no proof that toothpaste works on breakouts. In fact, it can actually irritate your skin and cause your pimples to become red and irritated. As for not shaving above the knee — it's an outdated rule that has no merit. If you need to get rid of hair on your thighs, go for it.


When it comes to beauty, there are many rules we shouldn't overlook, such as always wearing sunscreen to protect our skin. We know for a fact that UV rays are harmful and can cause skin cancer. However, there are other facts that we've heard so often that it became ingrained in our minds as truths, but you may be surprised to learn that many of them have since been debunked by science.

False: There is a mathematical standard of beauty

The "Golden Ratio" has been around for centuries and has been used in art, architecture, and beauty. When it comes to attractiveness, the closer a person's facial features are to the Golden Ratio, which is 1:1.618, the more beautiful they're perceived to be. We know there's no such thing as perfect beauty, but plastic surgeons are taking the Golden Ratio rule to create what is thought to be the highest standard of beauty. As reported by the Daily Mail, Dr. Julian De Silva used facial mapping technology to measure which celebrities had the best features. The results showed that Amber Heard came closest to the Golden Ratio number, with Kim Kardashian coming in second.


Eve Torrence, professor emerita of mathematics at Randolph-Macon College, scoffed at the idea that the Golden Ration defines beauty. "The idea that there's this one rectangle [based on the golden ratio] that's this perfect one ... and is reflected in the human body, that's one of the most silly things. Human beings are so different," she told the Independent. "There are lots of ratios and proportions in the human body, but they are not all the golden ratio and they are not all precisely the golden ratio. It's a very loosey-goosey, pseudo-science kind of thing that they are promoting," she added. Another mathematician, Dr. Keith Devlin, stated, "The golden ratio stuff is in the realm of religious belief. People will argue it is true because they believe it, but it's just not fact."


False: Drinking more water will hydrate your skin

We all know that we need to nourish our bodies from the inside, which in turn helps us look and feel our best. Foods like avocados are not just great for our hearts but also help improve our skin's overall elasticity — and drinking enough water on a daily basis is good for keeping us hydrated. But unlike food, drinking H2O doesn't improve our skin from the inside out. "Everyone wants a quick fix when it comes to making skin look better but drinking more water isn't going to help get rid of wrinkles or plump up your skin unless you are extremely dehydrated," dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Damstetter shared with WebMD. She did add, though, that drinking enough water is vital to one's health, and a healthy body can equate to better-looking skin.


If your skin is dry, drinking more water is not going to fix your problem. Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Real Simple, "The solution is topical rather than internal. Rather than drinking water, applying a moisturizer is a far more effective way of addressing dry skin." The best way to combat dry skin is to apply moisturizing products while the skin is a bit damp. That said, it's still best to drink your daily dose of water, which is about 15 cups for men and 11 cups for women – which is more than the six to eight we were previously told.

False: Cutting your hair will make it grow faster

If you're waiting for your hair to grow out, don't be fooled by the advice that cutting your ends will help it get longer more quickly. While it's important to get regular trims, the rate at which your hair grows has to do with the follicles in your scalp. In general, your locks will gain around a quarter of an inch every month, but other factors can determine growth. Pregnancies can make your tresses longer and thicker, while stress can cause hair loss or thinning.


Cutting your hair does help it look better while you're growing it out, as you'll get rid of dead ends. "Cutting your hair makes it grow healthier because it removes the hair that would split. The hair at the root is able to grow and you're able to maintain length and avoid splitting. If you allow split ends to stay on the strand, the hair will continue to split and you'll never see the length," hairstylist Angela C. Styles advised, per Seventeen. If you're looking to keep your hair long, Styles shares that a trim every eight weeks is fine, but don't go at least six months without a proper cut.

False: Crossing your legs will cause varicose veins

Years ago, we were told to stop crossing our legs or else we'd end up with varicose veins. As reported by The New York Times, a supplement company came up with the "Great American Cross-Out," which encouraged women not to cross their legs for one day. The company's premise was that sitting with one's legs crossed would prevent blood flow and cause varicose veins. The claim was unfounded and studies have shown that enlarged veins are actually caused by smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and obesity.


While sitting cross-legged won't cause varicose veins, a study by the Journal of Clinical Nursing showed that it did elevate blood pressure, so if you tend to have hypertension, practice sitting with both legs on the floor. Crossing your legs also affects your posture and circulation, which can mean back pain in the future. If you're required to sit for long periods of time throughout the day, make it a habit of getting up frequently and implementing movement snacks into your daily exercise routine.

False: Shaving will make your hair grow back thicker

When we were younger, we were advised to wait as long as possible to shave, as doing so would only make our hair grow back thicker and darker. And while there are plenty of famous women who are unapologetic about their body hair, it's okay to want to get rid of unwanted fuzz. Shaving is the fastest and easiest way to do so and you shouldn't be afraid of a boost in hair growth. If it seems your stubble looks thicker, it's only an illusion. "After shaving, you may notice that your hair seems to grow back thicker and darker, but this is actually due to the variation of the hair shaft along its length, not because shaving has actually altered the hair follicles," dermatologist Dr. Taylor Bullock shared with Cleveland Clinic. "Instead of seeing the thinner and often lighter ends of longer hairs, you see the darker and thicker bases of the hair shafts. Once the hairs grow longer, though, they'll return to their softer, original texture," he added.


If you're feeling like your hair is growing faster and thicker, try switching to a new razor. Dull blades can prevent you from getting a close shave and can cause nicks as well. Always make sure your skin is well moisturized and let it soak in the shower for about five minutes before you remove your hair. A good shaving gel is key too, but you can use baby oil in a pinch if you're out.

False: You shouldn't moisturize your face if you have acne

Oily skin and acne usually go hand-in-hand, but that doesn't mean you should skip moisturizer. Although it's best to combat your oily skin by keeping it well-cleansed, you don't want to completely strip it of hydration. "When the skin is dry, it can be more irritated and make acne look and appear worse. With acne, the issue is inflammation in the skin — most acne responds better and improves when you calm it down. Therefore, moisturizing is helpful," dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian told Well+Good. Additionally, when your skin is too dry, your glands will work overtime to produce even more oil, which is why it's important to keep your skin moisturized.


Don't choose thick facial products that contain any oils, which can clog your pores. Look for a water-based formula that's more gel-like. If your moisturizer contains salicylic acid, it'll do double-duty in hydrating your face while fighting breakouts. Niacinamide is another great ingredient that helps with redness and inflammation, so be sure to read the labels when choosing your acne-fighting moisturizer.