There are some misconceptions and mistaken ideas about beauty care. Since wrong beauty habits and ideas are not clarified, people continue to make some common beauty mistakes. Here are some common beauty blunders that need to be clarified.

Washing the face with soap and water is a good cleansing method: No. Actually, soap does not remove the make-up, dirt and pollutants efficiently. Moreover, most soaps are alkaline. They not only disrupt the normal acid-alkaline balance, but also make the skin dry.

Washing the face with soap and water several times is good for greasy and problem skin: No, again. This is not true. The skin should not be washed with soap and water more than twice a day. Soaps make the skin too alkaline and this actually predisposes it to bacterial attack, leading to problems like acne.

Salon facial massages are good for all skin types: These include massages with creams. Oily skins should not be massaged with creams, as this stimulates the oil glands further. A facial for oily skins should comprise only of cleansing, exfoliation, toning, mask and protection.

Cream should be applied on the skin and left on all night: The skin can only absorb that much and no more. In fact, the pores should be free of cream when we sleep. However, if the skin is very dry, a light liquid moisturiser can be applied after wiping off excess cream with moist cotton wool.

Applying cream around the eyes at night and leaving it on helps to prevent wrinkles: This is a wrong practice. Actually, the area around the eyes is very delicate and thinner than most other areas. Cream should never be left on all night around the eyes. A special, under-the-eye cream should be applied and removed after ten minutes.

A normal skin does not need routine skin care: This is another common misconception. All skins need daily care to remove pollutants and dirt that settle on on it, as well as to protect and maintain its health and beauty.

Blackheads are collections of dirt in the pores: This is not correct. Blackheads are caused by the collection of hardened sebum (skin’s natural oil). Since the pore is open, the tip is exposed to the air and gets oxidized, hence the black coloured tip and the name “blackhead.”

Adolescents do not need to worry about acne as they will soon grow out of it: This is absolutely wrong advice. Actually, adolescents need protective and corrective care for acne, because it can spread and cause extensive scarring. Acne can be prevented and controlled with appropriate daily care.

Stretch marks only form after pregnancy: Not true. Stretch marks can form even before pregnancy as they are caused due to loss of skin elasticity. This occurs when there is weight loss after weight gain.

Sunscreens need not be applied in winter: Sunscreens need to be applied in winter too, especially since we spend more time out in the sun. Sunscreens help to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

If there is hair loss, massage of the head with oil will promote hair growth: This is also not true. If there is hair loss, the roots are weak and massage can cause more hair to fall out. While massaging, avoid rubbing. Actually move the skin of the scalp with fingertips in small circular movements.

One should apply heavy foundation on oily skin: Many think that foundation is a must during the hot and humid season, especially for oily skin. Actually, the foundation never seems to last and makes the face look streaky or blotchy. Foundation need not be applied, especially during the day. Compact powder may be used. Like foundation, it is available in different shades. It reduces the oily look and provides a smooth skin texture.

Plenty of powder should be applied on the skin to reduce oiliness: Powders do help to reduce oiliness in summer, but less should be applied. Dust off excess powder with cotton wool. Too much powder can make the face streaky or blotchy, due to perspiration. Powder also tends to settle where there are tiny lines, like around the eyes. So, it is necessary to dust off excess powder.

Frequent washing of the hair is harmful: This is one of the most common myths. Washing does not harm the hair. It is the product you use that can. It can even be washed every day, provided one uses a mild shampoo and use very little of it.

The more shampoo you use, the cleaner the hair: This wrong notion needs clarification too. It is not the amount of shampoo, but how well you rinse the hair afterwards with water which helps to remove all residues.

Brushing the hair 100 times a day makes the hair healthy and shiny: Actually, this does the hair no good and can even damage the hair. If the hair is oily, it can make it more so, by stimulating the oil glands.

(Shahnaz Husain is a noted beauty expert who promotes herbal remedies. The views expressed are personal. www.shahnaz.in)

By Shahnaz Husain

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