Beauty Myths Busted: Summer Edition

Perhaps you’ve snuck a peek at the calendar recently and realized the degree to which summer has snuck up on you: Barbeques, block parties, music festivals and more are popping up all over your schedule like unwanted pimples (more on those later), and you realize you’ve run out of time to perfect your summer look. You need quick-fixes for long, sun-kissed tresses, bronzed arms, smooth legs, and other out-of-reach cosmetic ideals. This is when people desperately reach for things that 1) don’t work and 2) may actually cause more trouble than they’re worth.

To help you avoid these common pitfalls, we’ve scoured the web and consulted with the pros at Cameo to “bust up” a few of summer’s most common beauty myths:

1. “Sun-In, or other variations of lemon juice and peroxide, is an easy way to get a natural, sun-kissed highlighted look.”

While the citric acid in lemon is thought to be somewhat effective at lightening hair, you can’t throw a hair clip in a salon without hitting a stylist with a story about cleaning up after the ravages of spray-in sun-lightening products. To begin with, even when used correctly, these products aren’t very effective over short periods of time (notice the word “gradual” on the label?), and will deliver inconsistent and imprecise results based on a number of factors: how much you spray, the texture and color of your hair, whether or not your hair is color-treated, etc. Peroxide (commonly found in these types of products) also has a long track record of turning hair brassy or coppery (read: orange, not golden-blonde), especially if your hair is dark or color-treated. So don’t experiment with leave-in sun highlighters and expect any noticeable and/or natural-looking highlights.

2. "Mixing your body moisturizer with cocoa powder will result in a tanning lotion that will give you natural-looking color that lasts through showering for days.”

Also false. This is one of several kitchen beauty remedies that has made the rounds on Pinterest and other websites, and has been de-bunked by several beauty bloggers. Cocoa powder will not stain your skin a smooth, rich tan color. In fact, it probably won't stain your skin at all. Instead, your body will likely be a sticky, splotchy brown mess. The good news is that it will all wash off with soap and water, which also disproves the "lasts for days" claim.

3. “Mixing coffee grounds with baking soda to remove body hair.

Another messy kitchen remedy that a few swear by, despite overwhelming evidence that this concoction was never intended to be anything more than a home-made exfoliant. (We can, once again, thank Pinterest for that mis-shared image of the young man rubbing coffee granules into his face.) In fact, there is a good deal of speculation that the caffeine in the coffee grounds may actually stimulate hair growth.

4. “Applying olive oil to your hair will make it grow longer/faster.”

Though doctors and dermatologists will agree that olive oil won't actually speed up hair growth, this is a remedy we can actually get behind for different reasons. Organic oils like olive, coconut, argan and jojoba oil can penetrate the outer hair shaft more effectively than many creams and potions. This can smooth down broken strands of hair and split ends, resulting in the look of less frizz, more definition and more shine. And because hair doesn't look as broken-off, it can give the appearance of more length. While applying oil can be beneficial for tips of your tresses, be careful when applying treatments near your scalp. It doesn't take much for your hair to start looking lanky and greasy.

5. “Potato Slices will mop up oily skin.”

If moist and cool cucumber slices are used on tired eyes, why not starchy potato slices on oily skin? Unfortunately, spuds just don't have that kind of comparable benefit. Excess sebum – the oily, waxy skin residue that is often responsible for clogging your pores – does not respond to any of the compounds within potatoes. Also, potatoes aren’t exactly known to contain anti-bacterial properties, and fighting off infected pores should be right at the top of your acne prevention To-Do List – right next to “absorbing excess oil.” Rather than keeping a sliced spud sealed up in your medicine cabinet with a paring knife, wouldn't it just be easy to pick up a drugstore cleanser? (Something with proven acne fighting ingredients while you're at it.)

6. “Toothpaste can dry up pimples.”

This long-held DIY trick is just that – tricky. That’s because the small amounts of bacteria-killing alcohol in toothpaste is actually a reliable ingredient to help you calm and dry up small pimple. However, don’t expect miracles from toothpaste (or any other topical treatment) when dealing with deep, inflamed 3-day-old breakouts. Applying too much alcohol or other drying ingredients in larger amounts to larger areas of skin can lead to mild burning, which means further irritation and redness and potentially even scarring. Other dermatologists warn that the toothpaste used should be plain white – as opposed to colored, flavored gel varieties – so as to avoid extra additives on your already-irritated skin.

For more “Busted Myths” and other behind-the-scenes info about beauty, hairstyling, salons and more, please re-visit Cameo Beauty Academy’s blog, and follow us on social media. Stay beautiful, Chicago!

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