Irony; it’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Alanis Morissette summed it up perfectly back in the 90s with her roll-down-the-car-windows-and-pump-it song, ‘Ironic’ – “it’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife” – and we can’t help but sing it whenever we come across another life-puzzling contradiction.
But beauty doesn’t have to be bewildering. It’s meant to be fun! So here, we clear up the beauty dos, don’ts and myths that might be baffling you…
Starting an anti-ageing regimen too early can backfire
This is the subject of much debate in the skin care world. Some experts swear by starting an anti-ageing program in your 20s, while others argue that overusing products containing retinol and alpha hydroxy acids thin skin over time, making you more susceptible to UVA rays, inflammation and discolouration. The solution? Compromise. You know your own skin best. If you’re quite young, stick to trusty moisturisers and sunscreens, and introduce specific anti-ageing products when you feel the need.
The best hair colour is the one you were born with
Sure, it might not be as fun as your new purple bob or tumbling tangerine tresses, but in most cases, you’re born with a certain hair colour for a reason (although we’d argue that hair chameleon Nicole Richie is an exception to the rule). In fact, many hairdressers recommend staying within two shades either side of your natural hue. You might not quite remember what that colour is (shock, horror) – but is there anything wrong with going back to your roots? Pardon the pun.
Applying lip balm too often has the reverse effect
Step away from the paw paw, people – it turns out the formulation of some lip balms perpetuate the need for crazy-obsessive application. Keep an eye out for ingredients like salicylic acid – they exfoliate dead cells from the surface of lips, but also tend to cause irritation, dryness and flaking if overused, so, the more you use it, the more you’ll need it. Yep, it’s a vicious cycle. Get your mitts on a balm that’s paraben- and sulfate-free, like the Kora Organics Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm, and feel the difference.
Cut your hair to make it grow
Going backwards to go forward? It sounds odd, but the truth is, the longer you put off getting the snip, the further the split ends and damage travel up the hair follicle – meaning you’ll end up needing to get more lopped off in the long run. So if you want long, luscious locks, commit to regular trims. (And ps. You can start your hair repair routine here.)
Squeezing pimples is bad, very bad
We know, we know. It doesn’t sound ideal to allow a pus-filled pimple to sit on your face until it disappears (where does it go if you don’t squeeze it? Back into your skin? *shudders*) and we are just as guilty of a pick-fest. But it’s been proven: the more you squeeze, the worse it will get. Promise. Obsessive popping can lead to scarring and breakouts – which is much, much worse than one measly little blemish, right?
bh tip: Let’s be honest – we know there are going to be times when you just can’t help yourself. So, here are some tips on how to squeeze a pimple the right way. Ahhh.. satisfaction.
‘No make-up’ make-up
#iwokeuplikethis = lies.
Despite what their Instagram caption says, they did not just jump out of bed with flawless, radiant-looking skin. They called on a few clever make-up products to make them look that natural. Applying make-up in such a way that it looks like you’re not wearing any sounds confusing, but it just requires a little practice. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to fake it, baby.
Fight oil with oil
It may seem counterintuitive to apply more oil to skin that’s already plagued by shine, but it just so happens that using oil to treat an oily complexion has some real merit. Here’s the 411 on using oil-based facial products: our skin produces oil to protect, moisturise and clean, so without this natural sebum, our skin would not survive. So it makes sense that when we use harsh cleansers on our skin, it has to compensate by going into overdrive to produce more oil to make up for its losses. Bad, very bad. Hence why it’s so great for oily skin types to use gentle yet effective oils.
What other beauty contradictions can you think of?