Singaporebrides | Beauty

October 2013

Trick or Treat? Beauty Myths Investigated

Halloween is on our doorsteps and SingaporeBrides is excited about all the gory ghouls and creepily yummy bites that help brides let loose from the stress of wedding planning. To make sure those bloodshot eyes and scary skin are all part of your costume and not a beauty-tip-gone-wrong horror story, we’ve investigated 8 common beauty tips to find out which tricks have been fooling us, and which actually treat those beauty problems!

Apply toothpaste on your pimples to blast the zits away.

TRICK! Don’t be fooled by this myth. Most of us have dotted the white stuff on a zit in a bid for a quick fix, but toothpaste may be doing more harm than good to our skin. The ingredients in toothpaste, such as menthol and sodium bicarbonate, cause breakouts to dry out. While it does have a drying effect, toothpaste actually irritates the skin, and causes redness and peeling, and even burning. Avoid over-drying your face and save the toothpaste for your teeth; there are better methods for fighting pimples. Look for products containing salicylic acid, which helps dissolve and clear away excess oil and sebum from your skin, or benzoyl peroxide, a stronger peeling agent that exfoliates from deep down and kills pimple-causing bacteria.

Rinse your hair in ice-cold water to prevent frizz for shinier hair.

TRICK! Many a girl has gotten goosebumps from this chilling beauty myth. The rationale is that cold water makes the cuticles of your hair lie flatter, thus reflecting more light. However, your hair is not made up of living cells, and cannot react to water temperature. To smooth out rough and dull-looking hair cuticles, reach for conditioning or styling products that contain silicone and oils, not for the shower heater settings!

Trick or Treat? Beauty Myths Investigated

The local humidity add the frizz factor to dry and coarse hair, exacerbating the dullness problem. If your hair unleashes its unruly side in the heat, try applying a frizz-fighting serum or lotion to help manage your locks. Hair-repairing products such as Tamefrizz by KMS California give long-lasting control by improving the elasticity of hair structure internally, and smoothing out damaged cuticles on hair surfaces, giving you frizz-free fabulous tresses. Your days of shivering in the shower in the hopes of attaining shiny locks are over! Items range from $30 to $40.

Drink more water to hydrate and renew dry and flaking skin.

TRICK! Even a fool knows that a healthier diet and lifestyle translates to healthier skin, and water is definitely essential to maintaining your well-being. However, your skin type, whether you have dry or oily skin, is determined by your genes, and that natural level of moisture is in turn affected by external elements such as humidity, alcohol, or harsh winds. Minimising your skin’s exposure to moisture-depleting conditions will help keep it plump and soft. You can boost your skin’s retention of its natural oils by applying a moisturizer, by protecting your skin from the sun with a sunscreen, and by incorporating essential fatty acids such as those found in avocados, nuts and salmon into your diet.

Apply sunscreen everyday, even if your makeup says ‘SPF’.

TREAT! While this advice may sound fussy, it’s true that you shouldn’t rely on foundations with a built-in sun protection factor. Because sunscreen simply isn’t that concentrated in cosmetic formulations, to adequately shade your screen through SPF makeup, you’d need to apply 14 times the usual amount of powder! Even if you’re not planning on basking in the sun, you should be applying sunscreen to protect your largest organ from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Trick or Treat? Beauty Myths Investigated

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation increases your risk of skin cancer as well as damages your skin’s appearance. By breaking down collagen and elastin in your skin, the sun’s rays cause wrinkles, roughness, sagging and spots—signs of aging every woman wants to avoid. Protect your skin’s health by slathering on the sunscreen before you step out everyday. Choose sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply after yoga sessions or spa treatments. If you want to skip bringing your own sunscreen, indulge in The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, where they nourish and protect your skin with COOLA, the luxury organic sunscreen collection packed with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants. The Mineral Sunscreen Collection costs $82, and includes this Mineral Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish, which is a natural formula that balances your skin’s moisture and delivers a refreshing scent.

Drink lemon and water every day to help you lose weight.

TREAT! You may have heard this from an overexcited aunt, but the slimming properties of lemon have actually been touted by weight loss trainers and dieticians. While sitting around sipping glasses of lemonade isn’t going to miraculously shed the kilos, adding a little lemon to your water may boost your body’s digestive functions and help you in your weight loss regime. Lemons stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes and aids in the elimination of toxins. This zesty fruit also contains pectin, a fibre that has been shown to keep you feeling full for longer. Replacing sugar-laden beverages with water flavoured with a splash of lemon is simple way to cut your calories, and adding lemons to your daily diet could treat your skin well too, as its high levels of vitamin C stave off wrinkles and give skin a more even tone. All that vitamin C is also a great way to boost your immune system!

Skipping breakfast makes you fat.

TRICK! Well, eating breakfast may work a treat for some of us, but if you’ve ignored the conventional weight loss advice about breakfast revving up metabolism, you haven’t been missing out. With most studies focusing on association rather causal claims, breakfast science hasn’t yet revealed proof that eating breaking causes weight to be kept off. A recent study asked two groups of participants, regular breakfast eaters and regular breakfast skippers, to do the opposite of their routine for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, both groups lost about 8 kilograms!

Trick or Treat? Beauty Myths Investigated

While the study was small and limited, it did suggest that the most important factor in breakfast for weight loss was how much one changed up their habits. It seems that missing breakfast has little or no effect on weight gain, and that people who eat breakfast actually end up consuming more calories during the day than people who skip their morning meal. If you want to shed a dress size or two, watch out for your daily calorie intake. Weight loss is directly proportional to your daily calorie deficit, so calculate your body’s energy needs and count those calories!

Stop eating chocolate because it causes acne.

TRICK! We were a little afraid to find out the truth about this one, because living without chocolate is like stumbling around undead. Fortunately, there are no horror stories to tell about the bad effects of chocolate on skin. Dermatologists say that there is little evidence that chocolate, or any specific sugary, high-fat food for that matter, is a direct cause of acne or pimples. However, don’t take this as license to go crazy on those creatively spooky cookies and sweets this Halloween. Any food that is high in sugar and fat can trigger the body to produce more sebum, which can create inflammatory reactions such as an acne flare-up. Make sure your skin survives Halloween’s candy ravages and looks radiant for your upcoming wedding by creating a fun yet fresh menu of blueberry and longan eyeballs or pumpkin soup. Don’t forget to scrub off your witch’s make up too!

Sleep more to get rid of those dark circles under your eyes.

TRICK! Juggling a career, wedding planning, and personal relationships is likely to cost you precious hours of shut-eye, but hold on before you blame those dark shadows on your busy schedule and lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation isn’t the only cause of dark under-eye circles; they can be a result of lifestyle, heredity, pigmentation and sun exposure, among other factors. Genetics can determine under eye shadows, which are caused by a concentration of veins beneath the very thin layer of skin in your eye area. When blood passes through these veins, it creates a bluish tint under the skin. The thinner your skin, the darker the shadows appear.

Skin also thins with age, making dark circles more prominent the older you get. It’s also common among people of Asian or African descent to have pigmentation irregularities that lead to dark circles. Too much sun exposure also prompts your body to create melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour.

Trick or Treat? Beauty Myths Investigated

You can find out whether your dark eye shadows are caused by visible blood vessels by pressing lightly on the area. If the shadows lessen, they are likely caused by blood vessels under your skin. You can treat these shadows by applying a retinoid cream that plumps up your skin to prevent those pesky vessels from showing through.

There are also specialised eye treatments which can also lighten dark circles and calm the puffiness that accentuates shadows. The ST Refirme Eye Treatment by Privé, for example, works by tightening the skin around the eye area with infrared light and bipolar radio frequency, boosting blood circulation with a relaxing eye massage, and moisturising your delicate eye area with a deep hydrating mask. Screening the skin around your eyes with a sunblock will also deter it from producing melanin, and lessen those dark circles. Of course, if you want to leave the treatments till after Halloween and save on make up, we’d understand!

Now that you’re no longer afraid your beauty home remedies might scar you, you’re all ready to paint some fake scars on your zombie army of bridesmaids and groomsmen for a fright night out! Have some freaky fun and shake loose before coming back to the realities of wedding planning. In fact, Halloween is the perfect chance for unleashing that Bridezilla you’ve politely kept under lock and key!