Alex O'Brien

Beauty & Style

5 beauty miracle products that just aren’t true

5 beauty miracle products that just aren’t true

There's a lot of tiger balm, snake oil and half-truths in the beauty industry. We need to keep our wits about us and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are five beauty “miracle” products that just aren’t true.

1. Colour-changing lipsticks

It's an appealing idea – a lip colour that reacts to your "unique chemistry" and changes to a colour that suits you perfectly.

We can see why companies like Dior have leaned into the idea: It sounds vaguely science-y, and it's flattering. You're so special, these products claim, that we need to come up with a colour just for you.

Unfortunately, it's basically just clever marketing. These lipsticks use a type of red dye that's colourless in the tube, and takes on a rosy hue once it's exposed to moisture. You're pretty much working with a mood ring here, but paying a premium. 

2. Basically anything that says it will fix cellulite

The first thing to know is that anywhere from 80 to 98 per cent of women have some amount of cellulite, so you're in very good company. The second is that no amount of coffee-scrubbing and antioxidant creams will make a difference. 

Cellulite is about the connective tissue between the skin and muscles, so a topical application of botanical essences isn't going to do a whole lot. 

Tragically, your best bet is aerobic exercise and weight training - just losing weight won't help by itself. 

3. Products that claim to shrink your pores

There's a very simple reason that creams and serums can't make your pores smaller – there's no muscles there, and pores don't actually open and close. 

While visible, enlarged pores aren't exactly the best look, minimising their appearance is about cleansing and smoothing. Oil, leftover makeup and general grime can sit in your pores and make them look bigger, so make sure you're washing your face like you mean it. 

Larger pores tend to go hand-in-hand with oilier skin, so your next best bet would be a silicone-based primer. It's important to remember, of course, that these are cosmetic fixes. Your pores are still the same size as they ever were. 

4. Facials made with gold

It's kind of depressing to think about, but a lot of products are invented with the marketing in mind. Twenty-four-carat gold facials have got to be the very definition of that – they seem so fancy, and you can charge so much for them, but there's not a lot of science happening here. 

Any benefits you see from one of these treatments probably comes from the other steps – a nice facial massage and some hyaluronic acid will have you feeling smooth and hydrated regardless of what precious metals went along with it. 

Considering these are usually about twice as much as a classic facial, we're thinking you may as well save your money and just book another regular appointment for next month. 

5. Rinsing your hair with cold water

We're absolutely thrilled to let you know that this is rubbish, and there's no point shivering under an icy shower. The idea is that somehow cold water closes the cuticle at the base of each hair follicle, making your hair smoother and thus shinier. 

It's a myth that's been kicking around for years, but according to two experts who spoke to popular beauty blog, Into the Gloss, it's a waste of time. 

"Water, itself, can open or close the cuticle through absorption and swelling of the hair. This is a very fast process, and the difference between hot and cold water is negligible," Eric Pressly says.

Anabel Kingsley of the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic agreed, says "Once the hair has grown past the scalp, it is technically dead tissue – it neither contains blood vessels nor nerves. Rinsing with cold water therefore has the same effect on hair as rinsing with warm water does."

This is great news, particularly in winter. Don't shower for too long, though, we still shouldn't be wasting water. At least this one won't cost you anything. 

Have you fallen for any of these? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Harriet Pudney. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

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