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Your Parents Were Wrong: Debunking 5 Old School Beauty Myths

While you may have learned some of the best kept beauty secrets from your mom, other common beauty tips can be debunked as simply wives tales. Knowing which beauty advice you can kick to the curb is a must to stay looking young.

1. Vaseline prevents wrinkles

Vaseline does have moisturizing benefits for your skin and can help take off makeup, according to a paper published in 2012 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Moisturizers help reduce the appearance of fine lines. However, the author of this publication suggests topical treatments containing retinol work best for wrinkle prevention.

2. Shaving makes hair grow back thicker

Your mother may have told you that shaving hair makes it grow back thicker, coarser, or darker. This is a common myth. A 2007 review published in the British Medical Journal reports that scientific evidence disproves this myth, and shows that shaving doesn’t affect the rate of hair growth or hair thickness — but shorter hair may appear more course because the shaft of hair is often thicker than the fine ends.

3. Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks

You’ve probably heard the wives tale that using cocoa butter on your belly during pregnancy will prevent stretch marks. Unfortunately, this common beauty tip is also a myth. A 2015 review published in The British Journal of Dermatology reports that cocoa butter doesn’t prevent stretch marks, or reduce the severity of them.

4. Toothpaste gets rid of pimples

Putting toothpaste on pimples is another home remedy beauty tip you may have heard about from your mom. While putting toothpaste on pimples may dry out your skin, it also causes your face to become irritated and even redder. Kidshealth.org says don’t put toothpaste on acne — instead, try medications designed to get rid of pimples, like those containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

5. Prenatal vitamins make your hair grow faster

Many women experience faster hair growth and increased hair thickness during pregnancy. However, this is due to hormone fluctuations, not prenatal vitamins. While it’s true that lack of certain nutrients can lead to hair loss and multivitamin supplements help prevent nutrient deficiencies, Mayo Clinic reports that claims of prenatal vitamins promoting thicker hair are unproven.

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