Five Beauty Pranks You Can Stop Believing on April Fools’ Day

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Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun and her research team set things straight with a few myth-busting facts.

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It seems there are as many beauty myths as there are pranks on April Fools’ Day. The problem with most beauty myths is that they aren’t all that funny where the health of skin is concerned.

It seems there are as many beauty myths as there are pranks on April Fools’ Day. The problem with most beauty myths is that they aren’t all that funny where the health of skin is concerned. Also, not amusing is how many people are fooled by common beauty industry “pranks” (so every day can feel like April Fools’ Day at the cosmetics counter).

Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun and her research team set things right with the following myth-busting facts. Take a closer look at these common beauty pranks and find out why they’re bogus:

1. MYTH: Parabens as preservatives are harmful. This is one a lot of people believe, yet it has been proven false by verified scientific research from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan – the list goes on. Besides, plants like carrots or blueberries are natural sources of parabens (and there aren’t any complaints about those, are there?). Let go of this one because parabens are not hurting skin or threatening anyone's health.

2. MYTH: Alcohol-based products aren’t bad for skin and can actually be helpful. Yes, alcohol helps ingredients penetrate, but so do lots of other, gentler ingredients. Besides, alcohol gets ingredients into skin faster by destroying the substances that keep skin healthy (and act as a barrier to the outside world). There are plenty of alternative ingredients that don’t have the harmful long-term consequences of alcohol-based serums, moisturizers or toners. Find the best alcohol-free products for all skin types here.

3. MYTH: There are miracle ingredients that replace lasers, Botox or other cosmetic procedures. The infomercials for these products are so seductive! Cindy Crawford’s anti-aging melon extracts, lab-engineered peptides, 50% Vitamin C serums while more come with incredible claims but here’s the truth: no skin-care product can have results that best or equate to a cosmetic procedure (Botox doesn’t even work like Botox if it isn’t injected). So if a skin-care product’s claim sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a beauty “prank” (and a waste of money, too).

4. MYTH: Everyone needs an eye cream. Nope, this one is 100% false. There is nothing unique about a product labeled “eye cream,” because products designed for the face use the same types of ingredients, but offer more product for the money. Be savvy and use a good serum or moisturizer as a double-duty beauty product for the face and eye area. Need extra-rich moisture for the eyes? No problem, just look for an extra-rich facial moisturizer. See our top picks for moisturizers here.

5. MYTH: There are products that can get rid of cellulite or stretch marks. It would be wonderful for women everywhere if this were true! However, if it were true, then who would have cellulite or stretch marks? The cosmetics industry, and many doctors and aestheticians, want to sell products and/or provide treatments (especially expensive ones) claiming to eliminate stretch marks or cellulite, but unfortunately it’s just another myth. Stretch marks and cellulite develop far under the surface of skin, beyond where topically applied creams or gels can reach. The same goes for “preventative” creams or treatments; they can’t prevent a thing (except possibly dry skin). So what does work for cellulite and stretch marks? Topically, look to prescription tretinoin (brand name: Retin-A or Renova) or talk to a dermatologist about laser treatments to improve the appearance of both concerns.

For more skin-care advice and product recommendations, visit CosmeticsCop.com.

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Led by best-selling author and beauty expert Paula Begoun, the Paula’s Choice Research Team evaluates and reviews hundreds of skin-care and makeup products, in books such as Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me as well as online at CosmeticsCop.com. Combining cosmetics industry knowledge and expertise, Paula and her team have developed the Paula’s Choice line of state-of-the-art formulations based on reliable, published skin-care research. Products include skin-care, makeup, body and hair-care products, beauty tools, and accessories. All products are fragrance-free, cruelty free, and environmentally friendly.

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Tanya Wayne
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