There are some tidbits of beauty advice that have been bandied about for what seems like forever that even the most diehard beauty junkie may forget what’s in fact based in truth and what holds up as well in reality as lip gloss on a hot summer day. Drinking water will give you gorgeous, glowing skin, right? And you can only create the illusion of shrinking your pores, correct? Or not? Unlike your most predictable reality show (we all know by now that finding the one on The Bachelorette is not going to happen), you may be surprised with the following beauty realities.Read on for our biggest beauty tips and the truth behind those beauty myths.

Beauty tips: Drinking plenty of water will help your dry skin

Beauty myth People think that in some miraculous way that when they drink water, it goes into their system and into their bloodstream and helps hydrate the skin, but this is not true, says Jaggi Rao, a dermatologist based in Calgary. “Drinking water won’t have any effect on your skin, even if you’re dehydrated—your nutrition is what plays a role,” he says. What you need is for the water to penetrate from the outside, ie. bathe or shower until your fingers get wrinkled. This is a sign that water’s saturated the upper one-third to two-thirds of your skin, he says. Pat your skin dry with a towel and
lock in the moisture with a moisturizer.

Beauty tips: Soak-off gel manicures damages your nails

Beauty myth You can exhale, you gel
manicure-obsessed, ladies. You’re
not doing your nails harm with your repeated manis if you’re going to a expert nail pro. Any buffing down the nail should be minimal (anything more than a light buff will thin out the nail, says Melissa Forrest, a spokesperson with Sally Hansen Canada). And while you do have to use acetone to remove the manicure (yes, the very same acetone we’ve all been told for years to avoid because it’s harsh on the nails and dries them out), Forrest says that any dryness is temporary given that your nail treatment should include both lotion and cuticle oil application, which will help to rehydrate your talons.

What will indeed damage your nail, though, when it comes to these soak-off gel manis? Peeling it off yourself will rip off layers of your natural nail—so keep your paws off them and get yourself to your nail spa for proper removal! And in addition to over-buffing at the start of your manicure, excessive filing and drilling off an old gel mani will lead to disaster, says Forrest.

You are what you eat and breakout fixes on the next page …
Beauty tips: Eating that burger and fries will make you break out

Beauty myth While your diet definitely plays a role in your skin’s health, eating fast food won’t make your skin erupt with zits per se. Regularly eating poorly may affect your skin in terms of your skin’s collagen needs as you may become deficient in important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, says Dr. Rao. High-glycemic foods, though, have been shown for some people to result in breakouts. Specifically, think refined sugars (such as chocolate and soft drinks), he says. “And there’s no way to predict if you’re one of those people who will break out due to high-glycemic foods—it’s tied to your genetics.”

Beauty tips: Getting a golden glow will clear up your pimples

Beauty truth “This is true to some degree,” says Dr. Rao. “Ultraviolet light and heat does help to dry out the skin and reduce inflammation.” But, he notes, the sun can also heat the skin too much, cause you to sweat and sweat can irritate the skin and perhaps
contribute to breakouts. Before you head out without sunscreen, though, with the mission of clearing up your skin, remember that the risk outweighs the benefits, says Dr. Rao. Sun exposure can lead to premature aging, and skin cancers, and there are topical and systemic focused treatments for helping with your skin issues.

Beauty tips: Layering thin, fine hair will make it look thinner

Beauty myth It used to be that layering was the answer to
boosting thin hair. Then the talk was all about how layering will only make fine hair look flatter. The truth is that layering will help make your fine tresses look thicker, but if layered in the right way. “You need to layer it in more of a concave layer, leaving maximum weight on the perimeter of the hair,” says Brennen de Melo, owner of Brennen Demelo Studio in Toronto. “It is a very fine line, but fine hair does need to have a slight layer to create volume and movement in the hair.” The actual cut will, of course, vary for one person to another and depending on their hairstyle and specific texture.

Beauty tips: You can’t
shrink your pores

Beauty myth Your pores can expand with debris such as oil and particles collecting in them, stretching them out and appearing larger, especially in areas such as your cheeks, nose and T-zone. Your best bet is with IPL technology or laser surfacing treatments. “These treatments gently heat the dermis, stimulate the skin cells called fibroblasts and this deposits more collagen in the tissue surrounding the pores,” says Dr. Rao. This makes the “walls” of each pore closer and tighter. While there are retinol creams that also trigger collagen production, the results will be much slower than with a laser treatment, says Rao. “These are most often used in conjunction with a laser treatment for skin maintenance.”

Read more:

The best acne solution tips from a dermatologist

Spot on: easy blemish fixes

How to really deep clean your pores