Four in 10 women have sworn by a beauty hack that turned out to be questionable – seeing little or no results, research has revealed.

A study of 2,000 females found 32 per cent have followed the mantra that shaving their legs should be avoided as it makes your hair grow back thicker – when in reality it makes no difference to the colour, thickness or rate of growth of the hair.

While 22 per cent have turned to toothpaste to help soothe spots – despite the fact that it can actually cause more irritation to the skin.

Other misconceptions women have believed over the years include that crossing your legs causes varicose veins, plucking grey hairs causes more to grow in its place and chocolate gives you spots.

And some have been taken in by the belief that cutting your hair makes it grow faster – although this has little impact on the rate of growth, or that overplucking your eyebrows is fine as they will grow back.

But it also emerged more than one in twenty (six per cent) have even been harmed by a beauty myth they tried, with some suffering skin reactions, bruising and even burns.

TV presenter Frankie Bridge, an ambassador for beauty supplement brand Perfectil, which is working to help separate beauty facts from fiction, said: “I’ve spent a lot of time in the past googling various beauty myths and then giving them a go, hoping they would be the quick fix I was looking for.

“As you can imagine, I was almost always left disappointed.

“I’m sure we all have our own mishaps and stories to share.

“I feel like a lot of women a similar age to me are probably guilty of over plucking their eyebrows back in the day – that was definitely one of my mistakes.

“It’s so hard to know exactly what’s real and what’s not, especially with the internet and social media making it so much easier for false pieces of advice to quickly become viral and therefore we all seemingly jump on them.

“However when it comes to our skin, hair and nails, we all want to make sure that what we are doing is not going to do more harm than good.”

The study also found 58 per cent of women believe there is more fiction than fact out there when it comes to beauty advice.

Great reviews from customers (39 per cent) are most likely to make someone trust a beauty product, along with knowing it has gone through a scientific trial (39 per cent), and an explanation of the science behind the product (29 per cent).

For Gen Z, a social media video showing it being used (22 per cent) and influencer recommendations (12 per cent) are also key.

But just seven per cent of all women tend to believe the results shown in before and after photos – with older generations of women more sceptical than their younger counterparts.

Generally, just 16 per cent trust beauty information they see on social media – but this rises to 41 per cent of Gen Z.

The research also found 25 per cent of women have bought a beauty product based on something they saw on social media – with Gen Z and Millennials twice as likely to do this than Gen X or Boomers.

But just 45 per cent of all those were happy with its results, according to the OnePoll figures.

Susanne Bisinotti, from Perfectil, which has created a guide [] to debunk the UK’s most popular beauty beliefs with the help of esthetician and beauty expert Katie Onyejekwe, said: “It can be overwhelming to sift through the vast amount of beauty advice available today.

“Perfectil aims to provide clarity by debunking common beauty myths and to help women make the best choices about their beauty routines, leading to real, positive results for their skin, hair, and nails.”


1. White spots on nails are a sign of lacking in certain vitamins (Partially true)

2. Drinking two litres of water a day will give you clear skin (Partially true)

3. Wearing makeup every day is bad for your skin (Fiction)

4. Shaving your legs makes hair grow back thicker (Fiction)

5. You need to wash your face every morning to ensure skin is healthy and clear (Partially true)

6. Gel manicures wreck your nails (Partially true)

7. Cutting hair makes it grow faster (Fiction)

8. Toothpaste can reduce pimples (Fiction)

9. You can train your hair to be less oily by washing it less (Fiction)

10. Chocolate gives you spots (Fiction)


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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