Welcome to a post that is the antithesis of Facebook misinformation!
I didn’t realise how much time has flown since our last misconceptions post, which means by the next time I do one of these I’ll probably be begging people to stop using highlighters as eyeliner or some shit…
or refrain from using lipbalm on your butthole or something…
“If you pluck out one grey hair, two more will sprout in its place…”
Like something out of Marvel, the myth that I remember even from when I was a kid was that you must avoid plucking any grey hair unless you want more to replace it.
This is, of course, bullshit. Grey hair is just lacking melanin and pigmentation from a couple of factors, including genes (some activating to even darken hair in puberty), UV damage, and medical conditions like various auto-immune diseases, thyroid and B12 deficiencies, smoking, certain syndromes like Waardenburg syndrome, and yes stress although there seems to be very early initial findings this could reverse itself once you’re not stressed anymore.
Pulling a hair follicle out from anywhere on the body doesn’t sprout more than one hair either. What it will do though is ruin your hair texture and create weaker hair (90s high school brows anyone?). Think waxing.
The great thing these days is it’s much more acceptable – even fashionable – to have grey hair regardless of your age or how much you have. However if you really don’t like that grey hair, the best thing you can do is colour or hide it.
“Coconut oil as moisturiser..”
You know, I started writing about this but I kept thinking I was sure I wrote about my gripe with coconut oil as this miracle, multi-purpose entity before and lo and behold, I did in the last misconceptions post from two and a half years ago.
Yet there still seems an influx of posts from white mums on Pinterest and Facebook .
So, again, coconut oil acts as a blanket barrier on your skin and sits there, nothing gets in but nothing gets out, leading to clogged pores, breakouts because your skin can’t secrete oil/sebum and sweat aka do it’s job.
“Don’t cross your legs! You’ll get varicose and spider veins!”
This tale is as old as some of my deep-seated phobias yet isn’t one of them. It’s been in countless shows, movies, and other entertainment since it was mainstream to show ~lady legs~ that crossing your legs will give you varicose or spider veins.
But like the gray hair statement, it’s an old wives tale with nothing to support it. Varicose veins are from a breakdown in the normal blood flow that leads to pressure on the vein walls from weakened valves that causes the veins to enlarge.
While sitting all day can obstruct circulation and cause the veins to enlarge, the act of crossing your legs does not. In fact, that’s where the misconception arose from; when we started doing less manual labor and more desk jobs become the norm. It’s actually only a problem if you already have varicose veins as cross one leg over the other blocks blood flow, causing pain and swelling. The same is true for sufferers who stand for too long.
However, other causes include your stupid family aka genes, age, gender (sorry, girls) lack of exercise, obesity, being a smoker, and pregnancy.
So varicose veins are an inherent problem with the veins themselves, not the act of putting one leg over another, what about spider veins?
Spider veins like varicose veins are visibly enlarged veins caused by increased blood pressure from hormonal changes, weight gain, your stupid family again but also for standing for too long, but again, not from crossing your legs.
“Darker skin doesn’t need sunscreen.“
It goes like this: the lighter you are, the easier you burn, and if your skin is darker you don’t mean, so you don’t need sunscreen.
This is the most dangerous misconception we are talking about in this post as effective sunscreen should be used by everyone, regardless of skin colour or ethnicity. In fact, “the darkest Black skin provides [protection of] only about an SPF 13… for those who identify as Black, Asian, or Hispanic but have skin on the lighter end of the spectrum, the risk might be nearly equal to that of many whites..“
While pale skin does burn easily, skincare ingredients like retinol, skin bleachers as well as health indications like lupus can accelerate burning in any skin.
Aside from cosmetic issues like hyperpigmentation, melasma and the like, sunburn is not really great for your skin.
While skin cancer isn’t as common in black people as in white, it’s more dangerous due to the delay in awareness, detection and delay in treatment.
The plus side is that not only we know the proper sun-smart practices work, but darker-skinned people know have products catered to their skin. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have always made darker skin look ashy in sunscreen as well as foundation, but there have been effective formulations that have given people real options. Rihanna’s Fenty line will have sunscreen (here is also a link of her talking about what sunscreen means to her which is really important), Venus Williams has her EleVen products, as well as other non-celeb, black-owned sunscreen brands to try.
I’m also going to leave a link to some tips from here.