Growing up there were a lot of beauty dos and don’ts that dominated the conversation around ladies’ appearances. From which eye shadow color were appropriate for your eye color to how to care for your hair so that it was “squeaky clean” there were a lot of boundaries in place. Despite this many girls went without makeup and were told that happiness is the best beauty treatment (which it is). However, even the low-maintenance gals back then were given loads of beauty advice that today we know it just downright incorrect. Here are 9 beauty myths we grew up with.

1950s seaside beauty contest
Via: Joseph J. Steinmetz/State Archives of Florida

9) Rinse Hair with Cold Water After Washing

This uncomfortable method was supposed to make the hair shinier and softer than just finishing with regular warm water. It was supposed to “seal” the hair cuticles. But, experts say that the frequency of washing and the products used are more important than whether the water is warm or cold. The one exception to this is that really hot water can irritate the scalp so steer clear of that practice and use a mild haircare regimen.

shiny hair in a braid
Via: Tamara Bellis/Unsplash

8) Shaving Causes Hair to Grow Back Thicker

As if by some cruel twist of fate, many women were told that shaving their legs and underarms only made the hair grow back thicker and darker. This left a lot of women ever vigilant to shaving even the shortest of stubble lest the perceived increase in hair be noticeable. But, the truth is that shaving has little to no effect on hair. It affects the skin more than anything, but of course the skin is a very regenerative organ.

miniature ladies razor disguised as a lipstick
Miniature ladies razor disguised as a lipstick from the 1940s. Via: Joe Haupt/Flickr

7) The 3 Diamonds Rule

One of the ways that beauty was defined in the old days was the 3 diamond rule. If a girl or a woman were to put her feet together there would ideally be a diamond formed just above her ankles, just above her calves, and just above her knees. If this wasn’t the case many women assumed it was because they needed to lose weight. In reality there are a variety of body types out there at healthy weights, some of which involve more weight on the lower half of the body.

model holding up a beach ball on the beach in 1956
Via: State Archives of Florida

6) Brush Your Hair 100 Times Each Day

A lot of us grew up being told that one should brush their hair 100 times a day for shiny and healthy hair. It’s a hair myth that’s been around for a long time, since the days when women grew their hair well past their waists. But, as it turns out this is far too much brushing, especially for people with curly or textured hair. Some brushing can stimulate the scalp, but for those with curly hair combing is much less damaging overall.

girl brushing her hair in the 1940s
Via: Arthur S. Siegel/Library of Congress

5) Wash Your Face with Soap

There was a time when women were advised to wash their faces with soap every single day. From a hygiene perspective it’s not at all necessary unless you’ve got a really grimy job. For most of us a much milder cleanser would be better and some can even get away with using only water if not wearing makeup.

1940s woman heading to the bathrom with her towel and soap
Via: Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress

4) Crossing Your Legs Gives You Varicose Veins

People used to think that crossing your legs made those purplish veins appear. But, it turns out that genetics plays the biggest role. The second biggest factor is standing for long periods since it puts undo strain on your vascular system.

woman crossing her legs at diner counter 1939
Via: Russell Lee/ Library of Congress

3) You Can Shrink Your Pores

This is a common myth that persists today. In the old days we were told that splashing cold water on your skin could shrink pores. Now products offer to do that for us, using clever language that plays on this idea of “minimizes the appearance of pores”. In reality clean pores looks smaller because they are less filled with sebum and dirt. But, it’s not because the pores actually shrink.

woman getting a facial
Via: Engin Akyurt/Unsplash

2) Your Pillowcase Choice Can Eliminate Wrinkles

For a long time silk and satin pillowcases have been sold to women as a way to decrease wrinkles. The logic is that the slippery texture won’t pull on the delicate skin of your face as much. However, even people who sleep on one side all the time don’t have markedly different wrinkling, meaning that the wrinkles are mainly down to things like age and sun protection- not pillowcase material or even sleeping position.

satin pillowcases on unmade bed
Via: Sarah Brown/Unsplash

1) Drinking Water Gets Rid of Dry Skin

It’s not bad to drink enough water, but it won’t change your skin dramatically. Your skin type, your age, the season, and your skincare regimen all play much bigger roles in how dry your skin is or isn’t. Drinking an extra glass of water isn’t going to do nearly as much as a good moisturizer will.

woman holding a glass of water
Via: Engin Akyurt/Unsplash