Should you be putting toothpaste on your pimples? How about pumping your mascara wand? We put the pin in these age-old tall tales.

Myth: Shaving your legs makes the hair grow faster
Own a razor? You can relax. Shaving won’t make your leg hair magically multiply. “Shaving results in a prickly aftermath because it leaves the thick end of the hair follicle exposed,” explains beautician Kristin Fisher. By the way, it doesn’t make them darker, either. According to Fisher, new hair just hasn’t had time to be lightened by the sun. If you want to max your fuzz-free days, book in for a wax or laser hair removal. Waxing completely removes the hair from the follicle, which means it’ll take longer to grow back and feel softer once it does.

Myth: Mascara goes on better if you pump it
Whoever’s responsible for this one never thought about bacteria. Pumping your wand only pushes air into the tube, which can promote the growth and spread of germs. Gross. On top of that, Fisher says it’ll leave you with clumpy, overloaded lashes. “Instead, you should slowly wiggle the wand up your lashes so you can coat each one separately,” she says.

Myth: Dry skin doesn’t need a cleanser
False! “Every skin type needs to be cleansed morning and night to keep it smooth and congestion-free,” explains Emma Hobson, education manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica. Got thirsty skin? Opt for an oil or cream cleanser rather than a foaming formula.

Myth: You should let your locks dry naturally
So, it turns out, blasting your tresses with the dryer is actually better for your mane. “Leaving your hair exposed to water can cause damage within the strands,” says Sonya Wilson, master stylist at Franck Provost Paris. For glossy locks, blast on low heat and always use a heat protectant.

Myth: Brushing your hair too often will make it fall out
If you run a brush through your tresses at least five times a day, good news: “You won’t damage your hair by brushing it too much,” says Wilson. “It can be quite relaxing!” While overdoing anything is never a good idea, the health of your hair depends more on the way your brush it. For example, if your hair is tangled, brush in small sections, from the ends to the roots until all the knots are out. Once you’ve perfected your technique, bag yourself a quality brush.

Myth: You should never wax above your eyebrow
Consider this myth officially busted. “The best eyebrow shape is very hard to achieve if you don’t touch the hair on the top of the brow,” explains brow master Fisher. “It’s a tricky area to play with, but when done correctly it can perfect your shape like nothing else.” To keep your brows on point during the day, try using a setting gel to help hold them in place. And remember this: It’s always best to leave the shaping to the pros. They know what they’re doing!

Myth: Your hair gets used to shampoo
This isn’t a total lie. Your shampoo doesn’t lose its cleansing powers over time, but your hair needs do change. “For example, after a colour, your hair may need protein to strengthen it,” says Wilson. “Once your hair is strong, you’ll need moisture, as the protein will stop absorbing.” To cover your bases, stash a protein treatment in the cupboard and rotate your hydrating shampoo with a colour-protecting formula.

Myth: Trimming your hair on the reg will help it grow faster
Remember when your mum used to lure you into the salon chair with promises of future lengthy locks? She totally lied. “Trimming your hair doesn’t speed up the hair growth cycle,” says Wilson. What it does do is nix split ends and stops your hair from getting thinner, so scheduling in regular appointments at the hairdresser is defs the way to go. To keep your strands in good nick between visits, massage a nourishing serum through you hair post-shower a few times a week (depending on how oily your locks are).

Myth: Toothpaste gets rid of pimples
Unless you want to irritate the heck out of your skin, steer clear of this DIY blemish remedy. Along with irritating ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate. Hobson notes that toothpaste commonly contains peppermint, which can aggravate open skin. To keep redness to a minimum and kill the acne-causing bacteria (minus the sensitivity), dab on an overnight spot treatment before bed and apply a medicated concealer during the dat.

Myth: You can double your sun protection with two low-spf prods
Sorry, but an SPF15 moisturiser plus an SPF 15 foundation does not equal SPF 30 – no matter how much product you apply. If you struggle enough as it is without adding yet another step to your daily make-up routine, save yourself some trouble (as in, prevent premature ageing) by investing in a multitasking primer with an SPF of at least 30. Pick a hydrating formula and you can skip the moisturiser, too!

This story originally appeared in our August issue.

RELATED: Bad beauty habits you’re making
RELATED: 8 fast beauty hacks from the pantry