She’s your best friend. Your superhero. Your wellness and beauty go-to. But how accurate is mom’s advice? We asked the experts!
Mom Myth: Olive oil removes waterproof mascara and helps get rid of dark circles around your eyes.
Expert Opinion: “Olive oil is a relatively safe and effective makeup remover,” says Rhonda Allison, founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Clinical Enterprises. “But for addressing dark circles naturally, I recommend chrysin (passion flower extract) or arnica (a member of the sunflower family).”
Mom Myth: Egg whites and lemon juice tighten your face and minimize pores.
Expert Opinion: “The protein and vitamins in egg whites can provide skin-tightening and nourishing benefits,” says Allison. “But I would caution those with related allergies to steer clear. You also run the risk of introducing unwanted elements to your skin – like hormones and pesticides – if the eggs aren’t organic.” Lemon juice does contain natural acids and essential oils, but Allison doesn’t advise applying it to your entire face as it can result in a pH imbalance and irritation. Instead, use it to spot treat acne.
Mom Myth: Honey mixed with cinnamon cures everything! That includes burns and acne.
Expert Opinion: “Honey does provide wonderful moisturizing, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties,” explains Allison. “I would combine it with other ingredients for enhanced results. Cinnamon is wonderful in small doses. Since it is a spice, keep in mind that it can cause irritation if not used properly. That said, it is a wonderful healer and skin purifier.”
Mom Myth: Silk pillowcases prevent wrinkles and won’t crease your hair, which means more time between washes.
Expert Opinion: “True!” says Melissa Lenberg, owner of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar. “Silk pulls less on your face and hair than cotton does.” Steve Mason, stylist and director of education for Brillare Hairdressing Academy, adds: “The smooth surface keeps hair from becoming frizzy and tangled. Silk pillowcases are a good way to preserve your blowout.”
Mom Myth: Need a bit of definition in your curls? Just add beer!
Expert Opinion: This is false – kind of. While beer won’t necessarily hold your curls, Mason says that its wheat proteins and Vitamin B, two ingredients found in many of your favorite hair products, can give your mane extra body. Hoping for a natural hold for your coiled tresses? Try gelatin or egg whites, which can be used like mousse.
Mom Myth: Wet the back of your neck with cold water when you have a nosebleed to slow down blood flow.
Expert Opinion: “Coagulation, or clotting of the blood, is promoted by placing a cold compress on the bridge of your nose, your cheeks, or the back of your neck,” says Dr. Evans. “But if bleeding persists for more than 20 minutes, you should seek medical attention.”
Mom Myth: Walking barefoot or sitting on a cold tile can cause reproductive issues.
Expert Opinion: According to Giuseppe F. Ramunno, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist with Arizona Associates for Women’s Health, there is no scientific evidence to prove this old wives’ tale.
“But Chinese medicine considers healthy circulation important in preventing infertility,” he says. “Maintaining good circulation, especially around the lower back and abdomen, also may prevent the occurrence of endometriosis, period pain, blood clots, polycystic ovaries or a blocked fallopian tube.”
So how does a gal improve her circulation? Keeping the lower back warm is a start, but Dr. Ramunno also advises women not to sit on hard, cold floors. “The body will absorb the cold and affect uterus circulation, especially in the winter.”
Mom Myth: A draft or strong breeze – especially on your exposed neck and back – causes everything from head and muscle aches to colds and infections.
Expert Opinion: “Infections are generally passed through contact with a sick person via airborne droplets, direct contact or ingestion,” explains Ben Evans, M.D., owner of Vitality Internal Medicine. “Getting wet or being in a draft does not cause illness, but it could make the symptoms of an illness feel worse.” But is it possible that the draft carries airborne droplets further? “Sure, I’ll buy that,” he says.