Header: Credit: Shutterstock From the advice you’ve read in magazines to the tips your friends have told you, you’ve probably picked up an endless amount of beauty tricks in the pursuit of flawless skin and fabulous hair. The question is – are any of these common beliefs true or simply a waste of time? MYA’s here to separate the old wives’ tales from the truth…

Cocoa butter will stop stretch marks

False. There are currently no creams that can prevent stretch marks. Stretch marks appear when skin expands quickly during pregnancy or often after a sudden weight gain or loss. The collagen and elastin fibres are broken below the top layer of skin – too deep for any cream to reach. If you’re prone to stretch marks it’s down to your genes, so simply slathering on cocoa butter won’t stop them in their tracks. Instead, apply the rich moisturiser to soothe any soreness or itchiness.

Toothpaste clears spots

False. Most of us have turned to this home remedy when a pimple pops up just before that big date or an important party. A dab of toothpaste will often have a drying effect on the most monstrous of spots but can irritate the skin, leaving you with redness and peeling that looks worse than what you started with! Next time, use an over-the-counter cream to tackle that spot.

Chocolate gives you spots

False. Hormones and stress levels are said to be the main spot-causing culprits so thankfully, that creamy bar of chocolate isn’t to blame. All the same, that’s no reason to gorge yourself on a family sized selection box - a balanced diet is the best way to go for all round wellbeing.  So slip into your slippers, get cosy on the couch and enjoy that Dairy Milk in front of Saturday night’s X Factor.

Pulling out grey hairs will make more appear

False. Luckily, pulling at a sprinkle of grey hairs won’t transform you into Philip Schofield. Whilst it’s impossible to affect any surrounding hairs, plucking may damage the grey hair follicle so no hair grows back in its place. Cover any greys with colour instead to make sure that silver fox doesn’t start creeping up on you.

Trimming hair makes it grow faster

False. Hair grows an average of half an inch every month, whether it’s cut or not, so seeing your stylist for an extra trim won’t make your locks grow any quicker. However, chopping off split ends will get rid of any damage and prevent snapping, helping your hair to grow healthier and look fuller. Turn to deep conditioning and take a break from the straighteners to showcase some locks Cheryl would be proud of.

Fake tan protects you from the sun

False. Whether your tan is real or from the bottle, it will not stop you from burning when you step out in the sun. Your beautifully bronzed skin offers no sun protection so remember to use a lotion with a suitable SPF to stop the burn as you sunbathe. And remember – sun cream puts up a good fight when those wrinkles start to appear in later life.

Petroleum jelly makes your eyelashes grow

False. Eyelash length and thickness is determined by genetics so, sadly, applying a slick of petroleum jelly won’t make much of a difference. For instant impact, try some false eyelashes or extensions for long, luscious lashes. So there you have it – we’ve busted 7 top beauty myths, so you’ll never your waste time or money. And at least we’ve found out that indulging ourselves in a bar of chocolate every now and then won’t hurt. Hoorah! Hoorah!