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6 Beauty Myths Busted!

  • Shaving makes hair grow back darker and thicker.
    Whether you shave, wax, or use a depilatory, your hair follicles will not increase in size, Dr. Marmur says. As we mature, our bodies produce more testosterone, which is what causes body hair to become darker and thicker until about age 50. Our advice? Shave on! Our favorite razor? BIC Soleil (4-pack, $6)

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  • Wearing nail polish turns your nails yellow.
    Constantly wearing dark polish can stain your nails, but applying a clear base prevents them from absorbing color (and most of us do that anyway). Try Sally Hansen Salon Double Life Base & Top Coat ($6.50) or First Base Base Coat ($8; essie.com).

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  • Rubbing your eyes can cause wrinkles.
    Frequent touching won't create wrinkles. However, repeatedly rubbing any part of your body can thicken the skin and make existing fine lines appear deeper. Gravity, sun damage, repetitive motion of the facial muscles, and the breakdown of collagen are the actual wrinkle culprits. Try a rich eye cream like Yes to Carrots Eye Can C Clearly Now ($15; walgreens.com) or Biore Daily Recharging Enliven Cooling Eye Gel ($10) to help keep skin smooth -- not crinkly.

    For every gray hair you pluck, ten grow in its place.
    Every strand of hair grows out of a single follicle -- and each follicle can support only one hair, says Ellen Marmur, M.D., chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, who brought the truth to light on all the myths below. Grays are simply the result of reduced pigment production in the follicle, a natural part of aging. Want those albino locks gone? Try an at-home coloring kit -- or start asking pals for great colorists near you.

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  • Some people can skip body lotion.
    Although you probably slather moisturizer on your face after every wash, chances are you're not giving your body the same TLC. To keep the natural barrier supple and taut, use a super creamy, thick moisturizer every day. The best time to apply: when you get out of the shower. Our faves: Indian Jasmine Moisturizing Body Lotion ($24; redflower.com) and Mango Body Butter ($20; thebodyshop.com)

    Exercising can get rid of cellulite.
    We're so sorry! Exercising can definitely minimize the appearance of dimples (the thinner you are, the less obvious it is), but they'll never actually go away, says Dr. Marmur. Sadly, the puckering is genetic, the result of fat deposits trapped between fibrous bands of tissue. The good news? You can mask the lumpiness with drugstore buys: Top a firming cream with self-tanner. The caffeine in the cream will temporarily tighten and smooth the skin, and the tanner will make the shadows a whole lot less noticeable.

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