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The truth about skin care: 7 myths that need 'clearing up'

When it comes to skin care, the "rules" can get a little tricky. That's why TODAY style expert Bobbie Thomas is here to clear things up.
/ Source: TODAY

When it comes to the skin care, things can get a little tricky. We’ve heard completely different "rules" from different people — and even a few "facts" we're not convinced we believe. It's frustrating to say the least! That's why TODAY asked the experts to debunk nine of the most common skin care myths and (finally) get to the bottom of them.

1. Myth: You need to wash your face twice a day.

Reality: False. “Unless you use heavy creams at night and feel greasy, you don’t need to wash your face in the morning,” says Jessica Wu MD, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist and author of "Feed Your Face." “Just a simple splash of water is enough. It’s much more important to wash your face at night, to get off the grime and pollution and makeup.”

2. Myth: Eating chocolate causes breakouts.

Reality: Not necessarily. According to Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder of Shiffa skincare, “I haven’t seen sufficient evidence from studies to support this.” That's enough of an excuse for us!

Read more: 3 myths about food and healthy skin get busted

3. Myth: Dairy is bad for your skin.

Reality: True! According to Wu, this is not a myth. “There’s ample research showing the link between dairy and acne. Dairy is also inflammatory.”

4. Myth: You need two separate moisturizing creams for day and night.

Reality: Definitely not. Wu explains that many “night” creams contain the same ingredients as “day” cream, except without the sunscreen. But Hamdan does warn that “if you use any (products) with Vitamin A (e.g. retinol or retin-a), it is wise to invest in a separate night cream, as sunlight breaks down Vitamin A derivatives.”

5. Myth: Hot water opens your pores, and cold water closes them.

Reality: A surprising no. “Pores are not temperature-sensitive,” explains Wu. “Hot water can make the outer layers of skin swell, which makes pores look more ‘open,’ but they don’t open and close based on temperature.”

6. Myth: You can use a body lotion on your face.

Reality: False. “Body lotion is usually formulated to be much thicker and contain ingredients that might irritate your delicate facial skin,” says Hamdan. “The skin on your body is typically much thicker, with fewer sebaceous glands, and therefore much drier.”

7. Myth: You need to switch up your skin care regimen to keep it working.

Reality: False. “But you do need to switch products depending on whether they are still working for you,” Hamdan suggests. “As you age, you usually need richer products as your skin produces less oil and becomes drier. You might also need to switch depending on seasons (winter, summer) and activity (skiing, beach).”