Are you washing your face with hot water to open the pores?
And then finish off with cold water to close them up again?
Well, you’re just wasting your time. We’ve already talked about how the whole closing pores with cold water thing doesn’t work.
It’s time to put the hot water opens pores myth to rest now, too.
Why Hot Water Can’t Open Pores
Well, it’s not just that hot water doesn’t have what it takes to open pores. It’s that NOTHING can open pores.
Pore aren’t doors you can open and close at will.
So, where does this myth come from? Well, as you probably know if you’ve ever tried to treat sore muscles, heat can relax them. Cold, instead, makes muscles contract.
So, if pores had muscles, this would totally work. Problem is, they don’t.No, hot water can't close pores. Pores aren't doors you can open and close at will.
What hot water really does
You’re not going to like this.
I love showering with HOT (read so-boiling-hot-you-can-cook-an-egg-in-there) water. I’d love nothing better for it to open my pores, so my serums and moisturizers could penetrate deeper and work better.
Truth is, I’m just making my skin more oily. Hot water is terribly drying to the skin. And when you strip skin of sebum, you make it go into a panic. Now, it must quickly produce more oil to compensate. 🙁
The Kernel Of Truth
Ok, there is another thing that hot water can do.
If your pores are clogged with oils and fats, a bit of heat could help melt them so they can flow freely out of the pores.
Now, your pores are free from the crap that was swelling them up, they’ll look smaller.
But, and this is a big but, hot water is terribly drying. Yes, I’ve just said that, but it bears repeating. Because, in an effort to clean up your pores, you may cause havoc on your skin.
If you want to unclog your pores, do your skin a favour and use an exfoliant with salicylic acid. That’ll get inside the pores, freeing them from all the gunk inside. Job done. No side effects. Yay!
- Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion ($27.00): available at Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ($29.00): available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice
- The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (£4.25): available at Adore Beauty, Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty
Related: 3 Science-Based Ways To Shrink Pores
The Bottom Line
Hot water can’t open pores. But it can dry out the skin. Be careful with it!
Are you surprised that hot water doesn’t open pores? Share your thoughts in the comments below.