Can Hot Water Open Pores?

by Gio

hot water opens pores myth

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. Click to Tweet

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!

Best picks:

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.



Laurie September 30, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Gio, what about the effect of steam on pores? My aesthetician always applies steam when I get a facial.

Gio September 30, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Laurie, steam can’t open pores but can soften skin and allow active ingredients to penetrate better inside the skin.

Laurie September 30, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Thanks Gio. Good to know at least it has a purpose!

Gio September 30, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Laurie, you’re welcome. 🙂

Trisha September 30, 2014 - 5:48 pm

This is why I love your blog. You bust down all those myths. 😀

Gio September 30, 2014 - 7:06 pm

Trisha, aww thank you! 🙂

Tips and Beauty September 30, 2014 - 6:06 pm

That was really good info. I agree hot water can dry out the skin by stripping the natural oils from the skin. Hence, skin will produce more oils to compensate.

Gio September 30, 2014 - 7:11 pm

Tips and Beauty, so true. Better use lukewarm water.

[email protected] September 30, 2014 - 6:12 pm

i wish there was a way to get rid of pores..i have it on my entre face 🙁 could you also do a post on a skin care routine to be followed to make them look less visible

Gio September 30, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Purva, sure. In the meantime, you can check out this post: 😉

anne August 5, 2018 - 3:36 pm

if my skin is oily and i use hot water can it help to reduce my oilyness?

Gio August 9, 2018 - 10:25 am

Anne, rose has some astringent properties but what you need is a salicylic acid exfoliant.

Comments are closed.