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Does Warm Water Open Pores? – What You Need to Know

Does Warm Water Open Pores

Are you the type of person who spends some time taking a hot bath or shower? Contrary to popular belief, hot water DOESN’T EXACTLY open pores.

You might think that a higher temperature opens your skin to beautifying effects, but the truth is…there’s a difference between OPENING and UNCLOGGING pores.

In this article, you’ll discover the TRUTH and see if warm water can open your pores.

Table of Contents

How Does Your Skin React to Warm Water?

How It Reacts

Sure, it might be tempting to wash your face with hot water. You might experience a calming feeling after doing so.

But, be mindful that hot water can’t open your pores. Instead, it helps to unclog your pores.

Which Substances Clog Your Pores?

Over time, several substances accumulate inside your pores. This accumulation leads to swelling, which makes the pores appear A LOT BIGGER.

These substances include natural ones like excess sebum from your glands and dead skin cells. Plus, you must be aware that many ingredients of skincare products can also clog your pores.

How Can Heat Unclog Your Pores?

Heat can help in melting all these substances stuck in your pores, like fungal acne and closed comodones. In the process, these substances move out of your pores, reducing your pore size.

So, in theory, yes, hot water may help with opening up your pores.

Just be mindful of which method you will be using. You can:

  • Include STEAM in your skincare routine to release trapped sebum and produce better results.
  • CLEANSE your face with facial cleansing oil. Don’t forget to remove the oil by placing a hot, wet towel over your head.

The combination of both solutions (steam and cleansing oil) improves skin permeability. Increased permeability lets your cleansing oil work.

What Are the Effects of Hot Water on Your Skin and Face?

Hot water looks like a great choice, but it can bring several side effects. In general, heat removes the natural oils present in your skin.

Hot water might sound harmless until you realize that it will only make your skin drier. Here are several examples that back up this hot water claim.

  • Dryness triggers your skin and produces MORE oil, acne, and clogged pores.
  • The protective barrier gets disrupted when exposed to DIRECT HEAT.

Dried skin is a huge burden to deal with alone. What more if it becomes tight, flaky, and more prone to irritation?

Yikes! If you don’t want that terrible experience, think before taking a hot bath.

Can Cold Water Help Correct Large Pores?

Can Cold Water Help

On another side of the spectrum, others might have a skin type that comes with larger pores.

Long periods of sun exposure can dilate pores. In the process, you lose collagen and elastin that support your pores.

That’s why experts will advise using sunscreen for getting rid of large pores. 

Let’s be clear though, cold water offers NO HELP to close your pores. You may have heard about the cold water myth but there is absolutely no bearing to it.

So, just stop using only cold water when cleansing your face. You can instead opt to add retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or photodynamic therapy to your skincare routine.

You can even ask your dermatologist for skincare tips if your pore size becomes troublesome. Prepare to hear all about skin care products like retinol, facial oils, cleansers, and to be advised against cold water!

Cold water will only give you nothing but false hope. 

Why Do People Have Different Pore Sizes?

Different Sizes

While you’re enjoying your “me time” in your bathroom, you might get a closer look at your skin. You see that pores scatter around your skin.

Sometimes, you hear some people ask why they have a larger or smaller pore size than others.

From out of nowhere, you can hear someone pointing out that hot water can open pores. Others will say the opposite, that cold water can close your pores.

Getting Into the Myth

But, before you fall into either myth, hear out the advice from experts.

If you ask a dermatologist, they’re quick to disagree with the claims you heard from others.

A dermatologist would say that pores cannot open and close. The reason is that they have no attachment to muscles.

What Determines Pore Size?

Genetics is what determines the differences in pore size among individuals. But don’t lose hope.

You’ll see later how some non-comedogenic products can solve your problem with large pore sizes in particular.

The other way you can see different pore sizes is by inspecting someone’s face. Seems awkward.

Many individuals tend to have larger pores in their nose and forehead. These parts of the body house the most active oil glands in your body.

Considering all these facts, you might already question the claims of other people.

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

Water therapy seems like a great practice for skin care purposes, but it does not cleanse your body over time.

Well, the same thing goes when washing your face, whether you splash a hot or cold fluid in it.

If you still have this fluid in your skin care routine, you might want to revisit this article. What do you think?


August 31, 2021 – Improved article formatting, reviewed and updated overall content

July 14, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.