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Does Hot Water Open Pores? Debunking the Myth

We’ve all heard it before: hot water opens your pores and cold water closes them. It’s a classic skincare tip that has been passed down for generations. But is there any truth to this claim? Let’s dive into the science behind pores, water temperature, and how to properly care for your skin.

The Pore Truth: Can They Really Open and Close?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Pores are tiny openings in our skin that release sweat and sebum (oil). Contrary to popular belief, they don’t have muscles, so they can’t open and close like doors. Instead, they remain in a fixed state, although their appearance can change depending on various factors like oil buildup and dead skin cells.

Warm Water and Your Skin: A Perfect Match?

While it’s a myth that warm water opens pores, it still plays a crucial role in your skincare routine. Warm water can help loosen up the debris and oil that clog your pores, making it easier to clean them out. This process doesn’t actually change the size of your pores but can make them appear smaller by keeping them clear. Just be cautious not to use water that’s too hot, as it can strip your skin of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and irritation.

The Cold Water Conundrum

On the flip side, cold water doesn’t close your pores either. However, it can have a soothing effect on your skin, reducing redness and puffiness by constricting blood vessels. This can make your skin appear smoother and more toned. Be mindful, though, as using water that’s too cold can potentially irritate sensitive skin or trigger rosacea flare-ups.

Tips for Minimizing Pore Appearance

Even though you can’t physically open or close your pores, there are effective ways to make them less noticeable. Here are some tips:

  1. Exfoliation is Key: Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and excess oil that can clog pores. Look for products containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid for the best results.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Keeping your skin well-moisturized helps maintain its elasticity and prevent pores from appearing larger.
  3. Use the Right Products: Products designed to minimize the appearance of pores can be a game-changer. For instance, Epicuren Discovery offers a variety of products like the Microbiome Restorative All-in-One Serum, Clarifying Exfoliating Astringent, and Instant Lift Tightening Serum that target pore concerns effectively.

Skincare Routine: Finding the Right Water Temperature

So, what’s the best water temperature for your skincare routine? Lukewarm water is generally the safest bet. It’s warm enough to help remove dirt and oil without stripping your skin of its essential moisture.

  • Hot Water: Avoid using hot water as it can damage your skin’s barrier and cause dryness.
  • Cold Water: Use cold water to calm and soothe your skin, especially if you’re dealing with puffiness or redness.
  • Warm Water: Perfect for daily cleansing, helping to loosen dirt and oil while maintaining skin hydration.

Natural Ways to Keep Pores Clear

To keep your pores clear naturally, follow these tips:

  1. Cleanse Regularly: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove oil and dirt.
  2. Avoid Heavy Makeup: Opt for non-comedogenic makeup that won’t clog your pores.
  3. Steam Facials: Occasional steam facials can help open up and clean out your pores without causing damage.


While the idea of opening and closing pores with water temperature is a myth, understanding how different temperatures affect your skin can help you create a more effective skincare routine. By using lukewarm water and incorporating the right products, you can keep your pores clear and minimize their appearance, leading to smoother, healthier skin. So next time you splash your face, remember: it’s not about opening or closing your pores, but about treating your skin with the care it deserves.