Skin Myth: Can Pores Open and Close?

When I first started a skin care routine back as a teenager (just before starting this blog, actually), I kept hearing that after cleansing, I should finish by splashing very cold water on my face, to “close” the pores after.

And while I definitely believed it for some time, (and I know many still do, as I still read and hear about this skincare “tip”), this is such a big skin myth – probably one of the biggest myths. This skin myth of pores actually having the ability to “close” is used to sell hundreds of products, so I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news: pores cannot open and close.

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, M.D explains:

Pores are pretty stationary. There’s no magical process or product that will cause your pores to “open” and allow impurities to rise to the skin’s surface.

By the same token, splashing cold water on your face – or doing anything else for that matter – won’t cause the gates to slam shut on your pores. What you’re doing when you steam your face is causing the blood vessels to dilate and the skin to swell slightly.

Similarly, astringents and toners slightly irritate the walls of the pores and make them swell, causing the pores to look smaller. But they haven’t actually changed in size. Even in the best-case scenario, their diminished appearance won’t last for more than 24 hours.

That being said, there are about only 2 ways to minimize pores that I know of, (one permanently and one for the appearance of them), so check out How to Reduce Large Pores and 3 Things to Avoid is You’re Worried About Large Pores.

Either way – I guess we’ve officially debunked this skin myth! Any thoughts?

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  1. Ya. That’s been a question up in my head too. Does pores open and close??? Haha. Thanks for debunking this skin myth! Waiting for your updates on this pore minimizing thing. 🙂

  2. All these times I have been splashing my face with cold water and it doesn’t even work? Cannot wait till the next update!!!

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