Do Pores Open With Warm Water?

You might’ve heard that warm water is the best way to open up pores, providing a variety of benefits. But is this actually true? There are many myths floating around about pores, skincare, and their relationship to each other. The truth is, pores don’t open and close – but water temperature still matters when it comes to taking care of your skin. Let’s take a closer look at pores, water temperature, and which products can help you minimize their appearance.

Do Pores Open and Close?

Although the idea of pores opening and closing is a common idea touted around skincare, pores don’t actually have the ability to do this. Pores are small openings in the skin that contain oil glands. Because these openings are not connected to muscles, they can’t open and close like we tend to think. They remain in a static position but may become more or less visible due to a variety of reasons.

Does Hot or Warm Water Open Your Pores?

Because your pores can’t open or close, this idea is a myth. However, there are benefits to using warm water in your skincare. Although pores can’t change in size, they can become clogged and even stretched with things like oil, dead skin cells, and dirt. When they become clogged, they may become more noticeable. Warm water can be very effective at loosening up this gunk and clearing it out, especially with the help of certain exfoliating skincare products. When your pores are clear, they're typically less noticeable. Just be careful not to use water that is too hotsince it can strip your skin of moisture and cause barrier disruption.

Does Cold Water Close Your Pores?

By the same logic, cold water can’t close your pores. However, there is some evidence to suggest that cold water can help soothe and calm the skin, reducing the appearance of redness and causing blood vessels to constrict. However, as with hot water, it may cause irritation or even rosacea flare-ups if your skin is prone to it. If you prefer cold water in your skincare regimen, just make sure it’s not too cold.

How to Address Enlarged Pores

The truth is that it’s impossible to open and close your pores – but there are ways to reduce their appearance. The best way to do this is by keeping them clear and unclogged. By doing this, you not only reduce their appearance but also reduce your chances of breakouts. One of the best ways to keep pores unclogged is through a combination of active ingredients and exfoliants, as well as using warm water to loosen up any accumulated oil. Together, these two things can help your skin look smoother and clearer.

The Best Skincare Products for Enlarged or Clogged Pores

Epicuren Discovery offers a variety of pore-targeting products that can help reduce the appearance of congestion. Here are some of our best options for different concerns.

Enlarged Pores

Many people use the term “enlarged pores” when they mean especially visible pores. Our top choice for enlarged pores is our Microbiome Restorative All-in-One Serum. This serum is loaded with skin loving ingredients which can help support the skin’s natural microflora. Our Clarifying Exfoliating Astringent can also exfoliate away excess oil and minimize the appearance of clogged pores. Finally, our Instant Lift Tightening Serum can reduce the appearance of visible pores with collagen supporting peptides, smoothing oat kernel extract, and visible tightening effects of beta-glucan rich pullulan.

Clogged Pores

Clogged pores benefit from products that get rid of excess oil and prevent buildup. Our Micro-Derm Ultra-Refining Scrub can gently exfoliate away congestion with gentle and sustainable micro-exfoliants. Our Clarifying Polishing Mask contains exfoliating and oil-attracting ingredients like bentonite clay to draw out impurities and unclog pores.

Water Types Pros & Cons

Water temperature matters when it comes to your skincare. Here’s a quick refresher on which type is best for your skincare goals.

Hot Water

Hot water is generally not recommended for skincare since it can strip your skin of moisture and make it even more prone to dryness or congestion. By trying to unclog pores with hot water, you may actually make your skin more prone to breakouts and oiliness. However, heat in the form of steam can be beneficial for your skin since it can loosen up congestionin your pores without directly damaging the skin. Instead of washing with hot water, try placing a warm, wet towel over your face for a few minutes before using a cleansing or clarifying product to really clean out pores and reduce their appearance.


Cold water is generally best for soothing irritated or puffy skin. Cold water can cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing redness. It can also de-puff skin and help you look more rested, especially around the eyes. If your skin is easily irritated or has redness, cold water (but not ice-cold) may be the best option for your regimen.


Lukewarm water is generally the recommended option for most people. It offers the benefits of loosening up congestion and helping clear out pores without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. On a day-to-day basis, warm water is typically the best option for cleansing your face.


How do you make pores less noticeable naturally?

Keeping your pores free of congestion like oil, dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup can help reduce the visibility of your pores. These things tend to sit in pores drawing more attention to the pores when you look at your skin.

What do large pores indicate?

Large or dilated pores tend to be indicative of there being congestion stretching the pores and causing them to look more noticeable. Some people simply have larger pores, especially if the skin is oily.

Can pores be permanently closed?

Pores serve a very important function to your skin – they produce sweat and oil, two things needed to keep your body and skin healthy. As such, they can’t be permanently closed, nor can they open. Keep in mind that pores can’t change size because they don’t have muscles!

Can you shrink your pores?

Pores can’t open or close. They are simply small openings in the skin that are always in a static state. You can, however, reduce their appearance by keeping them free of congestion.

Is it bad to squeeze your nose pores?

Squeezing your pores, especially in areas like your nose where they may appear more visible, can actually cause the pores to appear larger. This is because squeezing these pores can cause damage and scarring.

Can ice close pores?

Pores can’t open or close, meaning ice won’t help minimize their appearance. It may, however, reduce puffiness in areas like the eyes.

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