When I started a proper skin care routine back when I was 13 years old, I first heard about this skin myth when my mom told me that I should finish washing my face with very cold water, to “close” the pores. However, this is a really big skin myth – probably one of the biggest ones – and is used to sell hundreds of products, but unfortunately…
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no – pores cannot open and close. For them to actually open and close would mean it would have to have muscles. In fact, pore size is genetically determined!
From Society Hill Dermatology:
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.
Simply put, “pores are pretty stationary,” says Susan C. Taylor, M.D., a dermatologist in Philadelphia and author of Brown Skin: Dr. Susan Taylor’s Prescription for Flawless Skin, Hair, and Nails (Amistad, 2004).
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,” Baumann explains. 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, with pore minimizing products, don’t expect miracle results; especially those that claim to make your pores smaller. Though they clean your pores out, making them appear smaller, the size of your pores haven’t changed one bit. Think of your pores as a “V” shape. The only real thing you can do is to exfoliate your skin. If you exfoliate it scrubs off a layer of the ‘V’, they will make your pore appear smaller, but again, your pore size really hasn’t changed size.
Sad but true, but this skin myth has officially been debunked! Any thoughts?
P.S. One great product that is used in my household that diminishes the appearance of pores is Benefit’s Porefessional – highly recommended!