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Beauty Myth: Pores Open and Close

Beauty myth pores don't really open or close

Young beautiful girl receiving pink facial mask in spa beauty salon - indoors - pores open close a mythYou’ve probably heard a lot of skincare tips about closing the pores on your face with toner or opening your pores with hot water. The truth? Pores don’t open and close. A pore is an opening in the skin that allows sebum to flow to the surface and provide moisture, but there’s nothing that causes pores to open and close. It simply doesn’t happen!

If your pores seem large, it could be that dead skin cells that have built up in the pore. The solution: exfoliate. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and keeps pores looking smaller and cleaner. Hot water does soften the skin temporarily, making removal of dead skin easier – but it doesn’t “open” anything. Similarly, toner tightens skin and usually has acidic properties that help to remove excess dirt and moisture.

If you are prone to clogged pores and pimples, resist the urge to pick at or squeeze your pores: this can stretch and scar them. Instead, opt for a new facial cleanser like Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.

15 thoughts on “Beauty Myth: Pores Open and Close

  1. Thanks for setting the myths to rest! I’m definitely a fan of exfoliating, not only does it clean my pores but also it feels great!

  2. I totally believed the myth! I had no idea and thanks so much for setting me straight. Do you have a recommendation for how often someone should exfoliate? Weekly? Can you do it too much?

    1. Andi – I hate to be one of those people who says “it depends”, but it really does depend on how sensitive your skin is. Mine isn’t sensitive at all, so I can do light exfoliating daily (I like Dermalogica Microfoliant on my face and any great-smelling sugar scrub like the ones from Bath and Body Works for the rest of me).

      I would say everyone should exfoliate at least once a week, and more often if your skin needs it and can handle it. If redness lasts for more than, say, thirty minutes after you exfoliate, be cautious heading to the next treatment – you may have rubbed yourself the wrong way. (Har!) “Too much” is anything that irritates your skin – you don’t want to do more damage than good.

      Hope that helps!

  3. AHAs (glycolic acid) and BHAs (salicylic acid) are fantastic. I prefer chemical exfoliants to physical ones in the long run. I do, however, like to use a Clarisonic when I want a physical exfoliation.

  4. Is This something that you used all on skin types or just skin that is prone to cloged pores? I’ve heard of it so much but I have bever tried it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I always thought hot water on a flannel pressed on your face would open up your pores, I learn something new everyday.

  6. I am embarrassed to admit this, being a girl and all, but I have never actually exfoliated! I struggle with blackheads on my nose… maybe this is my key to helping get rid of those nasty things!!

  7. Great post and very informative! Many people to think pores open and close, I learned during beauty/massage school that it was a myth! I love exfoliating because of how my face feels right after!

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