Are pores the bane of your existence?
You want them to be as small as possible and totally invisible to the naked eye, but no matter what you do, they just won’t cooperate.
If anything, as the years go by, they only seem to get larger and larger.
It doesn’t help that everyone has a different idea of how to shrink those pores. The internet is full of myths and contradictions about pores that confuse your mind and get in the way of great skin.
Time to set the record straight. Here are 5 common pore myths you should stop believing now.
Pore Myth #1: Cold Water Closes Pores…
Truth bomb: pores aren’t doors. You can’t close them.
Pores have no muscular attachment. No lid you can open and close at will. There’s just no way this can happen.
So why do your pores look smaller when you wash your face with cold water?! Simple: cold water constricts the pores… for a while.
FYI, this doesn’t mean that washing your face with cold water is useless. Cold water - especially in the sweltering summer months - can help regulate excess oil production.
It works like this: when the temperatures rise up, your sebaceous glands go into overdrive and produce a little more oil than your skin needs. Cold water can slow the process down a little.
Less oil = fewer breakouts.
Pore Myth #2: …And Hot Water Opens Them
You’ve guessed it: if cold water can’t close pores, hot water certainly can’t open them. And if you can’t open them, steaming your face won’t help skincare products better penetrate your skin. Bummer!
So, why do estheticians always steam your face when giving you a facial? Hint: it helps decongest your skin.
The heat from the hot water or warm washcloth helps melt the fats and oils that are stuck in your pores, so they can easily flow out of them.
These impurities are swelling up your pores, making them look larger than they naturally are. Get rid of them and your pores go back to their original - smaller - size.
The catch? Hot water can be terribly drying for the skin. If you choose to steam your face, do so in moderation.
P.S. If you’re looking for a gentler way to unclog pores, try a salicylic acid exfoliant like our Salicylic Face Wash. It exfoliates the pores from the inside out and soothes sensitive skin, too.
Pore Myth #3: You Can Shrink Pores
Bad news: the size of your pores is genetically determined. You can’t change it.
Good news: if your pores are congested, you can make them look smaller.
Let me clear up the confusion. It’s true you can’t change your pore size. That stays the same all your life.
But, overtime, your pores can become clogged with excess sebum, dead skin cells, sticky skincare ingredients, makeup left on the skin too long and all sorts of other impurities.
When this happens, your pores swell up to accommodate the gunk. The more impurities get stuck in the pores, the larger these pores become.
That’s why exfoliation is so important. It clears up the pores of anything that threatens to swell them up.
Pore Myth #4: You Can Completely Get Rid Of Pores
Why would you want to do that?!
Pores are there for a reason: they let sebum out onto the surface of your skin. Yes, sebum. It’s your skin’s natural moisturizer. Without it, your skin would be as dry as sandpaper. Is that really what you want?
That’s why, no matter what you do, you can’t get rid of pores completely. EVER. Phew!
I do have a pro tip I can pass along though. Remember when I mentioned the cold water constricting pores temporarily? Well DMAE does the same thing with your cells; it's effect makes skin contract and tighten up. This can be amazing for reducing the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles, but also pores! If you haven't tried our Tightening Potion yet, you must!
Pore Myth #5: You Get Blackheads When Your Pores Are Full Of Dirt
Just because it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it doesn’t mean it’s a duck.
It’s the same with blackheads. Just because they look like tiny specks of dirt, it doesn’t mean they’re dirt. They’re not.
Blackheads are just a mixture of excess sebum and dead cells inside the pores that’s oxidized after contact with air. When this happens, the gunk turns black.
They’re a sign your skin’s not exfoliating as well on its own and needs a helping hand. Again, a salicylic acid exfoliant will do. It gets inside the pores and removes blackheads from within.
Hope this clears up all the confusion around pores!