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What are Open Pores?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 21, 2024
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The pores in the skin become open when the skin is warm or when the pore is forced open by being squeezed. Opening the pores on the face is a good thing to do during the cleansing process, which should be completed daily. The pores can be opened simply by washing the face with warm water, steaming the face in the shower, or applying a warm, damp towel to the face. Once the pores are open, the face can be cleaned in order to clear out the pores and keep the skin healthy.

After the open pores have been cleaned, they can be disinfected with an astringent, which should be applied with a cotton ball or cotton pad. Astringent is especially useful for people with acne, people with oily skin, and people whose skin gets dirty or grimy on a daily basis. It can be too irritating, however, for people with dry or sensitive skin. After the astringent is applied, the face can be rinsed with cold water, which will close the pores once again.

In order to open and clean out an infected pore or a pimple, the skin should be thoroughly steamed so that the pore will open with as little pressure as possible. The less strain that this process puts on the skin, the better. There are tools that are intended specifically for this purpose. The pore can also be opened with fingers as long as the hands are very clean and the fingers have been wrapped in tissue or cotton.

Sometimes pores can become enlarged to the extent that they seem to be permanently open or are large enough so that oil and debris collects in them. These kind of open pores can be combated by a daily cleansing and moisturizing regimen for the face. There are also pore-refining products and pore-shrinking products that can help to shrink these kinds of open pores. Pore-shrinking masks may also be helpful for people with these kinds of pores.

It is important to remember that pores that are opened for cleansing purposes should be closed. If the open pores are not closed, the skin is less protected and the pores can more easily become infected. Also, for those who decide to force open pores by squeezing them, the pores should always be disinfected afterwards and closed again with the application of astringent followed by cool water.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Jun 07, 2011

I love pore strips! Do you guys use them too? I use it once a week, after a hot shower. After a long week at work, I know that my skin needs some deep down cleansing. And that doesn't really happen when I just wash my face with cleanser. That's what pores strips are good for.

After I shower, all my pores are open, it is the best time to apply the strips. I leave it on until it is extremely hard. If you don't leave it long enough, it doesn't work. When you remove it, you can see how clogged your pores were. Then I wash my face with cold water (to close pores) and follow up with toner, too really clean and close them.

That's my weekly pore cleaning regimen! When I do this every week, my pores are not really visible. You can see a difference even after the first time!

By burcidi — On Jun 05, 2011

It looks so bad when I apply makeup over my open pores. It is so visible! Even when I apply primer, I can see through it. It makes me very conscious about how I look, I feel very uncomfortable.

I am doing some home remedies right now, like sugar and honey scrub, and salt and yogurt scrub. I don't know if it is working, I think it's too early to tell. I feel that store bought products aggravate my condition. A lot of the cleansers and scrubs have glycerin and other oils. I think they clog my pores and open them up even more. That's why I prefer to use natural cleansers.

Can anyone suggest and other recipes or even natural and organic products that I can use on my open pores?

By SteamLouis — On Jun 04, 2011

I read somewhere that using toners and astringents a lot is bad because it over-dries the skin. If the skin is too dry, the pores will produce even more oil to balance out the moisture, it will become enlarged and remain open.

I used to use toner sometimes when my skin felt really oily and the pores looked big. But now I am making sure to apply some lotion after the toner as well. It's really a three step procedure- open and clean facial pores, use toner to close pores and finally moisturize. I think if we miss one or two of the steps, it will mess up our skin balance. It will be easier for infections to happen and pores will inevitably become clogged and large then.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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