Your Mother Says…
“Wash your face with the hottest water you can stand to clean out your pores.”
Newburger: No. Temperature extremes are stressful for your skin. Plus, if you’re acne-prone or have rosacea, hot water can make it worse.
Dee Anna Glaser, professor of dermatology and the director of cosmetic dermatology at St. Louis University, in Missouri: That’s a bad idea, because very hot water tends to remove the natural oils on the skin. These are important for the skin’s ability to protect against bacteria and allergens.
Fredric Brandt, cosmetic dermatologist in New York City and Miami: Hot water can help open pores, but to “clean” them, you still have to extract everything that’s inside, which only a dermatologist or a trained aesthetician should do. Lukewarm water is much better.
“If you pick at pimples, you’ll get big pores.”
Brandt: Picking pimples can cause big pores. And if you really go at them and start digging and squeezing, you can cause scars, too.
Newburger: It won’t change the pore size, but picking pimples can traumatize the skin, causing inflammation and scarring.
Glaser: “Don’t pop or pick” is still sound advice, though you can have big pores even if you never picked, because pore size is genetically influenced.