As long as you’re washing very gently for only a few seconds, you’re golden. Whether you choose cold, warm, or hot water doesn’t matter.

37 Responses to “Washing with cold vs. hot water”

  • daxxx

    thank you so much for this video, for YEARS ive been unsure but always fussing over warm water in the beginning of my cleanse and cold at the end. very helpful video

  • Laura

    Thanks Dan for clearing that up, I had always made sure that I splash my face with cold water after washing to close my pores but probably won’t bother now if it makes no difference. Thought you explained it very well :-)

  • Meli V

    Thanks Dan. I always wonder if I should use hot or cold. Until know I thought the opposite so I used to start with cold and wash so I didn’t open them up my pores with dirt on my face and then after it is clean I would rinse with warm. I guess your right it doesn’t really seem to matter. Thanks for the clarification. You’re the best!

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha, OK I’ll just “have fun” from now on while I’m washing my face. This was a great video! You should do more of this mini teaching sessions!

  • Anonymous

    But why do people then steam their faces with hot water to open pores…? And I can only clean the gunk out of the pores on my nose after hot water, not cold. Also, I looked online and I couldn’t find anything about cold water opening pores. Are you sure this is correct?

  • Anonymous

    Dan, can salicylic acid be used to close pores? Because my big pores always seem to shrink after i use it.

  • Matt

    Well, for this boy warm water suits me… I’m not one to freeze my face just to feel “fresh” ;-)

  • Sierra117

    What are some tips to get rid of redness, mostly overall redness due to tanning without protection and with acne, and maybe even with a little BP once. It’s fading slowly with the use of AHA and BP and tea tree oil and jojobo, etc, but it’s taking forever, it’s been almost 5 months and the spots and redness are still there.

  • Paul

    While you’re right that hot closes the pores and cold opens, you got a little lost in talking about what hot/cold water does to pores, while there are other benefits to using hot/cold water.

    Try wash greasy dishes in cold water and see how far you get.

    Warm/hot water is always going to break down the grease better than cold.

    While cold water will help with swelling etc. Both have a purpose.

    I’d say the best method would be to watch with warm/hot water and then finish with a few splashes of cold.

  • Anonymous

    i think dan i completely wrong. his explaination is ridiculous. after all these years u cant just claim this. so gulable. i can visibly see my poors get bigger with warm water. so please show me proof of your claim (:

  • Anonymous

    i’m here thinkin the same thing anonymous, sorry dan but the opposite is true, you’re logic is non-sensical

  • Desiree

    When you fill a bottle with water to the top and you freeze it, it expands and sometimes cracks the bottle. So I’m guessing the opposite happens when you heat water up. The particles in the water move faster and they get more condensed. When water is frozen the particles expand and stay stationary or move very, very slowly. Sorry Dan but I really think you have it the opposite way. Although you are right about the amount of pores on your skin, using warm or cool water won’t make a crucial or substantial difference to pore size. Although I tend to rinse my cleanser off using cool water because it makes my skin feel more fresh and clean.

  • aasaalhum

    desiree…that’s because water is VERY different from everything else out there.

    and what he says DOES make sense…not sure how you guys can’t see his logic. that said, i still don’t know fact from fiction regarding this topic.

  • cold water

    Cold water. It got rid of my pimples (the big, the bad and the ugly) and did I say, the ones that hurt so much. Love cold water.

    Take a bath or shower in cold water, pure cold, not hots….!!!! It’s the best for the skin.

  • cold water

    Dan cannot really tell what’s best for you. Try it for yourself. I had been taking hot water because we say it feels good and gets rid of the oils? Wrong!!!! It gives you more oil. It makes your face so much oilier, which will cause more acne.

    Try taking cold showers for just even a couple of days. No hot water involved. And you’ll notice a big difference.

  • ben

    you’re wrong. if you did physics at uni like i have, you would know that heating a sheet of metal with a hole in it will expand the dimensions of the metal AND the hole. it may be counter-intuitive but its true.
    so no, hot water doesnt shrink your pores, it makes them a fraction wider.

  • Peter

    Hmm this is not true through personal observation…if I put a warm cloth on my skin, I can visibly see the bigger pores. When Ben said is true.

  • Anonymous

    Ben is correct. Pores do technically open and close . Pores are openings of sweat glands, they lead down to glands. The glands are attached to blood vessels (blood vessels are really thinly walled allowing things to pass through them like ie impurities), these blood vessels contract when cold is placed on the pores (either by temperature, steam, and a few other items). Think of it like a wood door that expands in heat and contracts when it is cold or how your face flushes when you get hot (which is blood vessels expanding and sending more blood to the surface of the skin). Since blood vessels are attached to the glands which are attached to the pores, pores do open and close. So the cold will close them but it will only shrink them for a short period of time. Pores on the face go down and outward which is why its best to use cleansing products in an upward motion and applying makeup in a downward motion. Plus, people steam their face to allow products to penetrate the skin more deeply. Also when they expand they push dirt closer to the surface which is why people who pop pimples (not a good thing to do), usually steam first..

  • Freeborn81

    Ben is correct. Pores do technically open and close (hence dermatologists and estetichians steaming the face prior to any extractions of pimples) . Pores are openings of sweat glands, they lead down to glands. The glands are attached to blood vessels (blood vessels are really thinly walled allowing things to pass through them like ie impurities), these blood vessels contract when cold is placed on the pores (either by temperature, steam, and a few other items). Think of it like a wood door that expands in heat and contracts when it is cold or how your face flushes when you get hot (which is blood vessels expanding and sending more blood to the surface of the skin). Since blood vessels are attached to the glands which are attached to the pores, pores do open and close. So the cold will close them but it will only shrink them for a short period of time. Pores on the face go down and outward which is why its best to use cleansing products in an upward motion and applying makeup in a downward motion. Plus, people steam their face to allow products to penetrate the skin more deeply. Also when they expand they push dirt closer to the surface which is why people who pop pimples (not a good thing to do), usually steam first.
    Remember after cleansing and toning you can exfoliate with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) with about 10-20% glycolic acid, then apply a moisturizer with sunscreen (or if you just have one of each use the sunscreen last, then suspends a powder in a liquid (clinique has a great one called pore minimizer), apply it like a putty it will turn to powder when dry and fill in your pores, then if you wear makeup use a water based foundation

  • Kyle

    While warm water will open pores to a minimal extent, and cool water will close them to a minimal extent, he is talking about washing one’s face. not having a steam bath, or what not. while washing your face with warm water will open pores, it will only do so slightly, having almost ZERO effect. Splashing with cool water will lightly close pores, however, they will resort to normal size momentarily.

    While an esthetician (sp?) will steam pores to open them, this is NOT logical for everyday washing, as it would damage skin, break capillaries, and could even worsen acne.

    Take the video for what it is. About the effects of washing with cold/warm/hot water.

    As a MD i do agree with Dan.

  • Virkam

    Sorry I clicked on send before the above was ready.

    I think what the water issue is all about is that when you wash your face with cold water it helps loosen the oil trapped on your skin and the dead cells. I don’t agree with you. Not that I must, i assume.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Water-Temperature-and-Washing-Your-Face&id=536805

    And again, we are different. what works for you might not work for me. All humans are capable of taming their body, more or less. I had some acne problem around my chin and after washing with warm before bedtime and cold in the morning for eyes,(i did the opposite and was not working) with some Neutrogena face washer I haven’t experienced the problem again in 5yrs.

  • dAh aCnE mAster

    ThE bEst thIng u cOld do fOr UT sKin iS a cold shOwer foR every Time u take one cus hot will just make ur skin itchy and red wEll dah best acne treatment is noT proactive maxclarity neutragina or cllean and clear its a preTty rare acne treatment called murad u people who suferd frm acne she use it that’s the only acne treatment that dosent have benzoy poroxide

  • Anonymous

    are you sure about your “scientific”explanation? i might be wrong, but think about this: when the temperature is high, you lose a lot of water, your body trying to adapt. by losing water, cell volume shrinks and pores get bigger, opening up. this will also make it easier for water to get out. a good example would be that of stomata in the epidermis of plants. on the other hand, cold water doesn’t trigger the same response in your body. on the contrary, fluids will be preserved, the volume stays the same and the pore will get small because of the vass constriction. what do you think?
    also, hot water helps emulsify oils, making them more fluid and therefore more manageable.
    cold water helps against inflamation, think about the use of ice.
    while the temperature of water might not be important with the right cleanser, there are certain benefits for choosing one or the other.

  • Aerogirl

    COLD WATER DOES NOT CLOSE LARGE PORES. It will irritate the skin.

    HOT WATER DOES NOT open up pores. It irritates the skin also.

    ALWAYS use warm water (tepid), to wash your skin. This keeps the skin hydrated and cleanses it.

    There are no muscles around the pore walls, so they cannot open and close. Pores remain the same size. THEY ONLY LOOK BIGGER TO THE EYE BECAUSE dead skin cells, dirt and oil are trapped within each pore.

    To make the size of the pores less noticeable will take time. Your acne will get worse before it can improve. Just rinse with warm (TEPID) water. This will make skin feel tighter. Using Hot or cold will only agitate the skin more.

    Throughout the day when you have a chance. Rinse the skin with lukewarm water. NO SOAP. This will clean the skin of any cleansing material and will hydrate it. Blot gently with a clean, damp washcloth.

  • Aerogirl

    ALSO do not use your hands to prop your face or neck on. Believe it or not this WILL cause bacteria from your (dirty hands) to come in contact with your pores. Keep hair off the face and neck. If you NEED to touch your face and neck just make sure your hands are clean.

    DONT pop pimples. All your doing is spreading the infection. Ever notice how you pop one and then a few more pop up. Nearly in line with the first one? Yep. You did that. When they are ready to release, something as mundane as a soft wash rag brushing the skin will cause it to rupture, Dont stretch or poke the skin with sharp objects or needles. You’ll inflame and infect it.

    Most Soap has too much alkaline. Its usuall about 10 in ph. OUR skin slightly acidic with a pH of 5 to 6. Look for products that have 6 or less. Such as Noevir’s Skincare regimen includes a cleanser to remove all oil-based impurities. Noevir’s Skincare regimen.

  • HotRod

    Thanks for the helpful information. My question is, is warm/hot water or cold water most effective in making your hair a lot thicker? What do you use in washing your hair Dan?

  • Anonymous acne sufferer

    To ALL: for years, from middle school to high school, i’ve been suffering severly from acne. now, do you really think YOUR PORES open when cold water is used? no, its the opposite. ppl. your skin isnt a rock, that cracks because of cold water expanding. its more like a rubber band. when heat is used on a rubber band, it expands easier, (your facial pores becomes bigger and open with warm/hot water) , and with cold water, a rubber band CONTRACTS (becomes tighter ; your facial pores close and become smaller). i have oily skin, and i usually dont even use hot water i only wash with cold. i’ve been going abt 9 months clear because of this. try it out, see results. who knows, everyone’s skin is different. doesnt hurt to try my method for a week or two.

  • KJ

    I think my pores on my nose and side of my nose are big enough to actually see the dirt inside. I hate it.
    It is my main concern thesedays…

  • Ahn

    how did the skin became related to the metal?? @_@ although yeah, warm water can enlarge pores but skin is much diff from metal, skin is elastic, alive and closes the pore itself, i mean hello, we have healing cells!!! Paul is right, to get rid of grease, use warm water then splash with cold water after getting rid of dirt and grease with warm

  • nigel motley

    This guy is wrong. I am living proof this works. A month or so ago my face used to be covered in tiny hard spots, not the kind with a white head or a dark blackhead but hundreds on tiny raised bumps which were very visible in the light. The only way to get rid of them was to squeeze it and eventually a small yellow grain of sand like oil would come out. I found out that my pores were blocked and so came across the hot then cold treatment. Everyday, morning and night for about a month I would wash my face for about 15 mins with warm-hot water, after this my face would be all red from the heat (opening my pores), i would then immediatley wash my face with ice cold water for about 10 mins which closed my pores preventing any more dirt coming in. Now a month later my skin is ALOT smoother and clearer. THIS GUY IS WRONG, IT WORKS

  • Elias

    your explanation makes sense but at the same time i cant argue with the results ive gotten once i changed my facial washing habits to using warm water for like 5 or 6 minutes. ive had severe acne for years and recently a friend advised that i simply wash my face with warm water. the results shocked me. no more cleansers and rubbing…just warm water. my face for the first time since i was 12 was clear and beautiful. the only problem was that my face lost too much moisture because of the expansion of my pours and it became very dry and even began flaring up with what felt like and looked like a rash. so i started using ponds cold cream as a moisturizer and its worked pretty well for the most part. i break out once a month because of hormone cycles but thats it. warm water cold water worked for me…..

  • Dr Anthony Adoghe

    Your so called “scientific” explanation about opening and closing of pores is so so wrong. Physiologically speaking, pores open up to cool the body when it is confronted with heat (hot water for instance) and closes to conserve heat when confronted with cold (cold water in this case). It is regulated by the body’s nervous system and it is not exactly right to try to use the examples you just gave. Please learn some physiology so that you do not mislead people with your layman analysis.

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