The shocking truth about ice closing your pores...

You’ve probably heard before that ice can close your pores. On the contrary, you may have heard that heat can open up your pores. While neither of these is true, ice does play a critical role in your skincare routine. Right now, for the first time, we are going to reveal the shocking truth about pores and ice.

Sage’s certified paramedical esthetician, Barbara, always throws her hand in her face on this one.  

Does ice close your pores? No!

So why are so many bloggers, personalities, and companies selling you on the fact that ice actually closes your pores? Misinterpretation, plain and simple.

Pores don’t actually open or close. You heard right! The pores on your face and rest of your body are not muscles, meaning they can’t contract to close or relax to open.   

A pore so-called “opens” when bacteria and dirt gets lodged inside causing the pore to inflame and irritate the surface of the skin, then the formation of a zit occurs. Now if you do the math, it’s pretty apparent a pore so-called “closes” when no bacteria or dirt is present in the pore.

So if ice doesn’t open or close a pore, what’s its purpose?

Ice compacts the surface of your skin while also reducing the swelling from any inflamed pores you may have. Icing allows skincare products, like acne treatment, to penetrate the skin more easily resulting in a more effective treatment. Believe it or not, when your face is inflamed from irritation product cannot penetrate the surface of the skin.

To explain, I want you to think of your face as a big red balloon. When the balloon is filled with air nothing can get in or out. The only way to let air in or out is to either pop the balloon or make a small hole in the balloon. Using ice is like poking a small hole in the balloon. In the case of a zit, you’re reducing swelling so that your acne treatment product can do its job.

This is why icing is the third step in our Miracle Routine here at Sage. Whether you have oily, combination or dry skin, ice allows your treatment products (i.e. SPF, acne treatment, anti-aging, etc) to penetrate more quickly, giving you faster and better results.  

A quick protip from Barbara...keep your treatment products in the refrigerator because they also work more quickly when cold.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the heat. Does heat open your pores? No!

Heat and humidity (St. Louis, our hometown, has the second highest rating in the U.S.) cause acne flare-ups because the surface of your skin "swells" from the cardiovascular system kicking in. When you get hot or exercise, two things happen at once. Your skin swells from the freshly oxygenated blood sent to the surface to feed the muscles that are "working" and then you start to perspire producing acids and salts to "cool" the body off. This combination of swelling skin with acids and salts irritates and dries the skin and can cause zits to get worse and become larger. Fun fact, in Vietnam, many soldiers had acne flare-ups on their entire bodies because of the heat and humidity there. 

Well, there you have it, the pore myths are finally debunked! Ice doesn’t shrink pores and heat doesn’t open pores.

The takeaway? Always ice after you’ve exfoliated and washed your face. This is the third step in our Miracle Routine for a reason, we want you to get the full benefit of your treatment products.

Remember ice reduces inflammation if you’re dealing with acne, rosacea or even sunburn. Ice is also going to put your acne treatment, SPF, anti-aging creams, etc. to work much faster. 

That's all! 

Barabara Strickland
Certified Para-medical Esthetician