Understanding the Impact of Water Temperature on Skin Wellness

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it isn’t only for looking pretty. It serves several important functions, including maintaining your body heat. Furthermore, as solid as it seems, it contains plenty of fluid and the temperature of surrounding water can affect the wellness of your complexion.

Is cold or hot water best for glowing skin? Are there specific applications for each? How do hot tubs and swimming in cold water impact your complexion? Here’s how to look your best while protecting your health by understanding the impact of the water temperature on your skin’s wellness.

How Hot Water Affects Your Skin

Have you ever heard that you should avoid hot showers? Maybe even from a doctor if you sought a consultation for skin irritation? That’s because hot water affects your skin’s barrier, evaporating vital oils and contributing to excessive dryness.

Washing in cooler temperatures has additional benefits beyond protecting your skin’s moisture barrier. Only 0.5% of the Earth’s water is useable, and long hot showers are not always the most sustainable option. Waiting for the water to reach scalding temps contributes to waste, and cooler showers often result in shorter showers altogether. In addition, cool water also stimulates certain body chemicals that may boost your mental health and immune system.

That’s not to say that hot water doesn’t have its uses. Boiling water can purify it and even remove up to 80% of microplastics, which have unknown effects on human health. However, it’s not helpful for your skin, as temperatures high enough to kill microbes would also burn you. It also doesn’t open your pores — they aren’t connected to muscles, and lukewarm or cool water cleans as effectively.

Furthermore, while stripping oils from acne-prone skin sounds like a plus, it’s not. Your body constantly strives for homeostasis or balance and only produces more oil to compensate. As a result, you could end up with worse breakouts — stick to a twice-a-day scrub routine.

How Cool Water Affects Your Skin

If hot water is a no-go, what about cool? You already know that taking a cold shower has some health benefits, but can it improve your complexion? It’s possible.

Cold water stimulates circulation. Your blood carries vital oxygen and other nutrients to your skin’s cells, and dialing down the temperature encourages this delivery system. If nothing else, you enjoy a rosy glow immediately after a cold shower or splashing your face with cool water. Some women carry refresher mists for this purpose, which may contain rose essential oil or other substances that benefit the skin.

Those with acne-prone skin might especially benefit from using cool water for washing. According to Dr. Ishmeet Kaur, director and co-founder of Dermosphere Clinic, cold temperatures constrict your blood vessels, taming some of the angry redness associated with acne breakouts. This regimen also benefits folks with rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Hot Tubs, Swimming and Skin Care

What about hot tubs, swimming pools and other aquatic activities? How do they affect your skin?

Many people with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions find hot tubs overly drying. Hitting the steam room after a tough workout might be the better choice for your complexion, as it improves circulation without chlorine or bromine. However, swimming, especially in salt water, can mildly exfoliate skin lesions, bringing relief to some. Everyone is different — experiment and give your body what it needs.

Another consideration is that sweat can trap dirt and bacteria in your skin. A cool dip lowers your core temperature, inhibiting sweating after you emerge, and rinses away surface grime.

Water Temperature and Skin Wellness

Should you use warm or cold water to wash your face? Understanding the impact of water temperature on skin wellness helps you make the right choice.

Using lukewarm to cool water is better for your complexion and the planet. Washing your face the right way paves the way for the rosy, healthy glow you crave.

Cover Photo by Vinur (Pexels)

Inside photo by Pixabay (Pexels)