There’s nothing quite like stepping into a hot spray of water after a long day or chilly afternoon crafting snowmen with the kids. But are hot showers bad for you?
Are cold showers better than hot showers?
Both cold and hot showers have benefits. Determining if one is better or worse than the other is up to your needs and preferences.
Benefits of Hot Showers
Hot showers are great for relieving muscle tension and helping you relax at the end of a hard day. Steam from hot showers can also help open your pores, making it easier to clean any trapped oil or dirt that may otherwise cause a breakout. But do the cons outweigh the benefits?
Some cons of hot showers:
- Hot water dries out our skin. Hot water strips your skin of its natural moisture, which can cause dry, itchy, flaky skin or flare up existing skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Hot water increases blood pressure. When you heat up, our bodies’ natural response is to sweat to cool off—which can be challenging if submerged in a hot bath or under a constant stream of hot water. While trying to cool off, your blood vessels dilate, and your heart works hard to circulate blood to your skin, which can be dangerous for anyone at risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
- Steam from hot water can create excess moisture. Hot water creates excess moisture in the form of steam. If you forget to turn your bathroom ventilation fan on, steam can settle on your walls and ceiling and contribute to mold growth or water damage over time.
Benefits of Cold Showers
Cold showers are easier on your hair and skin and can help you relieve soreness from an intense workout. Cold water can also help you achieve your weight loss goals. Specific fat cells generate heat by burning fat—meaning, when you’re cold, your body burns fat to try and warm itself up. In the same sense, cold showers increase circulation in your body and help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Shower in Moderation
Thankfully, you don’t have to quit hot showers cold turkey. Experts recommend taking a lukewarm shower or alternating between a minute of hot water and a minute of cold water to get the benefits from both and detoxify your skin.