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Is it bad to take hot showers?

Is it bad to take hot showers?

3 minute read

If you’re used to taking super hot showers to the point of steaming up your mirrors, then you may want to rethink this habit. While hot showers may be comforting especially during the colder months, constantly showering in hot water can actually be bad for your skin and scalp.

Why are hot showers bad for the skin?

Continuously taking showers in hot temperatures can strip the skin of its natural oils and overtime can cause the skin to become dry. Since our skin’s natural oils are what help keep the skin moisturized, stripping these oils can dry out the skin and make the skin barrier weak.

Additionally, the hot water can worsen already existing skin conditions. Think about dry skin conditions like eczema. If you consistently shower in hot water (that we now know dries out the skin) then you can potentially make a skin condition like eczema worse. This also applies to other skin conditions like rosacea and acne since hot showers can compromise barrier health.

Unfortunately, while all we want to do during the colder, winter months is have a hot shower, it probably isn’t doing your skin any favors. Winter months typically tend to dry out the skin since there are usually harsh winds and colder temperatures that dry up the skin. Adding hot showers to the mix only worsens skin dryness.

 

Hot showers also affect the scalp

On top of drying out the skin, hot showers can also dry out the scalp. Hot showers strip the scalp of natural oils and can lead to dandruff and itchiness. Additionally, dry scalp causes the hair to become frizzy and look a bit dull.

Constantly washing your hair with hot water can also compromise hair strength. Since hot water strips the hair of its natural oils, it can make the strands brittle and eventually cause breakage.  

So should I shower in cold water?!

While constantly showering in hot water can damage the skin and scalp, that doesn’t mean you have to take freezing cold showers just to preserve your skin health. It’s generally recommended to shower in lukewarm water. If you really want to take a hot shower it’s best to keep the temperature not too hot (like to the point of completely fogging up your mirror) and to keep the shower on the shorter side.

If by this point you’ve only taken hot showers and deal with dry skin, it’s best to limit the amount of hot showers you take and ideally take lukewarm showers. To help recover the moisture stripped from the skin you can also apply lotion to the body straight after a shower to help seal in hydration.

You can also help repair skin damage by adding non-stripping cleansers and body washes to your routine to avoid further removing the skin’s natural oils. Keeping the skin moisturized and hydrated helps maintain the skin barrier so it can do its job in keeping the skin healthy.

So while hot showers may feel comforting at times, it’s important to not make it a habit of taking only hot showers.

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