On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than a nice, cold shower to lift your spirits. On the flip side, when the day is slightly more chilly, a hot shower can be exactly what you need. But on an average day, what kind of shower is best for you? What shower is best for your skin?
First, it is important to understand how your skin can adapt to different temperatures.
The skin covering your body does not get affected by the high temperature of the water because it tends to be thick in those areas. However the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis, is thinner on the face than the body. This skin is thinner than usual around the eyes and lips, so extreme water temperatures could cause more harm to those areas. Thus, you need to be particular about the shower water used on its surface.
Benefits of a hot shower:
Hot shower water is extremely soothing but it is not meant to be exposed to your face and scalp. Using hot and extremely hot shower water can compromise the epidermis, signaling the oil glands in your pores to produce excess oil. This is because the heat causes your skin to dry up quickly and your body feels the need to protect itself from further dryness. This excess oil clogs your pores and leads to acne. That is why it is important to moisturize your skin after a hot shower.
A hot shower can also damage the protective layer of your hair, called the cuticle, making your hair dry and frizzy. Hot shower water also causes an increased production of skin cells on the scalp, in order to control increased levels of dryness, which makes your scalp flaky.
Benefits of a cold shower:
Cold shower water is extremely beneficial for the skin! Cold shower water can shrink your pores and depuff your skin, making you look and feel refreshed. As long as the water is not ice-cold, a cold shower is an excellent choice. Make sure you ease into this habit since your body isn’t used to the cold temperature. It’s best to start with a cooler temperature than your regular one to prevent falling sick.
In terms of the scalp, a cold shower can have a similar beneficial effect on your scalp. It can tighten skin cells and protect cuticles better. Cold shower water, for some, can also help in reducing hair fall and relieve you of dandruff.
How to make the right choice for your shower?
Everyone has different types of skin, which means that everyone has a different routine that they follow. Having said that, the ideal temperature while taking showers is in lukewarm water. It isn’t too hot that your skin gets dry and it isn’t too cold that you may fall sick. This is especially ideal for the face and scalp.
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Read all of Dr Anupriya Goel’s articles here.