Let’s be honest. There are few things as enjoyable as a piping hot shower (or bath) when it’s cold outside. Relaxing and warming, it’s the perfect way to end a wintery day. But, while a steaming soak might be soothing to the spirits, it’s not all smooth sailing.
From causing dryness and irritation to triggering acne breakouts and thinning your strands, here’s how hot winter showers can damage your skin and hair. Read on to discover all the reasons you should turn the temperature down this winter – and stick with a lukewarm shower, year-round.
Hot showers dry out your skin
We hate to be party poopers, but long, hot showers really are the enemy of healthy, hydrated skin. Drawing out precious moisture and washing away natural oils, hot water can leave the skin dry or dehydrated.
In turn, this can lead to irritation, itching and tight, uncomfortable sensations. Common winter skin complaints that, thankfully, with a little TLC (and the right water temp), can often be avoided.
Our tip? Stick to lukewarm showers and baths only, keeping them to 5-10 minutes, max. Also, make sure you slough away dry, dead skin cells 1-2 times weekly with a body scrub – like our triple-exfoliating Bali Buffing Sugar.
Dehydration can trigger body acne
While some warmth is great for opening pores and washing away impurities, anything too hot should be avoided. Even oily skin can become dehydrated during winter and, if it does, it will overcompensate by increasing oil production.
Obviously, this is the last thing you want if you’re prone to bacne or body breakouts. So, keep the temperature down if you want to keep seasonal flare-ups at bay.
Our tip? Swap your regular body wash or soap (surely you’re not still using soap!) for a prebiotic body wash that supports the skin’s microbiome for balanced, hydrated skin.
Hot showers make skin conditions worse
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or rosacea, you should be extra careful. These conditions are associated with an impaired skin barrier function and long, hot showers will only increase moisture loss and irritation. Make your dryness, flaking and redness worse.
Our tip? Take extra care of your skin during winter. As well as keeping your shower on the cooler side, it’s often smart to bathe less often. As a rule, once a day is sufficient. Especially as you’ll also have central heating and winter winds exacerbating any dryness.
Hot water and facial skin don’t mix
Hot showers might be tough on your body skin, but they’re even worse for your face. All the issues above – dryness, dehydration, breakouts etc – are equally applicable. Add water pressure and delicate facial skin to the mix, and you’re looking at an increase in redness, rosacea flareups and a smattering of broken capillaries. Eeek!
Our tip? Keep your face away from the direct shower stream. Avoid using hot water on your face and, if you’re suffering from winter dryness, swap your foaming cleanser for a more nourishing cream option. Yummy.
Extra-hot water can even cause hair loss
Hot showers aren’t just damaging to the skin, either – they can also wreak havoc on your hair. Scalding water is just as stripping for your scalp and strands. It can cause the scalp to overproduce oil and can also break protein bonds and damage the hair cuticle.
By triggering inflammation, overly hot water can negatively impact hair growth. In some cases, it can even lead to some hair loss. So, consider yourself warned.
Our tip? Rinse hair with lukewarm water and avoid over-washing to keep dryness and damage at bay.
Post-shower moisturising is essential
To maximise skin hydration during winter, keep your showers and baths lukewarm. Stick to 10 minutes, maximum, and use a sulfate-free body wash, like one of our Smoothie Shower Gels, to avoid stripping the skin of moisture.
As soon as you step out of the shower, gently pat yourself down then apply a body moisturiser to still-damp skin. This ensures minimal moisture loss and maximum product penetration for soft, silky, comfortable skin.
Our tip? Fight dryness and bumps at once with our firming Body Moisture Whip, featuring CelluShape™️ Technology.
Written by: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya