BEAUTY
Are Hot Showers Ruining Your Skin Barrier?
By HANNAH DARLING FENN
According to Medical News Today, hot showers can help clear your nasal passages, increase blood flow, boost sleep quality, and even aid in cardiovascular and respiratory health, but they do have drawbacks. You may have had your fingers crossed that this wasn’t the case, but for all their benefits, hot showers ruin the skin barrier.
“Any skin condition characterized by a defective skin barrier can be worsened by a hot shower,” says dermatologist Shari Marchbein, as it “strips the skin of sebum, the healthy fats and oils necessary for skin health, and dehydrates the skin.” Essentially, hot showers cause dry skin, which can increase the appearance of aging and make your skin more prone to infections.
Hot showers can also damage your hair and lead to hair growth issues, so if you can’t cut them out altogether try limiting them to 15 minutes or less. Cold showers have been shown to provide a number of benefits, but if you don’t want to take a full cold shower, you can alternate between warm and cold water.
If you still need your fix of warmth and relaxation, baths have a detoxing effect that can improve blood flow and mental health without damaging the skin barrier. Regardless of what temperature you bathe or shower at, make sure to moisturize head to toe when you’re done.