If you’ve been on the Internet for some time, you’ve surely stumbled upon the following statement at least once:
Hot showers are bad for your skin.
And while we’re not usually here to give health-related advice, this is a topic I would like to touch on, since this blog is all about shower products, and I myself am huge on long, hot shower (especially during the wintertime.) So, do I think that hot showers are bad for you, and particularly your skin?
Yes and no. It depends a lot on your skin type – whether it’s oily or dry, sensitive or less so. It also depends on the water PH and the type of soap/lotion/any other shower product you use. If you have sensitive and dry skin, long hot showers might not be the best idea for you, especially on a daily basis. If you can’t live without those 20 minutes of bliss every day, try to at least use moisturizing products to help your skin retain moisture – swapping shower gel for shower cream or oil and getting a body conditioner would be a good place to start.
People with oily skin are always tempted to think that drying their skin using any methods available (anything from scrubs and tonics to hot showers) would improve its condition, but it’s quite the opposite. As a person with oily skin, I can tell that stripping your skin of all its natural oils will only cause it to produce MORE of them. Hot showers alone will probably not cause that to happen, but you might want to be more careful about the products you use. Swap oil-based products for oil-free moisturizers, and choose a soap with a gentle PH.
By far the most affected by hot showers are people with sensitive skin. If your skin gets red and irritated every time you go out in the sun or swatch a new product, I would bet that molten lava showers don’t make your skin too happy either. If your skin is red, irritated, flaky, or itchy after coming out of a hot shower, you should probably consider switching to lukewarm water. Alternatively, it might be a water PH or product issue. It might be that the soap you’re using is too harsh on your skin. When in doubt, always go for a PH neutral soap, as those are less likely to cause breakouts on sensitive skin. On the other hand, hard water is a huge issue in some areas of the US – and symptoms of constant exposure to hard water include extremely dry skin and hair, flakiness, and even rashes. You can usually solve that problem by installing a shower filter in your bathroom.
The bottom line is that hot showers are not necessarily bad for your skin – at least not for everyone. If your skin doesn’t feel or look any different after a hot shower, it would be too bad to give up on one of life’s greatest pleasures. If your skin feels dry and flaky – you might want to check the water PH and the soap you’re using first – and maybe turn the water temperature down – but just a little bit!