Are cold showers good for you? That's right, we said "cold."
The thought of less-than-pleasing temperatures doesn't exactly lend itself to a #SpaNightRoutine on TikTok, but medical and wellness experts claim that there are benefits to avoiding warm water.
"Showers should not be too hot, as this can cause an increase in histamine release and itchy conditions like eczema and hives to become worse," says Dr. Shaaira Nasir, consultant dermatologist at sk:n (opens in new tab). "It also removes the natural oils from the skin and reduces moisture."
Before you start to shiver at the thought, read on for the perks (and grab a heavy towel if you feel so inclined).
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Are cold showers good for you?
No steam, no problem. A cold shower will get the blood flowing, literally and figuratively, and start your day on the right foot. You don't have to endure freezing torture, but a little cold can go a long way.
1. Cold showers energize you
Need a little help in the morning? (Don't we all?) If those 15-minute morning rituals aren't exactly easing you into the day, a quick, cold shower might do the trick.
Not only will a cold shower increase your heart rate and enhance your oxygen intake, according to Tyler Woodward, wellness expert at Eden’s Gate (opens in new tab), but it'll make you alert, which is perfect for those with early start times.
2. Cold showers release endorphins
As you know full well from the Legally Blonde endorphins speech, these natural mood boosters make you happy, and they can result from chilly temps.
"Even though showering in cold water can result in a small shock, it releases endorphins hormones, which liberates positive and happy hormones throughout the body enabling you to start the day with a favorable mindset," Woodward says.
Likewise, Dr. Michele Green (opens in new tab), a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist, is in favor of what the temperatures can do for us internally.
"[They] wake up your skin receptors which cause increased activity in the brain," she says. "This can increase the serotonin levels, which improves mental acuity and relieves depression symptoms."
3. Cold showers reduce skincare issues
"Cold showers are better for your skin, hair and nails, as warm or hot showers tend to dry out the skin and strip away essential oils," Dr. Green adds.
Health benefits of cold showers
1. Cold showers alleviate pain
Have you been hitting the gym a bit hard? Even the perfect workout schedule leaves you susceptible to a few aches here and there, but a cold shower is one step towards getting your muscles back on track.
"They force the muscles to relax and restore themselves, providing the opportunity to recover quicker," Woodward says.
2. Cold showers do less damage to skin barriers
"Every time we shower, we are removing the natural oils on the skin," Dr. Nasir says. "Therefore, a person who showers frequently is at risk of damaging the skin barrier and causing the skin to become dry and irritated. Initially a hot shower feels great on the skin, however, afterwards can leave the skin feeling hot, inflamed and itchy."
Do cold showers help acne?
"Cold showers promote better circulation, which can result in clearer skin," says Woodward. "With increased blood circulation carrying vital nutrients and oxygen, you’re likely to experience reduced skin pigmentation through being able to properly feed skin cells."
What to do after a cold shower
"Pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer to damp skin to lock in hydration and replenish the natural oils that are lost," says Dr. Nasir
(Psst: here's expert-backed advice for how to choose moisturizer for every skin type.)
Feeling convinced? Cool! (Get it?) We're going to give it a try, too.
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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