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From sugaring vs. waxing to physical vs. chemical sunscreen, we’ve had our share of beauty debates. The next on our list? Cold vs. hot showers! We’re sure you’ve heard of people who swear by either temperature, and you’ve probably heard a mix of myths and facts as to why one is better than the other. But what’s the truth? Is one temperature better than the other? Below, we’re cutting to the chase and settling the cold vs. hot shower debate, including sharing which temperature you should turn your own dial to on the daily. Ready to try switching up your shower routine? Read on for everything you need to know. Better looking skin and hair days await!
Let’s be honest—most of us can’t bear to stand under a cold stream of water for long. That being said, cold showers have their own set of perks aside from feeling refreshing after you’ve been outside on a hot summer day. Let’s dive into those now!
Cold Shower Benefit #1: They’re a natural antidepressant. Feeling down? A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NBCI) found that cold showers may be a mood booster. How so? According to the study, cold showers result in a high-density presence of cold receptors in the skin. These receptors send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain. The result? A temporary numbing effect.
Cold Shower Benefit #2: They speed up post-workout recovery. You may have heard of friends and colleagues alike taking a cold shower after hitting the gym, but did you know there are benefits to doing so aside from the refreshing burst of cold after a hot, sweaty workout sesh? A study from the NCBI found the cooling benefits from a cold-water shower can help reduce your cardiac rate after a workout routine in a hot environment, due to its ability to facilitate faster heart rate recovery. Pretty cool (literally), right? However, further research is required to fully assess the recovery benefits of cold water showers.
What about hot showers? Well, there are benefits to turning up the heat aside from warming up after braving the cold winter air. Here’s the deal.
Hot Shower Benefit #1: They’re comforting. Sure, you probably could’ve guessed this, but there’s science behind the comforting element of hot showers. In fact, a study from the NCBI found that the lonelier a subject was, the longer and hotter they preferred their shower to be.
Hot Shower Benefit #2: They can improve sleep. Speaking of comforting, hot showers are often recommended for improved sleep, per a study from the NCBI. However, more research needs to be done to solidify this correlation.
While the above benefits are surely noteworthy, there is one downfall to taking hot showers: dry skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), long, hot showers and baths can dry your skin. Yikes!
Ever consider combining hot and cold showers? This is a popular option for those who don’t want to fully part with their favorite temperature but still want to reap the benefits. As it turns out, a study from the NCBI found that hot-to-cold showers resulted in fewer reported sick days. Who knew?
Sure, there are benefits to both cold and hot showers, but which option is better? Well, neither, actually. While there are reasons people opt for either option, when all is said and done, it’s generally a good idea to take a lukewarm shower if your focus is to take good care of your skin and hair. The AAD recommends using lukewarm water every time to avoid dryness and irritation and to limit your showers to five short minutes.
Next up: Now that you know the deal with cold vs. hot showers, perhaps you’d like to move onto another popular shower debate. Head on over to our article, Are Showers Better than Baths?
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