Perhaps one of the few rewards of cold weather involves a toasty shower in which you feel your whole body finally warming up after a long day. But, the steam and drying water may actually be doing more harm than good to your skin.
As winter often involves cracked, dry skin, adding hot water may exacerbate your already-parched cells. In an effort to avoid this stripping of your skin, it’s best to shorten your luxurious hot shower time. “I know it’s cold, and a nice, hot steamy shower seems like the perfect remedy; however super-hot water can be damaging to the skin,” aesthetician Jennifer Gerace tells Women’s Running. “Hot showers and baths can inflame the skin, causing redness, itching, and even peeling—and can disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture, robbing you of the natural oils, fats, and proteins that keep skin healthy.”
Your skin’s natural oils that keep your cells moisturized and protected are already stretched thin in the winter, and when you add scorching hot water, it can spell disaster. Gerace suggests limiting your shower time to 10 minutes to avoid inflammation and irritation, while Bustle also recommends keeping the temperature of the water slightly cooler.
Adjust your showering routine during the winter
In addition to keeping your shower stream set to a lower temperature, you can make other small adjustments during the colder months to keep your skin safe. For instance, Women’s Running recommends keeping the bathroom door shut to keep the humidity from the shower steam inside the room. This moisture can help your skin avoid getting stripped of natural oils and proteins.
Plus, hydrating products are non-negotiable for the cold weather. Look for a naturally hydrating body wash as well as a powerful moisturizing lotion to use after your rinse. In fact, having two different body cleansing products to use throughout the year can be extremely beneficial for your skin. Look for a creamier version of your bar soap or regular body wash to use in the winter. The outlet suggests applying your lotion to your skin while it’s still slightly damp for “better absorption.” As for drying, avoid harshly rubbing a towel all over your body — this can strip the skin even further. Pat any excess water off of your skin gently, Women’s Running recommends.
According to The Healthy, showering too often throughout the cold-weather months can also lead to irritation and dryness. The outlet notes that every other day should be enough when it comes to showering and keeping clean, plus it will have your skin glowing through March. While showering isn’t rocket science, it’s still important to err on the side of caution when it comes to your skin and winter weather!
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