For many, nothing is more relaxing than a long, hot shower or soothing soak within the tub. It can relieve stress, induce sleep, and help clear nasal congestion. During the winter months, many people enjoy taking a soak or shower in hot water to warm up and shake off the chill. Although tub time may feel like a luxury, it can wreak havoc on your skin by drying it out if done too often or if the water is just too hot.
What Does Skin Do?
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is formed from three layers that:
- Protect us from germs.
- Control body temperature.
- Work with the nervous system to manage sensations like touch, heat and cold.
Will a Hot Shower Dry Your Skin?
Hot showers and baths can inflame the skin, causing redness, itching, and even peeling — similar to a sunburn — and may disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture, robbing you of the natural oils, fats, and proteins that keep skin healthy. Dry skin can increase your chances of infection and truly cause an over production of oils in an attempt to catch up on the shortage of moisture.
Help keep your skin healthy by following these few simple steps from Nick Woltjen, MPAS, PA-C, UPMC Department of Dermatology, when bathing:
Turn Down the Water Temperature
- Frequent hot showers and baths can cause dry, itchy skin or maybe rashes. Cooler or lukewarm showers even just a few times a week can keep skin hydrated and help hair stay strong and shiny. If your skin appears red following your bath or shower, your water is just too hot.
Decrease Your Bathing Time
- Spending less time within the tub not only benefits your skin, but you’ll decrease the quantity of water wasted, too. Step out of the bathtub before your skin appears wrinkled like a prune. Depending on factors like your daily activity level, profession, or season, you would possibly even be ready to skip a full daily shower here and there.
Avoid Harsh Soaps
- Soap is drying to the skin, stripping away the natural oil barrier, and lots of are crammed with chemicals that are applied directly to your body before washing away into our water system. Instead, try a mild, fragrance-free, non-soap cleanser (you won’t see much lather like soaps) or moisturizing shower gel or oil.
Moisturize Your Skin
- Pat yourself dry, and apply an unscented lotion, cream, or oil to your still-damp skin. This will help lock in moisture. For most people, a light, water-based moisturizer is adequate. Noncomedogenic products won’t clog your pores; while ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and chamomile offer soothing qualities. Also, consider a product that contains ceramides. Ceramides help protect and retain the needed moisture for your skin.
Experiment with different bathing routines until you discover one that creates your skin look and feels healthy. Skin are often easily suffering from changes in products, weather, and hormones.