We all love hot showers, they are soothing, comforting, can help alleviate muscle soreness and there is just something so satisfying about that perfect temperature hitting your skin.
But, most dermatologists will tell you that hot showers can be damaging for your skin, particularly if you have any skin conditions that affect the skin barrier. So why do we need to be careful with how hot we have our showers?
They can dry out your skin.
Do you know how you get those wrinkly fingertips when you've been in the shower or bath for too long? That is the moisture being stripped from your skin.
Super hot showers strip the skin of sebum, which is the necessary healthy fats & oils that the skin needs to maintain its health.
They can exacerbate existing skin issues.
For skin that is prone to skin barrier issues (like rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis & very dry skin) hot showers can further exacerbate these issues and inhibit the repair function.
People that suffer from these skin issues have a skin barrier that has an impairment or deficiency in the essential fatty acids that are needed for the health of the top layer of your skin (cholesterol, fatty acids & ceramides).
Hot showers further strip this layer, causing further damage to already struggling skin.
What's the ideal temperature?
If you're someone concerned with keeping your skin as healthy & hydrated as possible, the ideal water temperature to ensure the health of your skin is lukewarm.
If you NEED a super hot shower (and let's face it, we all do from time to time) then try to limit it to 5 minutes to avoid stripping that all important skin barrier.