Should you wash your face with cold or hot water?

IF you are observant, you would have noticed by now that your skin tends to act up when put in extreme weather conditions — either in that frigid air-conditioned office (which almost always seem colder than necessary!) or under the hot scorching sun outdoors.

That same kind of principle can be applied when it comes to our beauty and health upkeep too. Or rather, the temperature of the water we use in our daily routine.

The subject of water temperature — whether you are washing, showering or just plain drinking — can rile up a myriad of supporters and detractors. To go cold, or to go hot? Here, we compile some known facts to help you along in making your decision. 

Cold Water

It is way too early in the morning and the last thing you want to do is to step into a cold shower. But wait, you might want to beat the brunt of iciness. Cold water is touted to have a string of benefits for the skin and body.

That initial shock of cold water’s contact on your skin can act as a natural “alarm clock” to immediately wake you up in the morning. Other benefits include calming itchiness, increasing blood circulation, reduce muscle soreness after a workout and even give hair that healthy natural glow. 

There is also some research that suggests showering with cold water can help burn fat since your body will be using up more energy to maintain normal temperature. 

Beauty routine wise, it has been alluded that washing the face with cold water helps to tighten the skin in general. This will then help to reduce those annoying morning puffiness. It is also said that washing the face with cold water helps to tighten pores, resulting in a more even looking complexion in the morning.

Hot Water

We get the appeal of a long hot shower. After all, nothing feels as relaxing as soaking in that deliciously comforting hot tub after a long week at work. But that rest and rejuvenation comes at a price — hot water, like piping hot, is known to be detrimental to the skin. 

Hot water, when use for washing face, has the tendency to strip away our skin’s natural oils. The result of that is, of course, much drier skin. Stripping away our skin’s natural oil also spells a host of problems. Think acne and clogged pores. This is because our skin tend to overcompensate for dry skin by secreting more sebum, which also causes that unflattering shiny and greasy look.

It’s a different story when that heat is transferred through a different method, though. The act of steaming your face is known to open up the pores. This in turn will help to let out the sebum that are trapped in the pores. If you don’t have a facial steamer on standby, an alternative would be to place a hot wet tower over the face. 

Lukewarm Water

If hot water sounds bad for your skin, that’s because a better alternative is lukewarm water. Dermatologists note that lukewarm is just the right temperature for most cleansing products to work at their best. 

Studies have also shown that drinking lukewarm water is also better for the body as it aids digestion, prevents premature ageing by eliminating toxins, relieves constipation and even weight loss.