Why You Shouldnt Take Hot Showers, According to Dermatologists

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

A hot shower is one of life's simple pleasures. After a chilly day, is there anything that feels better than letting the warmest water you can tolerate hit your skin after the anticipation of waiting for the showerhead to rain down that perfect temperature? And it's especially gratifying if you're sore from a tough workout, no matter the weather outside. But as fantastic as it feels in the moment, a hot shower could be doing more harm than good when it comes to your skin's health.

You know how your fingers can look wrinkly when you've been in a hot shower for a while? She says it's a sign that the moisture has literally been stripped away from your skin.

But it's not just people with certain skin conditions who should avoid hot showers. Extended periods of time under hot water can have negative effects on otherwise healthy skin — and even hair. We chatted with experts to find out why such a common, everyday activity can have such a harsh impact and if there's any hope for those of us who can't imagine life without starting or ending the day in a steamy shower.

"We see a lot of eczema [cases] get worse with long, hot showers," board- certified dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali says of his New York City practice, Hudson Dermatology.

Even if you don't suffer from dry skin or any condition aggravated by hot water, a hot shower still isn't doing your skin any favors. "While counterintuitive, showering for too long makes you more dry by stripping the 'good' oils from your skin," says Bhanusali, who says moderation is key when it comes to hot showers.

Although there's no proof that rinsing your hair with cold water will make it shinier, that doesn't mean you should go ahead and blast hot water on your head. Bhanusali says that, similarly to the skin on your face and body, hot water can strip necessary oils from the scalp, resulting in inflammation and impeded hair growth. "Think of an inflamed scalp as trying to grow little plants in lava — almost impossible to have happy, healthy hair," he says.

Now take a tour of Nicole Scherzinger's opulent bathroom:

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