As tempting as they may be, a steaming hot bath or shower is definitely not going to do your skin any favours. However, a cold shower or bath is not only often unappealing, but can also put you at risk for pneumonia, which is why it is important to understand exactly what the right water temperature is for your skin to benefit the most.
The Optimal Water Temperature for the Body
Many experts would agree that the ideal temperature for washing the body is 112 degrees Farenheit or lower, because this is high enough to clean away environmental dirt and bacteria, but still low enough to not damage the skin. Since hot water from the tap can run as high as 140 degrees, the only way to really have an exact reading is to use a thermometer, although you could also set your home water heater to 115 degrees, to ensure that you do not use water that is too hot.
The Optimal Water Temperature for the Face
While 112 degrees Farenheit may be the optimal water temperature for your body, the skin on your face is much thinner and more delicate. This means, when washing your face, it would be best to have the water temperature as low as you can handle, using lukewarm water whenever possible.
The skin on your feet is tougher and thicker than the skin on your body, meaning that, for a foot bath, the water temperature used can be slightly higher. Hot foot baths have a number of benefits, from being able to refresh tired feet to helping with colds and headaches. Adding a few drops of an essential oil to your foot bath, whether this be lavender, lemon or thyme, will make the experience even more invigorating.
A Cold Bath
Although they may not be that enjoyable, a cold bath really has its advantages, although it should only be done by those who are in good health. With the temperature being at around 55 degrees Farenheit, this will have the effect of thinning your blood and increasing blood sugar levels, both of which are fantastic for relieving tension and lowering stress levels. All that is needed is a quick dip, lasting between six and 30 seconds, before your body will experience the benefits of this.
The Dangers of Using Water That is Too Hot
A hot shower every now and again may not seem like that big of a deal, but it can really damage your skin. The outer layer of your skin consists of a fatty lipid layer, and this is not only to protect the skin from the environment, but also to keep moisture trapped in by preventing evaporation. Using water that is too hot damages this layer, which not only leads to irritation and sensitivity, but also to dry and dehydrated skin.
There is no denying how satisfying a hot shower may feel, but, once you really understand the damage that this can cause to your skin, it really is not worth doing. Instead, keep your water temperature to no higher than 112 degrees Farenheit, although you can up this a bit if you are only soaking your feet.