Here's What Super-Hot Showers REALLY Do to Your Skin, According to Experts
In fact, too much hot water can be damaging to your skin as well as your hair. But how much does it actually hurt, and what can you do to fight those negative effects? We reached out to the experts at ZO Skin Health UK to find out.
Sweety High: What is it about hot water that strips oils from skin and hair?
ZO Skin Health: Hot water can dehydrate the scalp and strip your hair of natural oils, which can lead to your hair breaking and leave it with a frizzy and dry texture from the escaped moisture. It can also leave your skin damaged and prone to irritation, and if the water is very hot can even burn your skin, causing it to be flaky and dry.
SH: How can we know if the showers we're taking are too hot?
ZOSH: If your skin is visibly red once you've had a shower, then the water is too hot. Any signs of looking sunburnt are a clear indication that your showers are drying out your skin. Test your shower water with your elbow, as this is a sensitive area and you will instantly know if it is too hot for you.
SH: Why can hot baths be even worse than showers for skin?
ZOSH: Too much water for a long duration of time in the bath can strip the skin of natural oils. This can cause the surface of your skin to break down, which causes irritation and inflammation. Showers expose the body to less water. However, you can add oats to bath water, which can soothe skin irritations such as eczema.
SH: Are there types of soaps or ingredients that can help combat these negative effects of hot water?
ZOSH: Avoid any harsh soaps or washes that have fragrance dyes and avoid alcohol-based options. These will leave your skin feeling itchy and tight after a hot shower. Instead, opt for a gentle cleanser or shower gels, which have added oils or fats. The keywords are "hypoallergenic" and "moisturizing."
SH: What tips do you have for taking shorter showers—particularly for those with long in-shower beauty routines?
ZOSH: One great tip is to go navy. You go in the shower and get wet, and while you're lathering up or doing another beauty ritual, you turn the water off, and only turn it back on when you rinse off. This way, you can still take your time with your beauty routine, but you will have less hot water impacting your skin and hair—and waste less water.
SH: What moisturizers or ingredients do you recommend applying to the skin after a shower to maximize hydration?
ZOSH: We recommend the Glo Skin Beauty UK Oil Free Moisturiser. This is the best option for combination and oily skin. It contains antioxidants to give a brightening effect to the skin, and is formulated with Vitamin E, a correct antioxidant that supports the immune system. It's a great oil-free moisturizer, as it also contains L-Hyaluronic Acid to hold 1000 times its weight in water to prevent dehydrated skin. You should use moisturizers that are lightweight and don't have thickening properties.
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