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Why you shouldn’t take very hot showers

Beauty By Audrey Masitsa
It can be tempting to stand under the hot running water for what seems like hours after a long day (Photo: Shutterstock)

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a hot shower especially after a workout or when you’re having cramps. Some of the benefits of a hot shower, according to Healthline, include muscle relaxation, helping relieve cold and flu symptoms like a stuffy nose and it can also help get rid of certain skin blemishes. 

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So it’s understandable how tempting it can be to stand under the hot running water for what seems like hours after a long day or when you’re feeling sick. But is this over-exposure to hot water good for your skin?

According to dermatologist Shari Marchbein, a hot shower strips your skin of the healthy fats and oils needed to keep your skin healthy (also known as sebum) and it dehydrates your skin. This results in extra dry skin which can worsen any skin condition that is characterised by having a skin barrier that is compromised.

Skin conditions at risk

This basically means that if you are prone to eczema, taking a very long, hot shower, every day could make the eczema worse.

Other skin conditions that are at risk of getting worse because of taking prolonged hot showers include psoriasis, acne and dry skin.

Sebum provides a barrier by keeping your skin moisturised and keeping bacteria out of the body. If it is compromised, it makes you prone to getting super dry skin and bacterial infections.

To further protect your skin from excessive dryness, use a gentle shower gel (Photo: Shutterstock)

Effect on healthy skin

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You might argue that you have sturdy skin that can withstand even the harshest of conditions and so you can get away with taking very hot showers. However, Dhaval G. Bhanusali, a New York-based dermatologist says, “Showering for too long makes you more dry.”

Your healthy skin too can change to become dry skin if you persist in taking very hot showers.

To prevent this, moderate the water temperature and use a gentle soap or shower gel. Bhanusali advises that if your mirror is steamy after you’ve showered, you may need to reduce your water’s temperature. 

Ideal water temperature

If you want to keep your skin healthy and looking youthful for longer, we all know dry skin looks wrinkly making you look older, shower with lukewarm water. ?

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