Cold Water Benefits for Skin

cold water

The polar bear plunge may be a popular event, but using cold water plunges also has risks associated with this chilling experience. However, cold water is known to benefit the skin in several ways. Dry and acne-prone skin benefits from cold water use. Cooler water also helps reduce puffiness and shrink pores so they are less noticeable. Cold showers and cold plunges* may also provide benefits like increased blood circulation, higher endorphins, and boosts to metabolism.

Note: Cold plunges or ice baths come with risks, especially for those with health conditions. The shock of the water temperature may cause adverse reactions, so check with a medical professional before participating in cold plunges and never do them alone.

Washing with Cold Water

Dermatologists tell clients that using cold water when washing one’s face, the coolness can aid in balancing the skin’s natural pH and also shrink pores and reduce puffiness. There are many products on the market that use cooling elements to improve skin’s appearance. Using mild cleansers with cold water removes dirt and buildup while clarifying pores. Cool water can also regulate the oil levels in the skin and help with conditions like rosacea and dryness. Hot water, especially extremely hot, depletes the skin of its natural sebum oils, leaving it dry and in crisis mode. Extreme temperatures are never recommended, but cool or cold water does offer some benefits.

Cold water reduces puffiness and redness after exfoliation because it constricts the blood vessels. If a person has a reaction to a product, using cold water can soothe symptoms. Skin conditions like acne and rosacea also benefit from using cold water. However, getting the dirt out before using too cold water is crucial so that impurities do not get trapped in the pores. Nothing is worse than adding something new to your skincare routine to help that yield negative results.

Drawbacks to Consider When Using Cold Water

Daily face washers should also consider some known drawbacks to using only cold water when washing. The goal of face washing is to get rid of the daily dirt, bacteria, and debris so the skin gets a break. One of the most significant drawbacks of using cold water is that cold water will tighten and shrink pores, so if the dirt and impurities are in the pores, they get locked in and can get trapped. As one can imagine, trapping dirt and grime in your skin’s pores does not yield good results. One way to avoid this drawback is first to use lukewarm water to remove all the makeup and pollutants and then rinse with cold water to tighten up pores and promote increased blood circulation.

All Skin Types Should Avoid Steaming Hot Water Washes

Although a steaming hot shower may feel good at the time, hot water does strip away the skin’s natural oils. Sebum levels are lower when hot water is used, and when the natural oils of the skin are removed, many skin conditions worsen, like acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and dry skin. Hot water opens up the pores well beyond what is necessary to allow dirt and grime to be washed away. Using warm water is a better alternative, allowing just enough heat to open the pores so they can be thoroughly cleaned. When all the oils are removed, the skin’s oil glands become over-active and produce excessive oils, which leads to breakouts and oily skin and hair. Those with acne-prone skin should avoid too much hot water and always follow up with a gentle cleansing with moisturizer so the skin does not overreact.

When using a sauna or jacuzzi, a cool rinse is strongly recommended so the skin’s pores don’t kick into overdrive, leaving the skin fighting for hydration.

Cooling Products on the Skincare Market

The beauty industry never misses a beat when it comes to marketable products to improve skin’s appearance, and cold therapies and tools are plentiful. Cooling cream and serum options may be overwhelming, but using a jade stone that has been in the freezer or an ice cube on puffy eyes has long been used as an at-home remedy. Anyone can find a video on how to use cold rollers on their face to address wrinkles, puffiness, and large pores.

Understanding Your Skin Before Starting New Skincare Routines

What’s important is understanding what kind of skin you have and conditions that may be prevalent based on your history and lifestyle. Exposure to pollutants and diet can significantly contribute to skin conditions. Consulting with an experienced and licensed dermatologist can take the guesswork out of your skincare routine and unlock your skin’s natural beauty. If you live in the Atlanta area, Buckhead Dermatology is led by the well-respected Dr. Sherrie Straughn who specializes in helping clients achieve their skin’s optimal health and appearance. Contact Buckhead Dermatology today and begin your journey to your best skin!