Baths may seem like a relaxing escape, but skin experts say when it comes to the benefit of your skin, you’re better off taking showers.
Dr. Anatoli Freiman of the Toronto Dermatology Centre tells Global News, when you take long baths or even long showers, it starts to affect your skin.
“The skin can dry out,” he says. “But the message is, after the shower or bath, you need to pat yourself dry and moisturize to seal it.”
Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, recently told Today.com while baths were beneficial for people with skin conditions (and Freiman agrees), a shower was better for your skin.
“The only benefit [to baths] is its ability to easily apply certain ingredients to skin,” Nazarian told the site. “You can add oats to bath water which can be quite soothing to skin suffering from eczema, or even certain medication treatments can be placed in the water to avoid applying to your entire skin by hand, but otherwise, showers are much more beneficial.
Not all showers are equal
Now, sticking to showers every day sounds easy, experts say most of us do this anyway, but when it comes to showers, there are some better than others.
Freiman says instead of taking hot showers, we should make a habit of taking lukewarm ones. “They are the best for cleansing yourself and not over-drying yourself. And make them brief.”
Dermatologist Whitney Bowe told Refinery 29 that taking too long of a shower can also be damaging to your hair. “A cool rinse will help seal hair cuticles, resulting in shine and locking in moisture,” she told the site. She adds it is also more hygienic to take a shower (she also agrees with the lukewarm method) if you work out a lot or wear heavy makeup.
“Showers are more hygienic [in these cases] because you are rinsing all those particles down the drain, rather than bathing in them.”
Freiman says besides taking a lukewarm shower, the other thing people can do to maintain better skin is to always moisturize — another thing people tend to skip.
“Find one that doesn’t clog pores,” he continues. He adds there are a lot of products in the market — which can leave consumers confused — and many of them claim to be natural, chemical-free or are heavily scented.
“Sometimes, the bland products may be better,” he says, and often, some of them in Canada are approved and tested by the Canadian Dermatology Association.
“Skin will absorb some water during both baths and showers,” Nazarian told Today.com. “It’s important to utilize the small window of opportunity — less than 30 minutes — after cleansing to apply your moisturizer to damp skin.”
No written rules of showering
And while there is no one “right” way to take a shower, experts say, there are different ways to do it.
Some health experts recommend ditching warm water altogether and trying a cold shower every morning, while others recommend only taking showers two to three times a week.