One of the main problems with a hot shower is that it tends to dry the skin by stripping it of its natural oils. Dry skin can be itchy, become chapped or cracked, and exasperate conditions like eczema. When the normally plump cells of moist skin become dry and shriveled, fine lines and wrinkles also appear.
How Hot Water Dries Skin
The mechanism behind this is quite simple; heat opens skin pores, so a hot shower leaves the skin’s oils completely vulnerable to being eroded by the water. A cold shower closes the pores more tightly, keeping oils locked in.
Here is one testimonial I found interesting:
“I once had a short term job that required me to live outdoors for a little over a month. During that time, the only type of shower I had access to was an outdoor one that only supplied cold water….After a month of not drying my body out with the usual hot, steamy shower, my skin was extremely soft, radiant, smooth, naturally moist (but not oily), and healthy. After I returned home, I continued taking cool showers because I simply learned to love them and the accompanying benefits.”
Cold Showers for Sunburns?
The water temperature for a sunburn should be perhaps not cold, but “cool” water, as described by the National Institutes of Health. They suggest: “Try taking a cool shower or bath or placing wet, cold wash rags on the burn.” .