If you’re skin-obsessed like us, then you probably have your skincare routine down to a science. Whether you’ve created a face routine suitable for dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin, the chances are that you’ve found products that work well for you and your skin type.

However, while you may start your morning with a gentle face wash, the water that you use and how often you wash your face are equally important considerations as the products you use. Now, when we talk about the importance of water, we’re not entirely talking pH levels. Choosing the right water is simple. Instead of running your water through an intense purifying process, make sure that the water you’re using is the right temperature. To learn more about the ideal temperature for face washing and how it can affect your skin’s health, keep reading.

How Does Hot Water Affect Your Skin?

Let’s face it; nothing’s better than running a hot, relaxing bath. Or maybe, you’re a fan of warming up on a chilly fall morning with a steaming hot shower. While a hot shower may feel great at the time, it’s not that great for your skin. Washing your face and body with hot water can leave your skin sensitive, resulting in a negative reaction to cleansing, even when you use a gentle cleanser. Additionally, hot water can strip your skin barrier and rid of its natural oils, the same oils it uses to protect itself from harmful external irritants. Stripping your skin of these oils can cause your skin to dry out, and dead skin cells can sit on the surface of your skin. Now, if you have an oily skin type, removing these natural oils can cause your body to compensate by producing an abundance of oil that eventually leads to shiny skin and clogged pores.1

How Does Cold Water Affect Your Skin?

Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning has more benefits than just acting as a wakeup call. In fact, washing your face with cold water may help your skin look more youthful. Cold water works similarly to an astringent, toning your skin and making it look refreshed and younger. The cold water can also help with early morning puffiness around the eyes and cheeks. Washing your face with cold water also tightens the look of pores from being exposed to sweat, dirt, bacteria, and oil. That being said, you don’t want only to clean your face with cold water. Remember, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Overwashing your face or cleansing with extreme temperatures can result in skin problems. When it comes to a healthy skin-care routine, we believe that variety is critical, including water temperatures.

What Water Temperature Should You Use to Wash Your Face?

So, should you wash your face with hot or cold water? The good news is, you don’t need to use a thermometer to measure the water temperature before washing your face in the mornings. When it comes to a healthy face washing temperature, lukewarm water is ideal. Lukewarm water will protect your skin’s natural oils, ensure that your facial cleanser is activated and working properly, and remove the dirt and bacteria from your skin’s surface. While you might be tempted to switch the water temperature up now and then, it’s best to use lukewarm water whenever possible and avoid extremes like steaming hot or icy cold water.

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Is it better to wash your face with hot or cold water?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your face in lukewarm water. It's the perfect middle ground for all skin types, as Beal explains that hot water strips your skin of the protective oils that help hold in moisture.


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