Most people wash their face at least once a day. Whether you're dedicated to an elaborate nine-step skincare routine or like to keep things simple, face washing is probably part of your regimen. But have you ever stopped to think about the details of how you wash your face? For example, is cold water better for washing your face than hot water? Or does temperature really not matter?
To find out what temperature water is best for face washing (and, of course, why), we contacted renowned dermatologists Rachel Nazarian, MD, Debra Jaliman, MD, and Susan Massick, MD. Here's what we learned:
Meet the expert
- Dr Rachel NazarianMD, board-certified dermatologist with the Schweiger Dermatology Group.
- Dr Debra JalimanMD, board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine.
- Susan MassickMD, board-certified dermatologist at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.
Should I use hot or cold water to wash my face?
Dermatologists say that cold or lukewarm water is a better choice for washing the face than hot water. One reason for this advice is that many common skin conditions, such as rosacea and atopic dermatitis (aka eczema), can be aggravated and triggered by high temperatures, Nazarian explains.
But that's not all. Another reason to avoid super-hot water temperatures when washing your face, says Nazarian, is that hot water can remove skin's natural moisturizers, "making skin dry and inflamed over time."
But here's the most important piece of information of all: it turns out that neither cold nor hot water is the best option for washing your face. The ideal water temperature for washing the face is lukewarm.according to American Academy of Dermatology.
" Water temperature is like the Goldilocks rule: not too hot, not too cold," says Massick. "Choose a temperature that's right in the middle - a lukewarm temperature that won't strip the natural oils by being too hot or contract from being too cold."
Advantages of washing your face with cold water
Although lukewarm water is preferable, dermatologists say that washing your face with cool or cold water can help your skin in a number of ways. Here are some of the main reasons why someone might want to wash with cold water:
- Cool water can help relieve acne-related irritation, says Jaliman.
- Cold water can help reduce skin puffiness, especially the puffy eyes many people feel when they wake up in the morning, says Jaliman.
- Cold water can cause vasoconstriction, which is a narrowing of blood vessels that can temporarily make skin look brighter and less inflamed, says Nazarian.
Disadvantages of using cold water
Everyone's skin and lifestyle habits are a little different, so it will vary from person to person, but there are some potential drawbacks to washing with cold water.
One point to consider is that cold water may not cleanse your face of bacteria and pollutants as effectively as washing with hot water, says Jaliman. On that note, your pores may react to cold water by contracting, which can trap dirt, bacteria and oil. Essentially "making cleaning less effective," says Massick.
Another disadvantage is comfort. If you live in a colder climate or are particularly sensitive to cold water and cold temperatures, washing with cold water may not be as pleasant as washing your face with lukewarm water.
Face-washing tips to keep in mind
It's easy to get wrapped up in every little detail, but washing your face doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some basic principles to keep in mind when washing your face:
- Wash with lukewarm water: Dermatologists agree that lukewarm water is best for washing the face. But a splash of cold water can be nice first thing in the morning or after washing your face with lukewarm water, say dermatologists.
- Avoid extremely hot water: When you wash your face, hot water probably won't do you any favors in terms of skin health. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause blood vessels to dilate, which can make your skin redder, says Jaliman.
- Wash your face twice a day: "Be consistent and try to wash twice a day, especially at the end of the day to remove dirt, make-up and bacteria - the everyday grime," explains Massick.
- Find a gentle cleanser you like: Water temperature isn't the only factor that counts when washing your face. A gentle, non-abrasive cleanser helps lay the foundation for a solid skin care practice and can be tailored to your specific needs. " For oily or acne-prone skin, for example, cleansers based on salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be useful," explains Massick, "For sensitive or dry skin, use a cream-based cleanser to avoid irritation or worsening dryness.
- Limit exfoliation to 1 to 2 times a week: Daily exfoliation isn't necessary, Massick tells us. In fact, it could do more harm than good, leading to irritation, redness, rashes and even strip your skin of its natural oils. You should also avoid rubbing your skin, as this can also cause irritation. irritation.
The last takeaway
Daily face washing is important. Visit American Academy of Dermatology suggests washing with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water when you wake up, before going to bed and after sweating,
Washing or even just splashing your face with cold water can have some potential benefits, such as reducing puffiness and irritation. But experts agree that the best water temperature for washing your face is lukewarm.
Most people should avoid washing with hot water, as it can lead to dry, inflamed skin. It can also exacerbate certain skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema. If you have any questions or concerns about face washing, contact your dermatologist before trying anything new or different - dermatologists are the most knowledgeable and can help you make the best choices for your skin.