Many people use hot water when cleansing their skin because they believe that hot water is required to truly clean the skin. This is not completely out of left field because we are taught to wash dishes and certain clothes in hot water to kill the bacteria and get them clean, so we tend to bring that same concept over to skin care.

Hot water should be avoided when cleansing the skin because it strips the natural oils and moisture from the skin which, in turn, can: (a) damage skin’s natural protective moisture barrier, causing skin to become itchy or irritated; (b) inflame or worsen certain skin conditions such as eczema, acne and rosacea; (c) cause skin to overproduce oil to compensate, potentially leading to oiliness, pimples & acne breakouts.

For these reasons, it’s best to use lukewarm water for cleansing (face AND body). If you are really struggling with giving up the hot water, try:

*Turning down the temperature a little at a time. Going from steaming hot to lukewarm may be too big a jump for some people; gradually cooling the water down may help ease the transition

*Be extra vigilant about moisturizing! It is best to moisturize as soon as possible after stepping out of the shower or washing your face. If using hot water, be sure to apply your lotion or cream immediately and use sufficient amounts to add the lost moisture back into your skin.

*Use gentle cleansers or soaps. Harsh soaps or exfoliators will only exacerbate the dryness that tends to come with using hot water. Look for a “gentle” or “moisturizing” formulation to help your skin reduce moisture loss.

BLOG DISCLAIMER: Information on this blog is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any skin ailment. Please make an appointment with your physician for personalized medical advice. 

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