The right skincare routine is an essential part of beautiful skin.
If you have your skincare routine down to a pat, you probably know which cleanser you should use, the benefits of using a serum, and the importance of sun protection.
But did you know the temperature of water you use also makes a difference?
In this guide from Nourishing Biologicals, we’ll go over what different water temperatures mean for your skin — in addition to ways to cleanse your skin in the most efficient way.
How Does Hot Water Affect Your Skin?
Nothing feels more soothing than a long, hot shower. But no matter how great it feels, you may not be doing your skin any favors — especially if you have sensitive skin.
Washing your skin with hot water can strip your skin’s moisture barrier, depleting your skin’s natural oils and hydration that protect you from harmful environmental factors, like sun exposure.
Moreover, drying out your skin can slow down the cellular turnover process, making the skin look dull.
If you experience itchy and flakey skin, hot water can make the dryness worse. Hot temperatures are known to stimulate mast cells to release histamine, which may not be such a pleasant post-shower experience.
All in all, it’s best to avoid cleansing with hot water or — at the very least — to keep it to a minimum.
Is Cold Water Better for Your Skin?
Taking a cold shower in the morning is incredibly refreshing and might come with several health benefits. Studies show that showering in cold water for several minutes per day produces the good kind of stress, which can boost the immune system.
Cold showers may also be amazing for the skin. Cold water constricts circulation on the surface of the skin, which leads the body to increase circulation deeper inside your tissues. Although this is done to maintain your body temperature, it can also promote skin rejuvenation.
Cold water can also reduce early-morning puffiness, tighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of pores.
Despite all the benefits of cold water, there are some downsides to cleansing your skin with it.
Most importantly, cold water is ineffective at clearing away oil and impurities, which can accumulate in your pores and increase your chances of a breakout — especially if you have acne-prone skin. So, it’s a good idea to use cold water only after thoroughly cleansing your skin with a warmer temperature.
What Temperature Water Should You Wash Your Face With?
So, knowing what we know about hot and cold water, what is the best temperature to wash your face with?
Well, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. The best water temperature to wash your face with is not hot or cold but lukewarm.
Lukewarm water won’t strip your skin of its natural oils, protecting its moisture barrier. At the same time, it will activate your cleanser, ensuring that you get a deep clean to remove excess oil, makeup, and pollutants.
This is not to say that you can never use hot or cold water when cleansing your skin.
After cleansing with warm water, you can quickly rinse with hot water to open up the pores and make your skincare ingredients absorb better. Or you can rinse with cold water to make your skin look tighter. But this is best after your skin is cleansed with warm water.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
Cleansing your skin is incredibly important for removing debris — which can clog pores, lead to blemishes, and accelerate skin aging.
So, you might think that the more you do it, the better. But there’s a delicate balance between keeping your skin clean and over-washing it.
Washing your skin too much can dry out your skin, leading to increased irritation. So, it’s best to avoid doing it too often. In general, dermatologists recommend cleansing twice per day — once in the morning and once at night — to reduce pore clogging.
However, morning cleansing may not be necessary for some people. If you have a dry skin type and you don’t use products that need to be washed off (like retinol), then you should be able to skip your morning cleanser.
Instead, rinse your face with plain water and follow it with a toner — and the rest of your skincare routine.
What Are Some Cleansing Mistakes To Avoid?
Now that we understand the right water temperature for cleansing, let’s try to optimize the rest of your cleansing routine.
Here are some common mistakes you may be making in your cleansing:
1. Using Face Wipes To “Clean”
We understand: Facial wipes are incredibly convenient. But this comes at a price to your skin.
While they’re effective at removing makeup, they’re not the best option for cleansing the skin of other debris. Using them even one night — instead of a regular cleanser — can clog your pores.
Plus, face wipes are loaded with chemicals. While these work to get your makeup off, they can also aggravate your skin.
So, we recommend avoiding face wipes — unless you’re on the road and using a regular cleanser isn’t an option.
2. Not Reading the Ingredient List
Speaking of chemicals, did you know that some cleansers can have dozens of them?
Many such ingredients give cleansers their foamy texture, making them easier to use. But these can be very drying and irritating.
Hundreds of potential chemicals should be avoided. It’s important to do your research and to decide which ones you want to skip out on. But some of the most notorious offenders include parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and propylene glycol.
3. Using a Harsh Cleanser
If you have oily skin, you might think that using a “powerful” cleanser can help to address your skin concerns. But such cleansers can strip your skin of its natural moisture, making it compensate by producing more oil. Hardly the solution we’re looking for.
Instead, we recommend using a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil without drying out the skin. And if you have oily skin, there are more effective ways to address it that don’t involve harsh cleansers.
4. Scrubbing Excessively
Another way to drive out your skin is to exfoliate too much. This can disrupt the skin’s moisture barrier and make it more sensitive to environmental factors, like air pollution.
Whether you use bead scrubs, a chemical exfoliator, or an exfoliating rag, you shouldn’t scrub more than once or twice per week.
5. Washing Too Often
It’s hard to say how often you should wash your face.
Washing at night is super important as it can get rid of debris that sinks into your pores. You can also wash your face in the morning if you use active ingredients that need to be washed off.
But what about everything that happens in-between? If you live in an excessively humid environment, you might need a little extra mild cleansing to keep your skin from getting too oily. And obviously, if you’re sweating, you should cleanse your face.
But make sure not to overdo it. If you’re washing your face when it doesn’t need to be washed, the only thing you’re doing is getting rid of natural oils that are actually good for you.
Unless you need to wash your face more often, try to keep it to once or twice daily.
6. Neglecting the Neck
Your neck may not produce as much oil as your face, but it’s still exposed to much of the same junk. Leaving it on can make the delicate skin on the neck age faster than your face.
So, make sure that you’re cleaning the neck at night before going to bed. And for added benefits, treat your neck to our Miracular Face Essence.
7. Using a Dirty Towel
When you do the hard work of cleansing your face, the last thing you want to do is get it dirty again. But using a dirty towel can accomplish exactly that. Make sure you wash your towel at least once per week so that it doesn’t collect bacteria.
On a similar note, make sure you’re not washing your towels with a harsh detergent. After all, whatever’s on your towel can end up on your face. Go for a gentle clothing detergent instead.
Cleansing With Nourishing Biologicals
The best way to cleanse your face is with lukewarm water. This will give you a deep cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
But which cleanser you use is important, too.
Our Miracular Face Cleanser is made with gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. Plus, it contains a blend of botanical extracts to nourish your skin.
A single-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluating the effect of face washing on acne vulgaris | NCBI
Cold-water immersion and other forms of cryotherapy: physiological changes potentially affecting recovery from high-intensity exercise | PMC
Laundry detergents and skin irritancy--a comprehensive review | NCBI
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