Dry skin can be a problem for anyone. It can even creep up on those of us who like to think we know better or that dry skin can’t get us. The catch is that it is very easy to dry out your skin. Going outside and being in the sun is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to decreasing our skin’s overall health. The UV rays damage your skin’s natural barrier and gradually cause lasting damage to your skin that can dry your skin out. Furthermore, we all end up using various products to cleanse and exfoliate our skin. These too can end up drying out our skin if we’re not careful. Hormones, heritage, and even climate all conspire against people to dry out their skin. What most people don’t know is that there are others factors as well. Even if everything else about your routine and genetics are flawless, you might get dry skin simply because you chose to indulge a little more often than your skin could handle.

Some Like It Hot
There are few things as relaxing as a hot shower after a long day. It eases sore muscles and helps melt away your stress. Unfortunately, hot water isn’t actually your friend in this case. The water of a hot shower works against you by being highly adept at stripping away your natural oils. We may spend half our time trying to manage how much oil is present on our skin, but we need it as it is part of what keeps our skin healthy. This represents one of the eternal problems with skincare. Regardless, a hot shower will strip the oils from your skin and your hair with a high degree of effectiveness. It will then actually begin to hurt your skin if the water is hot enough. Your skin will then have to figure out how to heal that damage in addition to any damage that happens because you’ve dried your skin out. Making this still worse is the fact that stripping the oils from your hair will make it more brittle. It is also easier to pull hairs loose when your skin is hot as well. This may make you wary of hot showers, but we’re not done yet as baths are still an issue.

Stewing In It
A hot bath can be just as relaxing, but you’re still causing most of the same issues. The water can and will strip your natural oils. This compromises your skin’s defense against the sun, yes, but it affects you in other ways as well. All of us play host to bacteria that help make our body function. They’re symbiotic rather than the kind of bacteria you actually want to get rid of when you’ve got a cough. Our own ecosystem is used to a particular environment and thrives when tended to properly. Stripping your natural oils away disrupts this environment and damages the ability of your symbiotic bacteria to respond appropriately to threats. Both hot showers and baths, if done frequently, can potentially impact your overall ability to be happy and healthy. Baths are actually the worst potential culprit given we tend to soak in them far longer than we’d be in a shower. This all seems like a bunch of bad news, but don’t panic quite yet. You can keep your shower a bit warm without sacrificing your skin’s health.

Warmth and You
Knowing all this doesn’t mean sacrificing your comfort and relaxation. It does mean you need to dial back the heat a little the next time you’re going to take a shower or bath though. Think about how you treat your face. You use lukewarm water for it when rinsing, but that’s far from relaxing. Instead, try to keep your showers just a little into what feels warm. This should put it at slightly above your body temperature without drastically exceeding it. That range is okay to shower and bath in as opposed to hot water. You’ll want to limit the time you spend in the shower too. Try to stick to 10 to 15 minute showers or baths. Your skin will thank you for the kindness you’re showing it even if it isn’t as relaxing as you’d like.

Hot water can lead to skin troubles. It is the culprit behind many people’s otherwise “inexplicable” dry skin. You can be easily damaging your chances at healthy skin without ever knowing it if you’ve never learned to be wary about water temperature. Fortunately, the fix for this problem is very simple and should leave you with enough temperature to enjoy yourself without it being harmful to your skin.

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