We all love getting home from a hard day's work and relaxing in a hot and steamy shower to melt off the day's stresses. You know the one. The one where the bathroom gets thick and steamy and your skin turns red from the shower. But, has it ever occurred to you that this may be doing more harm than good? Have you ever considered that a lot of our common skin complaints are directly related to shower temperature? Have you ever wondered what the correct shower temperature is? Let's take a look at some answers to these questions.
Average Shower Temperature
The average shower temperature in the US is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Each individual has their preferences on shower temperature, and women generally like theirs to be hotter. But the average hot water heater can heat up to 140 degrees. That is hot enough to burn your skin within 5 seconds! Most dermatologists recommend showering in no more than 99 degrees. So, what kind of harm are we doing to our skin with hot showers? How is prolonged use affecting us daily?
Effects of Hot Water on Our Skin
Our skin has a protective oil called sebum. Hot showers strip your skin of this oil and effectively dries out your glands. This leaves your skin red, inflamed, and itchy.
Do you take hot showers and suffer from eczema? Try lowering your shower temperature to lukewarm (about 99 degrees) and adding a good moisturizer to your routine.
Oily acne prone skin? It may be your skin's way of trying to overcompensate for the loss of moisture in the shower. Washing with warm water will open and clean those pores, but they need to be closed back up. Splashing a bit of cold water on after cleansing and following with SPF moisturizer will help close your pores and seal in moisture.
Using hot water to clean your face isn't bad. It is just advised to keep it only on your face, and for short amounts of time. Steams are great for clearing the skin and making it soft.
Effects on Your Hair
Your hair will also thank you. Hot water opens the hair follicles, making it hard to retain any moisture which leads to brittle split ends. Cooler showers will help strengthen your hair and close up your hair follicle to lock in moisture. This will make your hair looking shinier and healthier.
Do you die your hair? Cooler showers might even help keep your die from fading, making it last longer between trips to the salon. If you regularly bleach your hair, washing it in lukewarm water will help retain protein that is normally lost in the process.
Heat can be beneficial if used properly. If doing a deep conditioning treatment. Use hot water only on your hair to open its follicle. Add your deep conditioner, and when its time to rinse use cold water. This will lock as much moisture as possible by closing the hair follicle.
Other Effects to Your Health
If your average shower temperature is above 110 degrees, you could be at risk of lowering your blood pressure. The hot water dilates your blood vessels, which in turn lowers your heart rate. These sudden and drastic drops in blood pressure can leave you feeling weak and lightheaded. If you are dehydrated also, you could very well faint in the shower. Shower falls come with all sorts of risks, we've all seen the commercials. Keeping your shower temperatures to no more than 105 will prevent this from happening. If you want to attach a water filter in your shower, read the review from www.heavybubbles.com
Effects on Your Utilities
Using extremely hot water not only runs up your gas bill (or electric), but it also puts more wear and tear on any appliances used by the same hot water heater. So not only will lowering your average shower temperature help you, but it will also help your wallet.
For every 10 degrees that you lower your hot water heater, you can save anywhere from 3 to 5 percent on utilities. Also, with your hot water heater being cranked up too high, it will decrease the lifespan of it. So, you will have to shell out more money faster than you probably would really like to for a replacement.
Effects on Our Environment
If everyone in the US lowered their average shower temperature, it would have a huge impact on our carbon footprint. Most hot water tanks are run off gas. Gas is 29% of the United States’ energy consumption. Reducing the use of gas fossil fuel will help with reducing carbon emissions, and lowering the waste produced by these companies.
These are non-renewable resources. Currently, the US only has enough natural gas to sustain itself for 90 years. With over 85 percent of the United States using natural gas, this could be higher or lower depending on usage.
Keeping Temperature Under Control
This isn't to say that you can NEVER have a hot shower but cutting back will improve your hair and skin’s health. Any time you decide to take a hot shower or bath, always take precautions and use a good lotion or body oil after to help quench your skin. A good body oil to use after a hot shower would be Jojoba oil. It is the closest to sebum that you can get.
If you have trouble making sure that your average shower temperature isn't too high, try setting your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Which is still hot enough to scald within 10 minutes, but low enough that it will prevent serious burns. If all else fails, get a shower thermometer. They attach directly to your shower head and will tell you exactly what the water temperature is.
Colder showers might not make the stress melt away, but there are many benefits to them. Your skin, hair, wallet, and the planet will thank you later, which seems worth it to me. Maybe switching to morning showers will help wake you up a bit without the coffee? All of your problems will be blown away because you will have glowing skin and flawless hair, thanks to one minor adjustment. If you enjoyed reading this article please take a look at our Best Shower Curtains reviews.