You may think you follow the best skin care practices: You use facial cleanser, moisturizer, and eye creamevery day and never leave the house without putting on broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sure, you seem to be checking the necessary skin care boxes, but as with many things, the best skin care routine is all about the details. You start your skin care routine by washing your face—but what may be just as important as what facial cleanser you choose is the kind of water you use. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to pick up bottled or sparkling water—your skin isn’t quite that picky—but the water your wash your skin with does have to be just the right temperature.
WHAT CAN HOT WATER DO TO YOUR SKIN?
While a steaming hot shower or face washing session can feel quite relaxing in the moment, it’s not exactly the best option for your skin. Piping hot water can cause a heightened level of skin sensitivity after cleansing. Extra hot water can also dry out your skin, stripping it of necessary natural oils. This can be especially unpleasant if you already have dry skin, but it can also be less than desirable for those with oily skin, too. If you have oily skin, your skin could respond to having its natural oils stripped by creating even more oil—leaving you looking excessively shiny as a result.
WHAT CAN COLD WATER DO TO YOUR SKIN?
Dr. Rocio Rivera, head of scientific communications for L’Oréal Paris, notes that when you use cold water it can act like an astringent and may cause your skin to retract temporarily. This is good if you have puffy-looking skin that could use some tightening, especially around your under-eye area. Splashing cold water can not only wake you up but can also feel refreshing on your skin. That being said, you should try to avoid cleansing your skin with cold water and cold water only. Remember, variety is the spice of life. It’s OK on occasion, especially at the end of your cleansing regimen, but it isn’t what’s best for your skin all the time.
SO, WHAT WATER TEMPERATURE IS BEST FOR YOUR SKIN?
You won’t need to sit at the sink with a thermometer to get to the perfect temperature, but you will want to adjust the dial. Turn up (or down) the temperature so that it’s somewhere in between hot and cold—lukewarm. This is the temperature that delivers the best skin care results! Recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, moderately warm water will make for the best face washing experience. According to Dr. Rivera, most skin care products were tested or created with this ideal temperature in mind. Dr. Rivera also points out that lukewarm water can help ensure that your facial cleanser gets the right amount of foaming action, removes enough dirt from the surface of your skin, and balances your natural skin oils appropriately. Now it seems like a no-brainer to use lukewarm water!