WATCH: The Countless Benefits of Cold Showers
From your mood to your complexion, it turns out there's a lot a cold spritz can fix.
With each humid day that goes by, inching us farther from the chill of winter and closer to the dog days of summer, an ice-cold shower starts sounding better and better.
As it turns out, cold showers don't just feel good—they're actually good for your health too. From your mood to your complexion, there's a lot a cold spritz can fix.
As dermatologist Michele Green, MD, explained to Well+Good, frigid showers can increase brain activity and even alleviate stress and depression. "Cold showers wake up your skin receptors, which causes increased activity to the brain," she said. "This can increase the serotonin levels that help improve mental acuity and relieve depression symptoms."
And it's not just your brain—a brisk shower does the body good as well. A recent study in the Netherlands found that cold showers increase productivity and reduce sick days by a sizeable 29%. Interestingly, two-thirds of participants in that study continued taking cold showers even after it had wrapped, which makes us think: maybe it's not that bad, after all!
And what if we told you that hot showers aren't all they're cracked up to be? Sure, they feel nice in the winter, but they can also make common skin conditions, like eczema and dry skin, a lot worse. Dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD explained to Well+Good that cold water showers are better for eczema sufferers. "Hot water strips the skin of moisture, which can lead to dryness and the exacerbation of eczema," she said.
According to Dr. Green, cold water also does wonders for the complexion, giving your face a more youthful and refreshed look. "A cold shower tightens the pores and it also seals in moisture," she noted. The reason? Cold water causes blood vessels to constrict, leading the face to appear less inflamed or red.
As for the best time to take the plunge? Many people feel like the morning is ideal for a cold shower—they're invigorating and will hopefully start you off on the right foot mentally. "Starting your morning by tackling challenges head-on will help encourage similar behavior throughout the day," cold shower enthusiast, Carl Richards, wrote in The New York Times in 2016.
So, be a dear and pass us that towel, would you? We're going in!