Like most people, I’ve only ever washed my face with warm water. From everything I gathered, it was the most beneficial for my skin, not to mention it’s makes it the most relaxing part of my skincare routine. Even though cold water definitely doesn’t sound as appealing, derms say dealing with the chill is worth it.
Warm water is great for cleansing your skin and removing any dirt and grime that build up throughout the day, but there are a couple ways using cold water instead can be beneficial—especially in the mornings.
“Many of us wake up in the morning with our faces looking a little puffy, even if we haven’t had alcohol or foods high in sodium. This is because when we sleep our cells regenerate, so our pores expand and our faces seem a little puffy,” says dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD. “When you go to wash your face, don’t turn that faucet to warm hoping for a soothing effect. Cold water is what really helps do the trick.”
Cold water tighten your pores as it promotes blood circulation and makes your skin look better overall, says Dr. Solomon.
“It helps give your face vitality and more color. It also enhances the brightness of your skin by getting the circulation going and literally waking up your skin,” she says. “Since cold water is capable of shrinking the pores, it’s also something that can help make your face less shiny. That’s because it’s via your pores that oils produced by the sebaceous glands reach the surface of your skin. With the size of your pores considerably reduced, the number of oils that cover your face can be kept to a minimum.”
I’m going to be honest. Washing my face with cold water—especially in my groggy just-rolled-out-of-bed state—doesn’t sound like the best way to wake up. But if a quick splash or two can set me up for a day without puffiness, I’m all in.
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