So I'm still trying to figure out whether it matters if you take a hot or cold or lukewarm or something-in-between shower.

All the answers I found around the web were like "Yes, hot water does dry your skin more than cold water" but none backed up with any reason or scientific evidence behind it. It only says "hot water strips oils from your skin" but water of really any temperature does that if I'm not mistaken and still a lot of people stress the "hot" aspect here.

But why is it that hot water dries the skin more or is it even true?

And in which other kind of ways does water temperature affect our skin?

1 Answer 1


"water of really any temperature does that if I'm not mistaken"

Sorry but you are mistaken. Water temperature is an important factor in dissolving lipids. You can ask anyone who washes dishes regularly whether they prefer hot or cold water to remove fat from pans and dishes. Soap and heat remove fat. Butter is solid when kept in cold places and melts as you heat it. The same thing happens to skin lipids, hot water melts them and they are removed by soap.

  • I also wash dishes regularly, so I get the point, yes. But I do think that hot water (50-60°C) helps with washing dishes only to the extent that it helps dissolving/melting certain types of leftover substances so they wash off easier. It's easy to think then that skin oils would wash off similarly easier due to warmer water temperature but as far as I know our skin oils are already in a liquid state, so they wouldn't get any "more liquid" when in contact with hot water. So if that really was the case I would really like to see your source.
    – SquidwART
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 13:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.