Should You Wash Your Face With Warm or Cold Water?

Have you ever heard that washing your face with cold water can help tighten skin, reduce swelling and prevent or reduce wrinkles? Or that washing your face with hot water can help open and unclog pores making scrubbing cleaners work deeper into the skin? Which is it? There are so many theories about what is the best way to cleanse your skin that even a skincare addict (like myself) can get a little confused.

As a rule of thumb: you should not wash your face with either too hot or too cold water. Rather, it should be a happy medium of somewhere between lukewarm and warm. Here’s why.

Skin, that comes in contact with extreme water temperature that is too hot, can get irritated and cause aggravation and outbreaks exacerbating problems like rosecea and redness. There is no much harm in cleansing your face with icy cold water, only that it can get unpleasant and uncomfortable which leads to ineffective cleansing. If you like the refreshing sensation of slashing cold water on your face, do so as a cool post-cleanse face rinse.

Doing a post-cleanse face rinse with cool or cold water is actually good practice because cold water acts as a tonic to prevent excessive sebum production. It also promotes blood circulation to brighten your complexion.

Another misconception is pores do not open and close like a mimosa (a type of flower whose leaves close or wilt when touched). That said, mild steam can help soften hardened oil buried in pores. This makes cleansing your face in the shower not such a bad idea. That said, exposing your skin to excessively hot water can strip the skin’s off its natural oils too quickly, leaving your skin feeling tight and dry.

The bottom line is to wash your face with lukewarm water at a temperature that is comfortable for you. For extra oomph, give your face a post-cleanse cool splash. Remember to leave your skin a little damp before applying face moisturizer to seal in the water, thus boosting your skin’s hydration content.

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