What's The Ideal Water Temperature To Use When Washing Your Face?

Of all the areas of our body we prioritize with personal hygiene, none is more important than our face. The skin on the face is sensitive, so it's important that we take extra care with it. We all want to look our best, especially for significant occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and work presentations. But it can be hard to know exactly how we're meant to care for our skin. Every now and then, we all wonder, "What is the optimal water temperature? And why does water temperature maximize the benefits for our skin?"

There are reasons why you should wash your face at a certain temperature and there are potentially unpleasant health consequences for washing your face at a different one. As well as health reasons, there are also practical reasons why washing your face at the correct temperature can maximize the effectiveness of the skincare products you use daily. So, what is the best temperature?

Why you should not wash your face with hot water

Everyone loves soaking in a hot shower and lathering themselves up with their favorite skincare products, but it's actually widely recommended that this practice is avoided. Even though it can be nice, consistently washing your face in hot water can erode natural oils such as sebum, which help keep your skin moisturized. If this moisture barrier is breached, then your skin dries out and is susceptible to irritation.

Joshua Zeichner, M.D., the director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital explained to Self, "Extreme temperatures, such as hot, steamy showers or hot water, can cause dilation of blood vessels and breakage of delicate tissue." As a consequence, your skin may develop a long-term condition known as rosacea, which is characterized by tiny broken blood vessels around your cheeks, nose, and forehead. If you develop this condition, it is recommended you consult a doctor, dermatologist, or other healthcare professional and they will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics or a prescription cream.

Opt for lukewarm water instead

To best protect your skin from irritating long-term conditions such as rosacea and to maximize the effectiveness of your skincare products, health experts recommend washing your face in lukewarm water: you also don't want to wash your face too often. As Faace dermatologist Dr. Sonakshi Khorana explained to Stylist, "Using lukewarm water does not strip away sebum, healthy fats and oils (cholesterol, fatty acids, ceramides) necessary for skin health and this keeps the skin barrier functioning properly which is your skin's ability to protect itself."

After applying lukewarm water it is important to know how long you should actually use your cleanser on the skin. Dr. Garshick, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Cornell University shared with PureWow, "It is true that in order for a cleanser to be effective, it needs to be on the skin for a sufficient period of time. That said, generally, an average of 30 to 60 seconds should be enough for most people."

By taking diligent care of your skin with the correct water temperature and washing technique, you will increase your chances of avoiding confidence-shattering skin conditions and, hopefully, enjoy a healthy look.