Cold Showers Are Trending As A Remedy For Acne (But Are There Actual Benefits?)

Having acne is tough, especially if you haven't found products that work for your skin overall. Data shows that the skincare industry has experienced a huge boom in the last decade, with an expected growth of an additional 16% in the next few years in the U.S. alone, according to Statista.

An array of products with different ingredients and formulations are popping up almost daily and have a cult following on and off the screen. Still, not everyone is keen on using mainstream skincare goods, so the DIY approach to treating acne has also caught on in the beauty world.

Despite their popularity, DIY treatments can get messy, time-consuming, and quite costly at times. From turning to your refrigerator for some pickle juice to clear up your acne to adding olive oil to your skincare routine, home remedies can sometimes do you more harm than good. If you're looking for a new acne remedy that's seriously low-effort, just turn down the temperature of the water when taking a shower. Yes, taking a cold shower might help with acne.

Cold water can actually calm your skin down

It's as simple as it sounds; taking a cold shower can help regulate sebum production and keep new flare-ups at bay, board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav, MD, tells Byrdie. "Oil doesn't flow through pores as easily when it's cold, and cold water reduces the inflammatory effects of acne, which is where a lot of discomfort comes from," she explained.

According to Sophia Knapp, a licensed cosmetologist, turning the temperature down when showering can be beneficial for your skin barrier as well, as its state can affect acne breakouts. "If you have chronically dry skin, hot water can strip your sebum levels (oils) and exacerbate the issue, so cold water is a good alternative," she shared with Healthline.

Cold water has also been proven to boost your immune system, improve mental health, and help your muscles recover after working out, UCLA Health reports. However, not every shower you take should be a freezing one, as there are possible downsides to this seemingly magical hack.

Don't overdo it

While there are actual benefits to taking cold showers for acne, you shouldn't overdo it. "Since cold water tightens your pores, bacteria and debris can get trapped and won't clear out as easily as using warm water," Sophia Knapp explains for Healthline, adding that lukewarm water will clean your skin best, after which you can do a colder rinse.

Even though this hack can help with the overall state of your skin, it's probably not going to be the sole solution to your acne problems. "An effective skincare routine for acne-prone skin requires much more than cold showers," board-certified dermatologist Melanie Palm, MD, shares with Byrdie.

While turning the temperature down when showering is a cost-effective and relatively easy way to try to tackle your blemishes, there are many other factors to consider. Your lifestyle, diet choices, skincare ingredients, and possible medical conditions can all have an effect on your acne, which is why just a cold shower might not be a cure-all, Palm warns. Still, you have nothing to lose and might reap some unexpected benefits along the way, so cool those showers down from time to time.