Taking a cold shower may seem like an unpleasant way to start your day, but believe it or not, it can work wonders for your mental state and the appearance of your skin. Let's talk about a few of the super cool benefits of adding a cold shower to your daily routine.
Increased blood flow to the skin
Temporary relief for itching and skin irritation
Cold water can help combat the inflammatory response that causes skin irritation from eczema, sunburn, bug bites, poison ivy, psoriasis, and more. Cold water decreases blood flow to the affected area, providing temporary relief from burning and itching. Additionally, cold water has a numbing effect on skin, which blocks the nerves from signaling to the brain the feeling of itchyness and irritation, effectively giving you temporary relief from those sensations.
Creates a more firm and smooth skin texture
Cold water can cause pores to close and skin to constrict. This bodily response can give your skin a tight and firm appearance, add a bit of bounce back to your skin, and reduce the depth and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Decreases acne breakouts
As part of the inflammatory response explained in #1, cold water can reduce the redness and irritation from acne, while also healing acne scars. Additionally, cold showers can help regulate the production of sebum (the skin's natural oils) resulting in clearer pores. By reducing oil production, acne will form with much less frequency and severity.
Ok, but what about the mental benefits?
It's not just the physical benefits that make cold showers worth considering. In fact, taking a cold shower can help to boost your mood, mental clarity, and energy levels as well! Let's dive deeper into some of the mental benefits of an envigorating cold shower.
Improved mood and reduced stress
I know you might find it hard to believe that you'd be in a better mood after taking a cold shower, but evidence shows that it actually can improve your overall mood and provide stress relief. When your body is exposed to the sudden jolt of a cold shower, it sends signals to the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins bind to pain receptors in the brain to promote a feeling of happiness and well-being, leading to a more positive mood.
Increased focus and alertness
The sudden shock of cold water can wake you up and help you feel more alert. The increase in alertness will make you feel refreshed and energized, effectively putting you in a better head-space to tackle the day and be productive.
Improved memory and cognitive function
The shock of a cold shower triggers an interesting chain of events in the body. First comes what's commonly known as the "fight or flight" response. This physiological response to stress causes the body to release adrenaline hormones, which cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. An increase in heart rate and blood pressure lead to increased blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function helping you to think clearly and avoid brain fog.
If you're interested in adding cold showers to your daily routine, here are a few tips to make your experience more comfortable:
Take baby steps:
If you're not used to taking cold showers, start gradually. At the end of your normal shower, try switching to a cold shower for just 15 to 30 seconds and build up from there over time.
Take deep breaths:
Focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. This can help you stay calm and relaxed.