What’s the scariest everyday thing you can think of? Maybe it’s dropping the meal you just made, finding a spider in the house, or getting a call from the nosiest member of your family. Or how about having the shower go cold?
In a time of interesting trends, cold showers must be one of the most interesting. There are all kinds of people who choose to snub the hot water. And it makes your skin look amazing.
Are you defending cold showers?
That’s right, in this blog I’m going to give you the case for cold showers. Maybe I’ll convince you to enjoy them, or give them a try. I think I can show you that these icy chambers of health are worth taking seriously.
It’s no 5 Minute Skin Purifying Mask, but when you throw yourself into cold water, a few things happen to your skin. The veins shrink for a little while, which it turns out is good for circulation. This means your whole body is being nourished. Your pores, the place where acne grows, close. Then any part of your body that’s red, rashy or inflamed begins to settle down. I started taking cold showers myself to deal with spine problems - you know, that issue every office worker has.
What does it feel like?
The very first one was a real shock. You stand at the edge of the shower, hesitating. It feels like you’re about to put your hand into a flame, and by reflex, you keep yourself far from the cold. You test the water with a hand. This is a bad idea. The water chills you and you can only comfortably hold it there for a moment.
Then you tell yourself you can do anything. If you’re willing to take that plunge and have your shower cold, you can enjoy it too. And you jump in. And it’s intense. You can feel those little vessels close up, your muscles tighten and you jump a little. Your breathing gets hoarse right away. Things shrink that you would rather stayed out of this. It’s better than a morning coffee.
After a moment, you loosen up. There’s a heat inside you that swells out and you start to get comfortable. This is your immune system reacting to the cold (speaking of, a lot of people who bathe cold say they never get sick). Now, the only thing you’re really cooling is your skin. Everything beneath that is keeping warm because your body was made for things like this. Deep down, you know that you’re meant to hop in the river or sea on a fresh day. You feel as if you’ve been doing this for thousands of years. It starts to feel amazing.
But the best feeling is when you get out of the water and into a towel. It’s like drying yourself in front of a fireplace, but more euphoric. It’s like when you’ve finished hard exercise and now you’re stretching, relaxing and congratulating yourself. All this can happen in 10 seconds of cold water.
Why do these cool things happen?
Part of this whole reaction is the adrenaline that goes through your body when the cold water hits you. It feels like drinking a coffee. Now this seems counterintuitive because adrenaline means cortisol, which means sebum. Basically, everything else that gives you that big rush tends to make your skin oily. But not this time.
The increased circulation flushes colour into your face and gives you that thing your friends call a glow. It locks the moisture into your hair. If you get a balanced diet and try a supplement like our Acne Control Caplets, that will keep your skin moisturised but not oily. Basically, if you’re living the SkinB5 lifestyle, chances are all that adrenaline will just wake you up.
Well, there are certain oils that you lose in hot showers. They’re part of the protective skin layer that we scrub away every time we shower. Cold water doesn’t do that.
So there you have it. I’m willing to try anything, and after a while, I’ll even enjoy it. If you’re not feeling too wild, you can just soak your face in cold water for 10 seconds to get these benefits. Of course, this is one big body hack, so if you have any health issues like high blood pressure, do some homework and talk to your doctor. However you get clean, here’s hoping you stay cool this Summer.
Peter Matthews is a writer living in Melbourne. When you see a curious fad and ask “Who would actually try that?” the answer is usually him. His favourite health remedies are tea and food filled with vitamins.