Can a Cold Shower Really Benefit Your Hair, Skin, and Metabolism?

A blast of chilly water may do the body good—but are the shivers worth it? Of all the beauty trends out there right now, this one might take the cake: searches for "cold showers" are up 75% on Pinterest, according to the social platform. Proponents claim the brrr-inducing temps help increase metabolism, boost mood, and even lead to healthier skin and hair. 

"The real benefits may come from avoiding super-hot showers in the first place. Hot water might feel good, but it does a number on your skin and hair, explains New York City-based dermatologist Lance Brown, MD. "Hot water will strip away some of the natural, protective oils that your skin makes," he says, which can leave skin feeling dry and itchy and possibly exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. This is especially problematic during the winter months, when cold air outside and dry heat inside naturally make skin more parched."

"Dr. Brown recommends short, 10-minute showers in lukewarm or mildly cold water. Lather up with a gentle, fragrance-free soap, pat your body dry with a towel, and follow up with a moisturizer on still-damp skin. Enjoy the glow!"