Showering and bathing is something most people do every day religiously, but did you know you could be doing it all wrong, and it may even be having an impact on your health?
Experts have revealed that three in five people are filling their tubs to higher than recommended temperatures, according to a study run by bathroom retailer Sanctuary Bathrooms.
Participants were asked to record the temperature of their bath over the course of two weeks.
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Results showed that three in five participants were bathing above the recommended 40°C maximum temperature suggested by experts, at an average of 42°C.
With the colder months setting in, it’s the perfect time for many to relax in the bath. However, it seems that people aren’t aware of the potential effects on our bodies when it comes to filling the tub.
Abbas Kanani, Pharmacist at Chemist Click, explains: “The optimum bath temperature should be around 36-40°C, or just above the average body temperature of 37°C.”
Dr Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Pharmacy added: “Anywhere above 40°C is too hot. Although temperatures above 40°C are unlikely to burn the skin, this can still have health consequences.”
Besides the uncomfortable sensation of lowering yourself into the bath when it’s too hot, there are impacts on your skin that may make you reconsider the temperature of your tub.
Dr Lee said bathing in hot water could result in damaged skin, increased blood pressure, and nausea.
She said: “Bathing and showering in very hot water strips the natural oils from the skin, leaving it dry, red, and brittle.
“Sometimes the skin overreacts to hot water and produces too much oil to try and compensate for the dryness. So, if you have oily skin, taking long, hot baths and showers can make this worse.
“The heat opens the pores and causes the skin to sweat, which can also cause acne to flare up. It can also cause the skin to age more quickly, resulting in the development of fine lines.”
The expert also explained the measures you can take to keep your skin protected and hydrated, both before and after bathing.
Top tips on taking care of your skin and health
- Test the temperature of your bathtub when filling it using a thermometer. Or, if it feels hot, leave it for a few minutes to cool down slightly in case it is above the recommended temperature.
- Try to keep bathing time between 10-20 minutes so you can enjoy the calming benefits of bathing without drying your skin out.
- Use moisturising body wash or bubble bath to maximise hydration to the skin.
- After exiting the bath, use a nourishing body moisturiser on damp skin to prevent any dryness.
- Drink a glass of water after a hot bath to keep your skin hydrated and make up for any fluids you may have lost.
What to do if you feel dizzy or nauseous
Ever climbed out of the bath and felt dizzy? It turns out that a sudden drop in blood pressure is another impact of bathing too hot.
Abbas Kanani said: “Take a seat, preferably outside the bathroom where the temperature is not likely to be as hot and allow your blood pressure to restore (usually around 5 minutes in healthy individuals).
“Take long and deep breaths and allow your body to cool down. Drink cold water slowly, try not to make any sudden movements, and eat a light meal - these can all help raise blood pressure and alleviate feelings of sickness.”
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