Are you a shower person or a bath person? What do dermatologists have to say about this ancient feud? We look at it from various angles from hygiene, skin health, as well as relaxation and general well being.
You’re rinsing down the dirt and grime, rather than soaking in them. After a workout, showering is a better idea. Under most circumstances, this is a non-issue though. The sheer volume of the tub, even in a small one is enough to dissipate the dirt, and most of this settles at the bottom, and not on your skin.
Skin Health: Shower
The biggest issue with both showering and bathing is that if you do it too often, it dries out your skin. The skin protects itself with natural oil called sebum – and excessive washing removes this protective oil. Bathing removes more of this oil, making your skin drier. This advice is more important if you have eczema, psoriasis, or very dry skin.1 However, those with eczema can benefit from oatmeal baths too.2
Most of us know that light plays a vital role in our circadian rhythm; it’s, therefore, important to reduce exposure to light if you want a good sleep. One of the other ways in which your body knows when it’s time to sleep is a drop in temperature. Paradoxically, taking a warm bath cools your body as the warmer peripheral temperature increases heat loss from the core.3 This simulated cooling turns on the melatonin that triggers a sleep cycle.4
This is inevitably going to come down to subjective judgment, but the bathing people are likely going to win this one. It’s de-stressing, and you can also add various bath products to enhance your experience.
This is somewhat dependent on how long you shower, and the particular showerhead, but bathing generally uses up more water.
Shower accessories are primarily restricted to body washes while team bath has an array of pampering products from bath bombs, bubbles, oils, bars, candles, and so much more.
Why not both?
The truth is, there is a time and a place for both showers and baths. Think of bathing as a luxury – a time to wind down, and give yourself a break, while showers are often more practical and functional from a hygiene perspective.
There’s no clear winner here; they are different experiences, and in many ways serve a different purpose. In terms of hygiene, especially after you get grimy with dirt and sweat, a shower will win out, but a bath is more relaxing for most people. Whether you’re on a team shower or team bath, remember to lower the temperature, and to moisturize quickly afterward while the skin is still moist.
1Quick tips: Lower the temperature, reduce your shower/bathing time, pat your skin dry with a towel (don’t vigorously rub), and apply moisture while your skin is still moist to seal it in longer.