Cooler, Shorter Baths Could be Better for Your Health as Well as the Environment Than Hot Showers

Oct 04, 2012, 14:04 ET from The Body Shop

LONDON, October 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

With winter on the way, people are starting to turn up the heating and looking forward to hot baths and toasty showers to warm their bones. And while nothing seems better in the winter than lathering up with a fragrant shower gel, or letting your troubles drift away in a relaxing aromatherapy bubble bath, according to Japanese research[1], cranking up the heat too high could be less good for your skin than it feels, adding further weight to arguments that you should be using cooler temperatures to wash.

Hot baths and showers have traditionally been thought to boost numerous health benefits, helping you to relax mind and body and expel toxins. However, according to the recent Japanese studies, long hot baths in confined spaces without sufficient ventilation can be linked to a range of health concerns. These range from those as easily remedied as simple dehydration, to the inhalation of chemicals often present in tap water that can become volatile when heated. Aside from fitting a water filter to purify your tap water, clinical toxicology specialist, Lin Ja-liang, claimed the intake of any such toxins could be significantly reduced by taking shorter showers and baths at lower temperatures[1].

It's also popular knowledge that taking cooler showers may well be better for the environment than hot. With increasingly strong power showers using more than double the water it would take to fill an average bath, green specialists are starting to recommend that for some, a relaxing bath may actually be the more economical option[2]. Alternatively, consider fitting a low flow showerhead to save the environment as well as saving you pennies.

Conditions such as dry skin are also thought to be exacerbated by long, hot showers because hot water breaks down the lipid barriers[3]. Using a rich moisturiser such as the Body Shop's Body Lotion can help to nourish, rehydrate and restore dry skin, but it is recommended that you moisturise after cool as well as hot showers to keep your skin feeling soft and supple.

So, while you may spend your chilly journey home looking forward to a bubble bath that will turn your skin cerise, before you turn up the heat consider that a small bath will still warm your cockles, but it may also be better for your environment, your body and your wallet.

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SOURCE The Body Shop