While we’re all for bending the rules from time to time (life’s too short to always play by the book), there are guidelines that you should try to stick to when it comes to deciding between cold and warm water—whether you’re drinking it, showering in it, or washing your face with it. If you’re looking to boost your beauty or your bod, here’s what you should know.
Have bags under your eyes? This is a case when you should go for cold water. Washing your face with cool water can work like an astringent to make your skin temporarily retract and tighten, which can help reduce puffiness. Cold water can also close your pores, which makes the skin appear more even—and who could be mad at that? So if you woke up looking a little worse for wear, go ahead and splash some cool water on your face.
If you can get past the initial discomfort, taking a cold shower can have a number of benefits for your body and skin. These include calming itchy skin, waking you up in the morning with a literal shock to the system, increasing circulation, burning fat (your body has to work harder to maintain its normal temperature), reducing muscle soreness after a workout, and giving your hair a healthy glow.
When it comes to washing your face, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water. Most facial cleansing products are designed to perform their best with warm water rather than cold or hot water, so you’ll get the most out of whatever product you use by keeping the water temperature mild.
Sipping on warm water throughout the day has a number of benefits you wouldn’t get with iced water. For starters, warm water can help break down the food in your stomach, which makes it easier to digest and can also improve bowel movements and relieve constipation. Other perks of opting for warm water include weight loss (warm water increases your body temperature, which in turn increases its metabolic rate), improved blood circulation, and the elimination of toxins that can cause premature aging.