The winter is here and the feeling of hot water on your skin feels really good. But did you know that washing your face with hot water can actually cause a lot of damage? Here are 4 reasons the practice may put you at risk of acne, dry skin and large, visible pores.

Hot water irritates the skin

The skin on your face is extremely delicate and has a number of fine capillaries (blood vessels) just under the skin. Apart from that, there are more pores on your facial skin than anywhere else on your body. All these factors put together make your skin very vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Therefore when you wash your face with hot water, it jars the blood vessels below, causes your skin to get irritated and you may even see red blotches. According to experts washing your face with hot water also causes flare-ups of acne in patients with very sensitive skin and a condition called rosacea (a condition where the skin of the face is extremely sensitive and leads to the formation of red patches).

Strips your skin of natural oils, making it dry

When you wash your face with hot water, it strips your skin of its natural oils very quickly, leaving your skin dry and parched. In an article on HuffingtonPost.comJessica Krant, MD, Board-certified dermatologist says, ‘While it might feel good to warm up with a steamy splash of water, icy cold or lukewarm water both have their benefits. Excessively hot water will strip healthy natural oils from your skin too quickly’. Apart from this, dry and stretched skin will require you to apply more moisturiser, making you prone to acne and other skin infections.

Can lead to early ageing

Since washing your face with hot water makes it dry, it also causes it to skin age quicker. This is because the production of collagen and sebum (a natural waxy substance that helps moisturise your skin) is greatly slowed down leading to the formation of fine lines and other signs of ageing. So washing your face with hot water puts you at risk of having facial skin that has fine lines much before they are actually supposed to appear.

May scald your skin

Your pores are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures and when you use very hot water to wash your face you may end up scalding your skin. This can lead to blotchy red patches and extreme sensitivity in those areas. Apart from that since your pores get affected adversely, you may end up having dull and dry looking skin with large and visible pores.

Tip: The temperature of the water you use depends on what you feel comfortable with. Here’s how you can figure out the right temperature for you. All you have to do is take some warm water and place the back of your wrist under the stream or pour some on that area. If you do not feel uncomfortable, use that water on your face.

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