As the great celebrity shower debate endures, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has stepped into the ring as the latest star to share his washing habits. Some stars have divulged lately that they shower less often, but Johnson, apparently, is squeaky-clean.
“I’m the opposite of a ‘not washing themselves’ celeb,” he tweeted earlier this month.
The professional wrestler-turned-actor takes a three-pronged approach to his daily showering routine: A cold shower “when I roll outta bed to get my day rollin,’ ” a warm shower “after my workout before work,” and a hot shower “after I get home from work,” he shared with fans.
“I don’t take freezing showers in the morning but it’s chilly and has a great ‘morning bite’ to wake me up, clear cobwebs and get rollin’ with my day,” Johnson tweeted Wednesday in response to USA TODAY’s story.
Should you be adding cold showers to your own routine? Here’s what health experts have to say.
More:Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher don’t shower every day. Should you bathe daily?
Cold (or at least lukewarm) showers are better for your skin
Hot showers aren’t the best for your skin, Dr. Gordon Bae, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, tells USA TODAY.
Picture trying to wash a greasy pan: Hot water is going to remove much more grease than cold water could.
“The effects of hot water on the skin can be a little bit negative in that they can strip away a lot of our protective oils and fats that is responsible for keeping our skin well moisturized as well as ensuring that our skin barrier is intact,” Bae says. “When cleaning dishes, you do want to get rid of all the grease and all the oils. But when you’re cleaning your skin, if you get rid of too much of that, then that may lead to excess dryness.”
Those with skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis also risk worsening their conditions and increasing itching by taking hot showers.
Bae adds some in dermatology also theorize cold showers have even more benefits, too, such as “a little bit of (skin) tightening or at least also temporary decrease in redness of the skin. “If you are a healthy person, then taking a cold shower every day would be much better for your skin. Definitely over taking hot showers.”
Cold showers have benefits but they aren’t for everyone
Some studies have found correlations between cold showers and less sick days taken at work. Bae notes other found benefits include a decrease in inflammation in the body, and there are medical professionals “who think that it may possibly increase longevity and also increase fat loss by increasing your metabolism.”
More:Why you should drink water first thing every day
When struggling with an overwhelming emotion, shocking your system with a splash (or more) of cold water can help bring you back to center, according to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a type of cognitive psychotherapy that helps treat anxiety, depression and other emotion-related disorders.
The official website for DBT notes that “cooler temperatures decrease your heart rate (which is usually faster when we are emotionally overwhelmed).”
Not everyone should necessarily go for the Polar Bear Plunge right away, though. Bae warns that those who haven’t taken a cold shower before should exercise caution.
“It can be a little bit of a shock to your system,” Bae says. “People who are elderly or people with pre-existing heart conditions may want to really think about doing that or at least consult their primary care doctors before doing that.”
If your doctor recommends avoiding cold showers – or if the task just seems too daunting – DBT notes splashing cold water on your face, stepping outside for a walk when it’s chilly, or holding or rubbing an ice cube can procure similar benefits.
Lather, rinse… repeat? Should you follow The Rock’s washing routine?
Johnson also noted that he uses face wash and body wash, exfoliates and sings “off key” during his showers. But Bae notes that the soap and exfoliant routine isn’t necessary to do multiple times a day. Most people don’t need to use body wash more than once a day and exfoliating should be done even less than that.
Though, he notes, “it would depend on how much oil your skin tends to produce.”
Teens probably need to wash their face and body more regularly than people in their 40s or 50s (Johnson is 49), who tend to have more dry skin.
“If you’re younger and tend to have more oily skin, you could consider washing everyday with soap and water and shampoo, or some sort of wash that can help cleanse some of the oils, but the older you are, you may want to decrease the frequency of that.”
Bae says don’t exfoliate too much – there isn’t much of a need to try to scrub away dead skin, because it comes away “by itself over time.” Over-exfoliating, like using soap too often, can also strip the body of a lot of its oils, he adds.
As for singing off-key, attempt at your own risk.
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