Thousands of Brits could be unwittingly soaking up unwanted side effects when they shower, as a nationwide study  reveals that almost half (43%) of Brits take no notice of the temperature we rinse under.
Cold showers are known to soothe the mind, body, and soul, with clear benefits for our physical and mental health – yet new research by Mira Showers has highlighted how unaware the nation is about how valuable dialling down the temperature of our daily showers can be, with one in ten (13%) even admitting they “don’t care” whether their showers are too hot.
On a surface level, hot showers can inflame the skin, cause itching, and lead to peeling. By damaging the keratin cells that sit on the outer layer of our skin, hot water creates dryness by removing the ‘tool’ our body uses to lock moisture in – intensifying uncomfortable symptoms and exaggerating eczema.
Cold water can calm these conditions, helping relieve itchiness and revive our skin and hair, but despite the nation tuning into Wim Hof’s Freeze the Fear as it aired earlier this year – over half (51%) of Brits’ believe the only benefit to cold showers is cooling down. Four in five (83%) don’t know that they can give our immune systems a healthy boost, whilst three quarters (77%) are unaware that they can help create sustained levels of alertness. Only a fifth (22%) credit them to reducing muscle soreness, with fewer (17%) understanding that cold showers can help reduce stress. A fifth (20%) thought there were no benefits at all!
The allure of the benefits of cold showers has attracted some to incorporate them into their routine though. The data recognised the green isle of Northern Ireland as the place most people
(28%) are incorporating a cold shower into their routine, followed by London (21%), East Midlands and Scotland (both 18%). It also crowned the health-conscious Gen Z most likely to give them a try. Over a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds (26%) claim they regularly take a cold shower; three times the amount of Gen X (7%) and five times more than Baby Boomers (5%). Whilst motivations to step under a cold stream were fuelled by curiosity, a fifth (21%) were most interested in trialling them to improve their skin – with some inspired only to look younger!
The most popular motivations are:
1. Curiosity around the health benefits (26%)
2. To get better skin (21%)
3. Reduce stress levels (18%)
4. Strengthen the immune system (16%)
5. Reduce muscle soreness (14%)
6. Increase stamina and willpower (11%)
7. To help me lose weight (10%)
8. To look younger (6%)
Dr Jamie Facer-Childs, Medical Doctor at University College Hospital in London commented:
“Cold showers are so incredibly good for our health. The cold water on the skin causes vasoconstriction – this is when the muscles around your blood vessels tighten – which makes our pores close, tightening the skin and helping our bodies feel toned and ready for action. The sudden stimulus of cold also triggers a reflex reaction that heightens our alertness and sharpens our thinking.
“Whilst it takes a little bit time and consistency for the physical benefits of cold showers to take flight, the mental boost starts as soon as you decide to take the plunge – I swear by them.”
Are you tempted to try cold showers? Why not read our blog 'I Took Cold Showers for a Week – and It’s My New Favourite Habit' to see if it's for you!
*Research survey of 1,000 UK adults conducted by researchbods on behalf of Mira Showers.