What Are The Benefits Of Washing Your Face With Cold Water?

Find out how a few refreshingly cool splashes can help you achieve firm and clear skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Harryono Judodihardjo, PhD, DipGUM Dr. Harryono Judodihardjo Dr. Harryono JudodihardjoPhD, DipGUM facebook_icontwitter_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years

Whichever skin care routine you follow, the one thing that stays the same is cleansing the face. Though it sounds simple, you need to know how to wash it properly. Washing face with cold water is always preferred over hot water.

However, it also depends on the skin type. Different skin types react differently to the different water temperatures. Cleansing is a crucial part of any skin care routine and personal hygiene, and the water temperature is definitely going to affect your skin. Therefore, just like you take the time to find the right product for your skin, it is equally important to learn about the suitable water temperature for your facial skin.

This article explains why it is good to wash your face with cold water. It also focuses on special ways to clean your face, the ideal water temperature, and how many times you should wash your face.

Keep reading to learn more.

Is It Okay To Wash Your Face With Cold Water?

It is always better to use cold or lukewarm water while washing your face. There is lots of anecdotal evidence pointing toward the advantages of washing your face with cold water, but there are limited studies to prove if it has a significant impact.

While the pH leveli  A measure (from 0-14) of the acidity and basicity of water, with 7 being neutral and is considered good for the skin. of water is also important, you also need to check the temperature of the water that you are using to wash your face. Extreme water temperatures can have some adverse effects on the skin, like drying or reddening, and this makes it harmful to use such water for regular use.

protip_icon Quick Tip
A splash of cold water soothes your eyes and makes you feel refreshed. Many people claim it also makes their skin look younger.

Now, it is time for you to understand the benefits of washing your face with cold water. Keep scrolling.

Benefits Of Washing Your Face With Cold Water

There are many benefits of washing your face with cold water. Most of these benefits look at the surface level of the skin, which you wash with cold water, but the effects may differ from one skin type to another. Unless it does not lead to any problem on your skin, you can test how well you are able to tolerate the use of cold water on your skin.

1. May Shrink Pores

Washing face with cold water may benefit woman who is examining her enlarged skinpores
Image: Shutterstock

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that washing your face with cold water can shrink your pores. It is worth trying to see if cold water may minimize the appearance of big, open pores on your skin.

2. May Reduce Morning Puffiness

Washing face with cold water may benefit woman who is examining her puffy face
Image: Shutterstock

Washing your face with cold water can feel good when you have a puffy face, especially around the cheeks. Cold water can help constrict the blood flow under the skin, which may be behind this benefit (1).

3. May Add Hydration

Washing your face with cold water can help retain essential moisture and hydration in your skin by reducing the transepidermal loss of wateri  A function of the skin barrier and refers to the amount of water evaporated through the skin’s outermost layer (epidermis). (1).

4. May Reduce Sebum Production

Washing your face with cold water may help treat excessively oily or acne-prone skin by combating the over-production of sebumi  An oily substance made of fat molecules produced by the sebaceous glands to protect the skin .

5. May Reduce Swelling And Inflammation

Washing face with cold water may benefit woman examining her swollen face
Image: Shutterstock

Washing your face with cold water is said to be very beneficial for those with acne as it can reduce the extent of swelling and inflammation, especially around the areas that are susceptible to acne. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

Natasha, a Youtuber, explains why she prefers to wash her face with cold water : “In general, I find that sometimes just using cold water on active acne can make the breakouts a little stagnant. And this is just my personal experience (i).”

6. May Prevent The Formation Of Wrinkles

Washing face with cold water may benefit the woman examining wrinkles near her eyes
Image: Shutterstock

Washing your face with hot water has been potentially linked to the formation of wrinkles. Thus, it may be better to use cool water to wash your face.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Korean skin care routine involves ice-cold water soak for the face as a makeup hack. It results in long-lasting makeup by reducing sebum production.

Now that you know the benefits of washing your face with cold water, let us talk about the ideal water temperature for your skin.

7. May Help Soothe Sunburn

When your skin is sunburned, it becomes inflamed, and applying cold water to it provides immediate relief. Cold water may help to constrict the blood vessels, thus reducing the redness and heat associated with sunburn (2). It also may ease the discomfort and stinging sensation that sunburn often brings. You need to gently soak a clean cloth or towel in cold water and place it on the affected area for a few minutes. Alternatively, taking a cool shower can provide relief. Afterward, pat the skin dry with a soft towel, avoiding any rubbing, which may cause further irritation. It is important to remember that cold water can offer temporary relief, but seeking medical advice is advisable for long-term healing and prevention.

What Water Temperature Should You Use To Wash Your Face?

Water at or below room temperature is said to be ideal for washing your face. It is best to avoid extreme temperatures both too hot and too cold as it may damage your skin.

Washing your face with hot water may lead to dryness, skin aging, and secretion of excess skin oils as your skin tries to compensate for the repetitive stripping away of its natural oils. Very hot water (above 107°F) may also lead to premature aging over time. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

It is important to consider how often you wash your face in a day if you want to maintain its healthy state. Let us discuss this in the following section.

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Woman washing her face with cold water
Image: Shutterstock

Washing your face with water at least twice a day is the commonly accepted norm, but you can wash it only once as well. Washing it with just water may not be enough to purify the skin of dirt and product residues. To cleanse your face effectively, you may need to rinse with some form of cleanser that can dissolve the dirt and grease accumulated on it.

Yet, using too many cleansers on your skin or washing it too often can strip away its natural oils, resulting in dryness. So, to balance things out, it is better to combine the use of water with a cleanser that is suitable for your particular skin type. Sometimes, washing your face may become necessary, such as after a bout of heavy sweating. Splashing or spraying with cold water can refresh the skin after a tiring workout session and reduce the heat on the face.

Now, let’s talk about the potential disadvantages of using cold water on facial skin.

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Washing Your Face With Cold Water?

Washing your skin with cold water might be potentially disadvantageous in a few ways:

  • When you put cold water on your face, your skin pores could shrink in size. If those pores are clogged by bacteria and dirt before this process, washing face with cold water might constrict the pathway through which they could exit. As a result, they might remain trapped inside the skin and lead to breakouts.
  • Cold water may not be able to dissolve the greasy oils on your face as effectively as warm water. This can lead to blockage of pores and increased incidence of breakouts.
  • In some people, cold water on the face may lead to a sudden change in the appearance of the skin, making it redder or drier.

These are a few cons of using cold water to wash your face. However, if you are looking forward to using it anyway, here is a quick tip to avoid some of these disadvantages. You can use warm water to cleanse your face and then splash cold water all over it. However, this is not a scientifically correct way of washing your face. You can simply try it out and see if it works for you.

The next section discusses some general tips to keep your face clean.

Tips For Keeping Your Face Clean

If you want to maintain your skin health, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Avoid using extremely hot or extremely cold water.
  • Follow a regular skin care routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your face.
  • Always use gentle cleansing products that are specifically formulated for your skin type.
  • It is best not to use soap on your face because it can wreak havoc on the pH level of your skin.
  • While facial scrubs are necessary to exfoliate the skin’s outer layers, overdoing it may cause skin irritation and even cause damage to the skin barrier. So, limit their usage.
  • Avoid over-cleansing your face since it can lead to redness, dryness, and irritation.

Infographic: Key Reasons To Start Washing Your Face With Cold Water

Splashing cold water on your face may not seem like the best idea, especially if you don’t live in a hot, humid, or dry climate. However, it actually has benefits for your skin. Check out the infographic below to learn why you should use cold water to wash your face.

key reasons to start washing your face with cold water (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The benefits of washing your face with cold water are many. Studies suggest that washing the face with cold water once a day may reduce puffiness, shrink your pores, reduce swelling, and hydrate your skin. It is important to remember that water that’s too cold may damage and dry out your skin. Washing the face with cold water may not dissolve the dirt in your pores and may increase your risk of acne. That is why avoid using extremely cold water, follow a regular skincare regime, and avoid over-cleansing your face to keep your skin soft and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cold water good for getting rid of tanning?

There are limited findings on the benefits of washing the face with cold water for tanning. When you wash your face, the water stays in contact with the skin for a very short time to have any significant effect.

Does washing face with cold water clear acne?

People with acne may be wondering if it is better to wash their faces with cold water. While there is some evidence to suggest that washing your face with ice-cold water may benefit acne-prone skin, it may be difficult to observe any noticeable results merely by including cold water in your routine. For stubborn acne, it is better to consult a dermatologist for effective treatments.

Can I wash my face with cold water before bed?

Washing your face with cold water is recommended in the morning instead of at night. It is believed that cold water can help shrink the capillaries on the face, which can help to drain the fluids under the skin and reduce the morning swelling on the face for a refreshed and glowy look.

Can my skin become patchy if I wash my face with cold water?

If your skin is really sensitive, it may react negatively to extremely hot or extremely cold water. It is better to use water at room temperature to avoid this situation.

Can washing your face with cold water help improve the circulation of blood to your face?

Cold water exposure can cause blood to flow to the exposed area. As a result, increased blood flow protects the skin from free radicals such as pollution and may rejuvenate your skin for a healthier glow.

Can washing your face with cold water help improve the overall health and appearance of your skin over time?

Yes, regularly washing your face with cold water may slow the aging process and help to smooth out facial wrinkles. As cold water tightens and protects the pores that open up when the skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, it may also aid in removing the damaging effects of the sun.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleansing your face with cold water helps balance the natural pH of your skin while shrinking pores and reducing puffiness.
  • Using a mild and effective facial cleanser along with cold water helps clarify the pores while removing any dirt and sebum buildup.
  • Avoiding extreme temperatures and overwashing is important to maintain normal skin texture.

Discover the chilly secret to flawless skin in the video below. Learn the 6 benefits of washing your face with cold water for a glowing complexion. Check it out!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Feasibility and Effects of Taking Cold Showers: A Randomized Controlled Study:
  2. The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise
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Dr. Harryono Judodihardjo

Dr. Harryono JudodihardjoMB BCh BAO, MSc, PhD, DipGUM, DCH, DDSc

Dr Judodihardjo is a senior dermatologist with 24 years of experience and has two private practices in London and Cardiff. He was named the Best Dermatologist in the UK in 2019 by Tatler magazine. He is the Dermatology programme director for the FACE conference in the UK for many years. He is a well known speaker in both national and...read full bio

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