When it comes to showering, most people do it either first thing in the morning or night before bed.
Advice on the proper time to bathe has varied with some experts saying a shower at night leads to better sleep, while others swear by a morning rinse to kick-start their day.
Daily Mail Online scrolled the annals of shower studies and spoke to New York-based dermatologists to settle the score.
We found that while both have their pros and cons, a shower at night washes off the sweat, oils and allergens of the day, giving you better shut-eye and radiant skin.
You’ll wash off the grime of the day
New York-based dermatologist Dr Samer Jaber told Daily Mail Online that a nighttime shower is good to wash off the dirt of the day.
If you’re out all day and sweaty or working out you should definitely shower before going to bed,’ he said.
He added that by the end of the day your body is covered in all kinds of allergens including pollen which can irritate your skin.
In the spring you might be covered in allergens like pollen if you’ve been outside, so you would want to get that off your skin before going to sleep,’ Dr Jaber said.
But he said that regardless of a shower, the most important thing to do is wash your face at night before laying on your pillow to prevent oils from building up and causing acne.
Nighttime showers help you sleep
Showers regulate your body temperature which can help you get better sleep.
Several studies have shown that taking a shower in the evening and at least 90 minutes before sleep will allow your body to heat up and cool down in time for adequate shut-eye.
Research adds that showers work as a stress reliever because they reduce cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone made by your adrenal glands that helps your body respond to stress, regulate blood sugar and fight infections.
Sleep expert Dr Janet Kennedy told The New York Times: ’The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm.’
Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep,’ she added.
Showering is also a good way to unwind and release muscle tension which can aid in sleep.
You’ll have better skin with a shower at night
Your skin regenerates at night, not only on your face but on your entire body.
That means while you sleep you are shedding dead skin cells and building new ones.
This is why Dr Jaber stresses the importance of washing at least your face before going to sleep in order to take off all the grime, make up or pollutants that clog pores.
A full-body shower at night will make it much easier for your skin to get rid of the dead skin cells, which will you radiant come morning time.
Morning showers boost creativity
Dr Jaber said: ’I personally shower in the morning because it wakes me up, but it’s really up to everyone’s individual preference.’
A study from Harvard found that morning showers can help those who are feeling stressed due to work or under pressure to be creative.
The same way a shower reduces cortisol levels to help you relax at night, releasing that same hormone in the morning can lower stress, opening up the way for creativity, according to research.
If you shave in the morning – shower first
Dr Jaber said that for men who shave, a morning shower may be better.
It might be better for men to shower first thing in the morning before shaving because the warm water can decrease ingrown hairs,’ he said.
Warm water will soften the skin and open up the pores to prevent ingrowns.
The same will work for women who shave.
Dr Derek V Chan, a New York-based cosmetic and medical dermatologist, advised patients shower once a day.
While hot showers feel great, Dr Chan urged people to opt for warm showers as they’re better for the skin.
Hot showers may feel good, but in general, warm showers are better than hot showers,’ he told Daily Mail Online.
Using very hot water can reduce moisture in the skin and strip away many of the skin’s natural lubricants,’ he said
Dr Jaber said that as long as you shower for just a few minutes, no more than 10, twice a day is no problem.
Based on expert opinion and research, showering at night may be the best way to unwind after a long day and rejuvenate your skin.
However, if you’re not a morning person a blast of water from the shower can get you ready for the day.
If you can’t decide, showering in the morning and night is harmless as long as you don’t dwell under hot water for too long.
Dr Jaber said: ’Whatever makes you feel better, that’s what you should do.’
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