Can Taking A Cold Shower Help Treat And Prevent Acne?

There are plenty of remedies circulating the Internet that claim to be able to cure acne and leave you with glowing, clear, and dewy skin. Skin cycling, toothpaste, potato skins, and saltwater spray are just some of the skincare trends that went viral on TikTok, promising to give real results. If you struggle with acne, you've probably tried a few viral DIY hacks in hopes of clearing up your skin — but have you heard of taking cold showers for acne? 


Cold plunges have recently become a popular wellness trend and cold showers have quickly followed suit. According to UCLA Health, there are many benefits that come from taking cold showers including improving your immunity to colds, increasing your metabolism, boosting circulation, reducing inflammation, and even minimizing depression symptoms. Cold showers are even said to be better for your hair.

While there are a variety of physical and mental benefits of taking cold showers, many have started to use them as a way to try to reduce acne. Videos tagged under cold showers for acne have over 124 million views on TikTok, but does the new viral trend really work? 

Benefits of taking cold showers for acne

When you take a cold shower and wash your face with cold water, you could be helping to reduce the inflammation that's commonly caused by acne. It's also recommended by dermatologists that you wash your face with cold water. Hot water can strip your face of its natural oils and compromise your skin's barrier, leading to dry and aggravated skin. Meanwhile, cold water shrinks pores, tightens the skin, and temporarily gives it a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.


Per Byrdie, cold showers can reduce puffiness, improve circulation, and make your skin look clearer and more radiant. While cold showers can yield some benefits to the skin, they won't have many long-term perks or be able to treat the root cause of your acne. Acne is typically caused by excessively oily skin, bacteria, sticky pores, and inflammation — all of which (excluding inflammation) cold showers can't combat.

Cold showers won't address the cause of your acne

Many experts agree that cold showers can temporarily soothe your skin from inflammation and reduce the appearance of acne, but won't do much else in the long run. "If you were having a breakout, a cold shower could maybe provide some symptomatic relief, but it doesn't work on the core mechanism behind why acne occurs," board-certified dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D. tells Well and Good.


To find out the root cause of your acne, we recommend booking an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. They can help you find out the cause of your acne, and recommend ingredients and products that are strong enough to clear it up. Many dermatologists recommend treatments that contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, alpha hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid.

Fortunately, you don't have to worry about cold showers making your acne worse. "A quick cold shower is not likely to have any long-term effects on acne lesions — it's not going to make the pores more clogged or less clogged," Woolery-Lloyd says.