No matter what products you use to primp and prepare for your day, water is a daily essential — perhaps the most under-appreciated member of our beauty supply squad. While we love to drink it and swim in it, we hardly ever consider what effect that scalding hot shower could have on our hair, skin or general beauty MO. So whether you’re down with the 14-step skincare routine or a lover of the bubble face mask, you can learn a thing or two about how water temperatures are affecting your go-to beauty habits. Scroll down to learn which temps you should be using and when.

1. Showering + Shampooing: Water gives your hair and skin much-needed moisture (obvi), but we need to be careful not to push it to the limit. A hot shower in the fall and winter months feels amazing, but it can really dry out your skin and hair. Just like too-hot styling tools can scald your tresses, so too can hot water, which can strip your skin and hair of natural oils that are key factors in shiny locks and soft, touchable skin. Not to mention that drying your scalp out with a steamy shower can actually lead to an increase in the appearance of dandruff — no bueno. It’s best to shower and shampoo hair in warm water. A cool rinse at the end of your shower and shampoo seals your pores and ensures that the products you used during your wash will be effective. The same applies to how you wash your face. Cleanse your face with lukewarm water, but rinse in cold to close your pores and help you feel refreshed in the morning hours. When in doubt, try to keep temperatures not too hot and not too cold. It’s all about balance.

woman shaving legs

2. Shaving: Warm water does wonders when it comes to opening the pores on our skin. Opening up our pores before shaving softens the hair and makes it easier to remove. You’ll find that you won’t have to apply as much force with your razor when soaking in a warm shower as opposed to a hot or cold one. The more you know, right?!

woman brushing teeth

3. Brushing your teeth: Though some may experience sensitivity when brushing with cold water or chewing on a cube of ice, there’s no scientific tie between water temperature and teeth cleanliness. That being said, it’s best to avoid hot or lukewarm water, as it will soften the bristles of your brush and make your efforts less effective. Hot water that sits in tanks or lead pipes can contain harmful chemicals that will alter oral hygiene. Obviously, you should stay away from burning hot and icy cold temps for comfort purposes, but it sounds like it’s cold water for the win.


4. Nail Care: Turns out, water temperature has a big effect on your digits, beyond drying out your skin. For a quick-drying nail polish hack, dunk your tips into a bowl of ice cold water after you let them air dry for a minute or two. This trick will seal your polish and ensure that you live your life chip-free until your next mani. Cool, right?

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(Photos via Getty)