Finally, Answers To The Shower Vs. Bath Debate

What’s better for your skin?

Winner: Showers

Showering might be better for your skin health, according to one dermatologist.

“While both are great for keeping clean, prolonged lounging in a bath can lead to dry skin,” Lauren Ploch, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology, told The Huffington Post.

Ploch also warns against bathing in spas, which might lead to hot tub folliculitis, a condition in which bacteria inflame hair follicles and cause a red, bumpy rash. “I recommend rinsing with water or even washing with soap and water prior to exiting a [spa] bath to prevent this,” Ploch said. And if you have eczema, try to get in and out of any hot shower or bath between five and 10 minutes in order to best protect your skin.

What’s better for cleaning?

Winner: Tie

Unless you are literally covered in mud, there is no evidence a bath leaves you any cleaner than a shower. More concerning to doctors is not which way you choose to rinse off, but for how long you do so.

“We don’t have to have a long shower or a long bath to be clean, and scrubbing yourself more will just make your skin drier,” said Emma Guttman-Yassky, a professor and vice chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Guttman-Yassky recommends bathers rinse off under fresh water to be sure no soap sticks to the body after a soak. 

What’s better for the planet? 

Winnder: Showers

Showers beat baths from an environment standpoint so long as you aren’t taking it for 45 minutes, Grist reported earlier this year. The average bath uses 36 gallons to fill a tub, while the average shower uses five gallons of water per minute, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

And if you really want to get serious, a water-saving shower head will take you even further by using no more than two gallons of water per minute. A 10-minute shower will put you at only 20 gallons on average to get clean. Score.

What’s better for your feelings? 

Winner: Tie

This one is up to you. Both can do the job. And, as researchers wrote in a 2013 study published in the journal Emotion, long, hot showers and baths may immediately reduce loneliness. So if you are feeling sad, don’t make it worse by thinking through the shower vs. bath debate. Either one will leave you feeling warm from the inside out. 

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