8 Benefits of Taking Cold Showers

[icon name=”fa-user”] Peter Safford [icon name=”fa-calendar”] January 24, 2019 [icon name=”fa-tags”] Lifestyle

The curtains seem to magically part as sunlight creeps ever so slightly through the window. The room then brightens as your body gets in the last few minutes of a good night’s sleep. Your eyes are heavy as the light gently touches your face and the sound of your alarm shocks your body into a panic and you jolt awake. Still recovering from the day before you just lay there, reaching for the snooze button but to no avail, the alarm keeps ringing… we’ve all been there. After a few minutes, you finally hit the button, pull yourself together, and start your morning routine. One foot leads the other down the hallway as you creek open the bathroom door to the sight of the most amazing shower. You hang up your towel, step into the best part of your morning and begin to turn the handle to the left, eager for the heat to wake you up from the morning blues. Now you have a choice… you could continue to turn it left and enjoy the next few minutes immensely, or you can let discipline lead your hand and turn it to the right, opening a new world of health benefits. As it would turn out, hot showers are not all they’re cracked up to be.

Why not hot showers?

At this point, it should be common knowledge that hot showers have their time and place, but it’s definitely not first thing in the morning. While they mentally prepare you for the day ahead and feel amazing, hot showers have been known to dry out the skin and leave you with a weird irritation all over after stepping out. On top of drying out the skin and face hot showers are notorious for weakening the hair’s roots, leading to split ends and a lot of curling. While the steam adds volume, hot showers reduce the hair’s natural shine and give it a much harder texture overall. Too much hot water has been known to lead to an increase in breakouts. Our bodies have a natural layer of oil that protects and nourishes the skin and hot water breaks down this barrier, making the skin more vulnerable to acne.

When to give hot showers a chance?

So when should you take a warm shower? Experts say that turning up the heat is the best after a tough workout. According to studies, cold water decreases inflammation in the body, and while this may sound great on the surface, less inflammation may lead to a decrease in muscle gained from your workout, making warm showers the way to go to maximize muscle gain.

Why take cold showers?

1. They Help Your Skin

Unlike the constant burn on your skin during a hot shower, turning down the temperature helps preserve and even strengthen the fine oil layer created by your skin. A boost to your body’s natural barrier means that your skin will feel better protected from everyday irritants and more hydrated overall. Like hot showers, cold temperatures promote more effective blood flow throughout the body, stopping the skin from early aging. An increased blood flow causes oxygen and essential nutrients to circulate through the body, assuring that your skin glows like never before.

2. They Boost the Immune System

This one is already common knowledge but is amazing enough to deserve a mention anyway. Cold showers are the perfect shot of immune boosting goodness before your busy day. A 2016 study tested workers who take hot showers every morning against those who took cold showers. The study determined that the cold shower group received a 26% drop in sick-leave days overall while the hot shower group mostly remained the same. Cold showers have been proven to lead to an increase in the body’s white blood cells, making the immune system more efficient with each shower taken. The constant shock of the cold has also been proven to increase the body’s metabolism, meaning your virus defense mechanisms act faster. While it may just be placebo, cold showers have been part of my routine for a while and I can say with confidence that the everyday cold is almost nonexistent to me. And while the cold showers themselves have been a massive help in strengthening my immune system, it also requires a proper diet and a solid fitness routine.

3. It Psyches You up for the Day

Nothing really jolts you out of your groggy morning state like a cold shower. While hot showers may give you a bit of an energy boost, your body’s natural reaction to cold IS to wake up. A study by Alaska Med found that when exposed to a HEALTHY amount of cold, receptors on the skin are stimulated. The receptors then stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn causes blood flow to increase rapidly and the body’s internal heat to rise. In other words, a cold shower can act as a healthy alternative (or addition) to your morning cup of coffee.

4. It Helps with Muscle Recovery

While turning up the heat is great for building mass, cold showers have their own benefits after a workout. Both hot and cold water is great for increasing the blood flow and circulation throughout the body and both can help your fitness goals.  Where the temperatures differ is with muscle recovery. The reason so many athletes take cold water baths after an intense workout is to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  By immersing their muscles in the cold, they are reducing inflammation, preventing post-workout-soreness and leading to a faster and more efficient recovery at the cost of some added mass.

5. Showering at Night?

No problem at all! While the initial shock of a cold shower will definitely wake you up, the stimulation of the nervous system can actually lead to a more relaxed, deeper sleep once the body calms down. Other than that, most benefits are the same between cold showers in the morning and at night.

6. It Burns Fat

Studies have shown that cold showers are likely to help with weight loss. See, the human body has two main types of fat, white and brown. While fat is our body’s way of storing excess energy and is often associated with overeating. Brown fat is in our body from a young age and is meant to generate heat. The theory is that a cold shower will force this fat to work overtime to keep the body stable in the cold, burning itself off as a result. And while studies have found that cold showering sill burns a lot of calories, it’s not the 500 that the rumors say. Still, even burning some calories is much better than burning none.

7. It Helps Relieve Depression

That rush of cold water can do much more than wake you up and help you look amazing. A 2009 study found that cold showers are able to act as their own antidepressant. The study says that cold-receptors on the skin react to the chilled water by sending a mass amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain. The idea is that the electrical overcharge leads to an antidepressant effect that is theorized to improve mood. Testing done in the same study concluded that moods did improve after routine cold showers, but that none of the test subjects were diagnosed with depression to begin with. While further testing is necessary, results do show some promise.

And perhaps the most important part of all…

8. It helps build character and discipline

There’s a reason ancient ritual involved meditating under a waterfall. It’s the same reason why so many martial artists swear by it and explain why the idea has become a media trope in itself. Discipline is a muscle, we’re not born with it and like any other the more you work it the more it grows. I get it, at first it will be awful; just like when you first start hitting the gym or built up the courage to tell that girl how you feel. It sucks, but if you can endure it long enough it’ll keep sucking less and less until it becomes a habit– the same is true with cold showers. What better way to get the discipline started in your day than by stepping into a freezing shower? Getting out from under the warm covers, telling your brain to quiet down and forcing yourself to take an icy plunge is amazing for building discipline in your life. Starting your days with something so difficult gets the ball rolling, and sets up the day itself to be amazing. Taking a cold shower gives you the confidence of knowing that the little problems don’t matter as much since you’ve already tackled a massive obstacle in your day.

Before you get Started

Before you take the plunge and embrace the amazing benefits of cold showers, there is one warning. Never turn your shower to the coldest setting when you’re just getting started. You should start lukewarm and lower the temperature as your body gets used to the water. This will ensure maximum benefits and the lowest risk to your health.

One More Thing

If you’re feeling like the suave, amazing person you know you are, there’s also something called the “James Bond” shower. It’s where you start with the water warm and turn down the temperature towards the end, also known as the “Scottish shower”. If you don’t feel quite ready to take the plunge why not start with this? Once you get used to the temperature, you can then make the entire shower cold.

It’s That Simple

Now that you know all there is to know about hot and cold showers… what’s stopping you from taking one during your next routine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

As you step into the bathroom, groggy-eyed and figuring out your day, you are met with a choice. Turn the handle left and enjoy the next few minutes, or turn it right and reap the benefits… the choice is yours.

3 Products Your Face Needs to Look its Best

[icon name=”fa-user”] Peter Safford [icon name=”fa-calendar”] January 19, 2019 [icon name=”fa-tags”] Grooming

Unlike the majority of your body covered in clothing, your face is constantly being exposed to the elements of the world.

Imagine your day-to-day life and all that you encounter throughout. The Sun, wind, dirt, grime, oil-from all those times you unknowingly touch your face, an occasional peck on the cheek, and everything else you can imagine is attracted to your face.

At the end of the day, your face has taken quite the beating. But how are you taking care of one your most valuable assets? Your face does more than you think. It conveys a message.

First impressions are important, and an unkempt appearance can be disastrous in certain situations – we’ll keep shaving to another post. What if before a first date a huge pimple appeared? By then it’s too late to do anything about it. But what if there was a way to prevent a pimple from happening at all?

Oily skin isn’t attractive either. You probably didn’t notice you had oily skin because you never paid much attention to what it meant to have oily skin. Dry skin isn’t any better.

Most men don’t know their skin type. Most men are not getting the most out of their appearance because they lack the knowledge of why they need a skin care routine that is geared towards properly taking care of their skin. Or they never put much thought into maintaining their skin.

Let’s focus on that face of yours. And what your skin care routine at the basic level should be to ensure you maintain a clear, oil-free face.

By the end, you should have a clear idea of what you should be doing to look your best.

Starting with a quality face wash.

Face Wash

“Why don’t I just use my 3-in-1 shower gel on my face?”

Sound familiar? Being efficient is great and all, however, how can one product do three jobs efficiently in one? Why not use three products that each do their job individually? We are talking about our skin here. Let’s not cut corners for the sake of efficiency and risk damaging our skin with lower quality products. Not to say what is readily available on shelves cannot do the job their advertised for; it’s using higher quality products instead that yield better results.

Face wash is what you need to keep the proper pH balance in your skin. Most skin types have a pH balance of 5.5, but shower gels and bar soap have a higher pH balance, around 8-10. Using shower gel or bar soap removes moisture from your face leaving it dry and dehydrated by making the skin go into an alkaline state. Improper pH balance being the culprit.

That’s bad.

Not only unappealing, but harmful to the overall health and youthful appearance of your skin. If you have oily, sensitive skin, then a quality face wash is what you need. Designed to clean your pores of harmful foreign objects without unbalancing your skin’s pH balance. Face wash is gentler on your skin than shower gel or bar soap. Do yourself the favor, ditch those two for a quality face wash.

What about a cleanser?

Cleansers have their place. They are intended to be used by people with naturally dry, sensitive skin. Cleansers also remove dirt from your face but moisturize and hydrate your skin unlike your face wash.

The goal is to determine your skin type. Dry or oily. From there, choose a product that suits your skin type and start using it daily. In the morning to rid your face of anything accumulated overnight, then before bed after a long day of being out in the world. Remember, pat dry. Never rub your face dry with a towel. It is easier to damage your skin immediately after it’s been washed. Be gentle.

If you’re searching for a more budget-friendly product, consider Thrive Skincare’s Face Wash. For a more balanced product, but with a higher price tag, look into Ursa Major’s Face Wash.


Hard to believe but washing your face twice a day still isn’t enough. Daily face washing is only cleaning the surface; buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil are difficult for your face wash to get “down in there” and scrub out.

Exfoliating is the process of using a face scrub, chemical or physical, to remove this build up. As you age, your body’s ability to turn over new cells slows down as opposed to when you were a child. You’re left with a dull complexion and more defined fine lines in your skin.

What benefits do I get for exfoliating?

Here are three benefits of exfoliating.

  1. Restored natural oils – Unclogged pores allow your face to naturally distribute essentials oils that your face needs to stay healthy.
  2. Look younger – Scrubbing away old dead skin cells reveals new skin cells and removes those pesky fine lines.
  3. Allows better absorption of moisturizers – Moisturizing is another important step in your skincare routine. We’ll be talking about that next. Just know for now that your pores are capable of receiving moisturizer effectively.

Choosing the right exfoliator, Chemical or Physical

Physical exfoliation

Manually scrubbing your skin is the alternative to using chemicals. Common face scrubs use granules of different particles and sizes.

  1. Large Granules – Oilier skin is tougher due to their larger sebaceous glands; therefore, they are able to withstand more abrasive granules.
  2. Small Granules – Dry skin would not fare too well against larger, abrasive granules. Instead, smaller particles like sugar granules effectively exfoliate.

I’ve tried many physical exfoliators before, I advise you do your own research on which product will work best for you, but I can recommend Bulldog Original Face Scrub, which you can pick up for a few bucks on Amazon. A pricier option and my personal favorite would be Clinique’s Face Scrub for men.

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliators use primarily two different chemicals to help remove dead skin cells.

  1. AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) -These acids are made up of natural substances that are water soluble. Easier on the skin and being water soluble makes them not ideal for deeper cleans.
  2. BHA (beta hydroxy acids) – BHAs are synthetic oil-soluble acids that allow for a deeper clean. Harder on your skin. If you are acne-prone or have oily skin, it is suggested you use BHA’s. Sensitive skin may become irritated from the harsh clean.

It is possible to use both types of chemicals. Not on the same day, however, too much of a good thing is bad. Same with exfoliation.

Again, it is important to know your skin type. Exfoliation can be rough on your skin. That’s why caution must be taken when choosing the right exfoliator. Fortunately, this form of deep cleaning isn’t necessary often. Once or twice a week will do. If choosing chemicals feels right for you, alternate your AHAs and your BHAs to maximize their effectiveness.


The final, and perhaps most important step, regardless of how many steps you choose to take, should always end in moisturizing. Moisturize sounds feminine. Well, it’s not. It is the last step you need to take to ensure that you replenish hydration and protect your freshly cleaned face.

Daily face washing and exfoliation strip away essential oils and lead to dryness. That’s why you finish with a moisturizer. You want to lock in hydration. Skin can become dry year-round. So, don’t think during extreme weather conditions, hot or cold, is the only time you need to apply moisturizer either.

A tip to remember is too much moisturizer leads to clogged pores; ultimately, you are undermining all the work you have done previously if you apply too much. Moisturizer is best applied to damp skin, right after you wash your face is the best time. Gently pat your face leaving a small amount of water behind. Do not let your skin completely dry. Rehydrated is the perfect state for applying moisturizer. A common mistake is drying the face completely. Any product worth its weight will tell you on the back, use with damp skin. That’s for a reason.

An excellent product to consider is the Mattifying Face Moisturizer by Beau Brummell for Men.


If you find a moisturizer suitable for your skin type, and has SPF protection, then you found a win-win product. Sunscreen is important if you are out in the Sun. It is well known the damage sunlight can do to your skin. Harmful UVB and UVA rays, radiation from the Sun that causes skin damage, is unavoidable, especially during the Summer months when those two are at their worse.

Dermatologists recommend SPF 30. Broad spectrum sunscreen protects from both UVB and UVA rays. Maximum protection is going to be around SPF 30. Don’t let marketing tactics fool you into believe more is better. Unfortunately, higher SPFs do not offer more protection than what you would think. Stick to SPF 30 and if not SPF 15 is safe as well.


You are now better prepared to take your skin care routine seriously. As you should. You only have one face and you must maintain your healthy, looking skin. These simple, but essential tips are the bare-bone basics you need to ensure you are properly maintaining your skin. This minimalistic approach should not take much time to complete.

Wash your face twice a day, exfoliate twice a week, and moisturize after every wash.


Keep in mind, all this work could be for not if you are using the incorrect products for your skin type. And lower quality products as well. Research into what is best for your skin. Oily? Dry? Sensitive? Remember to ask yourself these questions before purchasing any product that could potentially irritate your skin, causing more problems than solutions.