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Baths vs Showers: Which is actually better for you?

  • In: Health | 10th February, 2023
Lady Bathing

In houses up and down the country, a debate is constantly brewing. No, it’s not the latest political discussion, but the Battle of the Bathroom Fittings; Which is better for you Bath or Shower?

Here at Premier Care, we’re passionate about the benefits of both a bath or shower – so to help get to the bottom of the issue we’ve looked at some of the main categories to settle the argument once and for all.

Will you emerge TeamBath or TeamShower? Read on and decide for yourself!

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  1. Cleanliness
  2. Wellbeing benefits
  3. Skin health
  4. Environment
  5. Sleep

Difference Between Bath and Shower

Category 1: Cleanliness

According to the Hygiene Expert, the benefits of showers win out on this one. Especially if you exercise regularly, spend time outdoors or wear lots of makeup; showering can be more hygienic. It’s better, it seems, to wash the day and dirt away straight down the plughole.

Bath lovers don’t despair! Sitting in bathwater is far from ‘filthy’, which tends to lead to the question whether baths are hygienic or not? In fact, the dirt settles away from the skin and body and is diluted in the entirety of the bathwater.

Category 2: Wellbeing benefits

This is a tricky one as there are many benefits to both the bath or shower when it comes to wellbeing.

The cold shower, in particular, is making a splash in health and wellness spaces. According to The Ice Man, Wim Hoff some benefits of taking a cold shower include:

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Higher levels of alertness
  • Robust immune response
  • increasing circulation
  • Boosting weight loss

Although having a daily cold shower seems less inviting than a bubble bath, it’s the cold shock that appears to support the increase in oxygen intake, heart rate and alertness which then have a knock-on effect throughout the rest of your body. If a cold shower is a step too far, you could try the ‘contrast shower’. Alternating between hot and cold water for 5 minutes is said to support everything from appetite to reducing inflammation.

For many years, however, a long soak in a hot bath has been the elixir of choice after a hard day. This feeling of unwinding not only feels good but has a huge effect on your health and wellbeing. Submerging ourselves in hot water can be both healing and reviving because blood flow increases to the skin. Furthermore, due to the increase in heart rate brought on by the raised temperature, one recent study found that soaking in an hour-long hot bath burned as many calories (around 140) as a 30-minute walk!

Category 3: Skin health

According to dermatologist Lauren Eckert Ploch, the shower is their choice for providing the most healthy skin benefits. You can wash away dirt & product build-up, like conditioner, that clogs your pores. Showers are a great way to take part in a ‘body brushing’ practise which has been seen to benefit your skin and lymphatic system, leaving you glowing from head to toe. What’s more, the steam created from a shower or even a bath, can help open the pores and loosen the dirt from the tiny glands of the skin, aiding in their removal. However, in the shower, the dirt ends up down the plughole in a more direct way.

Let’s not forget some of the skin benefits you can get from the bath though! The opportunity to add products that are relaxing and great for the skin such as essential oils, luxury bubble bath or even oats! Oat baths can be extremely soothing for skin conditions such as eczema or dry skin. Baths have also been found to lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that has been known to increase acne and stimulate premature ageing.

Be warned if you are prone to skin issues – too much of a good thing can have the reverse effects. Too much water, like during a bath or a long shower, can strip the skin of natural oils leading to further irritation and inflammation.

Category 4: Environment

Both the bath or shower uses a precious commodity for our planet, so figuring out which fitting is better for our environment is an important factor.

The benefits of a shower seem to come out on top from a bathing environmental standpoint in this category. Providing it isn’t a long one! The most efficient way to conserve water is by using a specialised water-saving showerhead. If you can make your shower snappy and quick, rinsing off in the space of five to seven minutes, you can save over 10 gallons of water! However, if you were to spend more than ten minutes in your shower – the water waste is pretty much the same, calling this category a tie.

For those of you who just can’t give up your beloved baths, there are some things you can do to still make a positive impact on the planet. First things first, pop in the plug before you start running the water and adjust the temperature as it fills up. If you have a garden or house plants,  you can go one step further and set up some kind of hose system or water your plants with a bucket or watering can.

Category 5: Sleep

Sleep issues are common, especially as we age – so will it be the bath or shower that will help us get more shut-eye?

A warm bath is a well-known sleep remedy. It can help us relax, but also our core body temperature tends to drop after a warm bath as all the heat rushes to our extremities. This drop-in temperature helps signal to the body that it’s time for bed which can induce better sleep.

Increasing your body temperature can also improve your circulation, calm your nervous system, detoxify your body, and releases endorphins. These endorphins make you feel good and can get rid of those stresses that build up throughout your day. Plus, you can light candles, add essential oils and take some time to read a great book in the bath for some deep relaxation.

Showers can also have the effect of reducing your core temperature if you have a steamy one. However, for many, the effect of the running water over your skin can be more invigorating than relaxing.

So, which wins out for you in the battle of bath vs shower? Will you have an indulgent bubble bath or an energising shower today?