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Do Hot Showers Cause Acne? (Hint: It Depends)

Do hot showers cause acne? The answer may not be as simple as you think. While a hot shower can feel relaxing, it could wreak havoc on your skin's natural balance, particularly if you're prone to breakouts.

So, why do hot showers cause acne? The keyword here is contribute. Let's take a deep dive into the relationship between hot showers and acne, the role of sebum, the impact of hot water on your skin, and how you can modify your showering habits to foster healthy, clear skin.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways: 

  • Hot showers don't directly cause acne, but they can create conditions like over-drying and sebum overproduction, leading to breakouts.
  • Adjusting shower habits, including water temperature and skincare products used, can significantly reduce the potential for acne breakouts.
  • Missteps like not rinsing correctly, using harsh cleansers, or aggressive exfoliation during hot showers can trigger acne, emphasizing the importance of gentle skincare.
  • Incorporating a comprehensive acne treatment, like Exposed Skin Care, can help manage acne, retain the skin's natural moisture, and provide a holistic approach to skin health.

Woman taking hot steaming shower

The Connection: Hot Showers and Acne

How Does Heat Impact Your Skin?

The connection between hot showers and acne starts with understanding what heat does to your skin. Hot water from the tap is not inherently a cause of acne. But super hot showers can worsen certain skin conditions, like acne.

  • Strips Natural Oils: Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils. Sebaceous glands produce these oils (sebum) to keep your skin moisturized and protected. But hot water can strip these away, causing your skin to become dry.

  • Triggers Excess Sebum Production: When your skin becomes dry, your sebaceous glands might overcompensate for the loss by producing excess sebum. This can lead to clogged pores, a common cause of acne.

  • Irritates the Skin: Hot showers can also irritate. Frequent hot showers may irritate your skin, causing redness and inflammation. Inflammation can make acne worse or even lead to breakouts.

Understanding Your Skin’s Sebum

A key player in the 'Do hot showers cause acne' puzzle is sebum. Sebum is a natural oil produced by your skin's sebaceous glands. While sebum is crucial for maintaining healthy skin, excess sebum production can lead to problems.

  • Clogs Pores: Too much sebum can clog your pores, causing acne and breakouts. When the sebum cannot escape the pore, it creates a perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive.

Image of girl with clogged cheek pores

  • Mixes with Dead Skin Cells: Excess sebum can mix with dead skin cells on the skin's surface, leading to clogged pores.

  • Triggered by Hot Showers: As stated earlier, hot showers can trigger excess sebum production. When hot water strips your skin of its natural moisture, your skin might respond by producing more oil.

Common Shower Mistakes That Can Trigger Acne

Harsh Cleansers

Using harsh cleansers in a hot shower can exacerbate skin dryness. As hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, a harsh cleanser might worsen things, causing your skin to become even more dehydrated. This can lead to an overproduction of sebum, causing acne.


Exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells that may clog your pores and cause acne. However, overdoing it, especially in a hot shower, can irritate your skin, leading to inflammation and breakouts.

Not Rinsing Properly

When you don't rinse properly, your body wash or conditioner residue can clog your pores, leading to body acne or 'bacne' breakouts. Hot water opens up your pores, making it easier for these residues to get in.

Scrubbing Skin Too Vigorously

Scrubbing your skin too vigorously in the shower can irritate your skin, which can contribute to acne. This is particularly true when using hot water, as it makes your skin more sensitive.

Leg of person scrubbing

Optimizing Your Shower Routine for Clear Skin

Now that we have established the link between hot showers and acne, let's explore how to avoid these avoidable shower mistakes. Here are some ways to keep your skin clear and healthy:

Adjust Your Shower Temperature

Consider taking warm showers instead of super hot ones. Warm showers are less likely to dry out your skin or cause irritation. The water coming from the tap should be lukewarm, around the same temperature as the human body.

Don't Forget to Moisturize

Apply a good moisturizer immediately after showering. This helps to lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out. Choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that won't clog your pores.

Choose the Right Skincare Products

Use a gentle, moisturizing body wash or cleanser, and avoid using harsh soaps. These can strip the skin of natural oils and dry out your skin. For acne-prone skin, opt for a body wash designed to treat acne, which can help prevent acne from forming.

Exposed Skin Care Body Kit

Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse thoroughly to ensure you wash away all the soap or body wash, which can cause irritation and lead to clogged pores if left on the skin.

Be Gentle with Your Skin

Avoid scrubbing your skin too vigorously. Instead, gently wash your skin with a soft cloth or your hands. This can help prevent irritation and protect your skin's natural moisture barrier.

Cold Showers vs. Hot Showers: Which Is Better for Acne?

While hot showers can cause certain conditions that can lead to acne, cold showers have their benefits:

  • Preserve Natural Oils: Cold water helps to preserve the skin's natural oils. Unlike hot water, it doesn't strip the skin of its essential moisture, thus keeping your skin hydrated.

  • Tighten Pores: Cold water tightens your pores, preventing them from getting clogged with dirt, oil, and bacteria. This can help prevent acne.

  • Reduce Inflammation: Cold water can also help reduce inflammation, which can help with existing acne and prevent new pimples from forming.

However, extreme hot or cold temperatures can be harsh on your skin. Lukewarm water is the most skin-friendly option.

Introducing Exposed Skin Care: An Effective Solution for Managing Acne

Exposed Skin Care is an innovative acne treatment that offers numerous benefits, particularly if you struggle with stubborn acne. Its use could be a valuable addition to your skincare routine, regardless of whether hot showers cause acne for you or not.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are the reasons why:

  • Holistic Care: Exposed Skin Care adopts a holistic approach, considering your skin and health as an integral part. Its products are designed to treat existing breakouts and help prevent future ones.

  • Soothing for Sensitive Skin: If hot showers often leave your skin dry and sensitive, this line of products can be a breath of fresh air. They're crafted not to dry out the skin or strip it of natural moisture.

  • Effective Against Bacne: Worried about back acne or 'bacne' breakouts caused by hard water or hot showers? Exposed Skin Care offers products that can target and treat these issues effectively.

  • Gentle Cleansing: When washing your face, it's important not to worsen acne. The brand's gentle cleansers ensure that your skin feels clean without irritating.

  • Maintains Skin Hydration: Unlike some acne treatments, Exposed Skin Care doesn't leave your skin parched. Instead, it helps to preserve your skin's natural moisture levels.

We recommend taking the time to try taking care of your skin with Exposed Skin Care. Regardless of your water temperature preference or how you go about your day, incorporating this into your regimen can make a significant difference in managing acne.


Our exploration into whether hot showers can cause acne has led us to understand how extreme temperatures impact our skin and health. While hot showers are not the root cause of acne, they can contribute to conditions that cause breakouts.

They may cause the skin to lose its natural moisture, overproduce sebum, and possibly trigger acne breakouts, including back acne or 'bacne.' However, we've also discovered that we have control over our skincare routines, and by making informed choices, we can help to prevent skin problems.

Opting for lukewarm water, gentle skin care products, and proper hydration can make a considerable difference. Incorporating a high-quality acne treatment such as Exposed Skin Care can further support our efforts. With their soothing and moisturizing properties,

Exposed Skin Care products can help keep the skin's natural balance in check. They provide a comprehensive solution that is preventive and combats existing acne effectively.

In conclusion, it's essential to consider every aspect of our routines, including how hot showers might affect our skin. Let's take good care of our skin – after all. It's the only one we've got!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Do hot showers cause acne?

Hot showers do not directly cause acne but can contribute to conditions that exacerbate acne. They can strip the skin of its natural oils, produce excess sebum, and cause irritation.

Q2: Are cold showers better for acne-prone skin?

Cold showers can help prevent acne by preserving natural oils and tightening pores. However, lukewarm showers are the best option for all skin types, as extreme temperatures can be harsh on your skin.

Q3: What shower mistakes can trigger acne?

Shower mistakes that can trigger acne include taking super hot showers, using harsh cleansers, over-exfoliating, not rinsing properly, and scrubbing your skin too vigorously.

Q4: How can I adjust my shower routine to help prevent acne?

To help prevent acne, consider adjusting your shower temperature to lukewarm, use gentle and moisturizing skincare products, rinse thoroughly, and avoid scrubbing your skin too vigorously.

Q5: Can hot water open pores and lead to acne?

Hot water can open pores, making it easier for dirt, oil, and bacteria to clog them, leading to acne.