To shower at night or in the morning, that is the question. If you're morning person, you'd only ever lather up in the AM. And if you're a night owl, you STRONGLY believe PM showering is where it's at. But is there any ~science~ to back up whether one is truly ideal?
While you might shower in the morning to look all fresh and cute for school, you might want to reconsider.
According to New York dermatologist Dr. Samer Jaber, washing your body and face at night is important for your skin health – especially during the spring and summer months.
"If you're out all day and sweaty or working out you should definitely shower before going to bed," he told the Mail Online.
"In the spring, you might be covered in allergens like pollen if you've been outside, so you would want to get that off your skin before going to sleep," he said.
Another reason to shower at night is that you get the most out of your skincare products. According to the American Association of Dermatology, "ointments, creams, and lotions work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes of washing your face."
After an evening shower, your skin really has a chance to soak in your moisturizer as you sleep (it doesn't have to compete with being wiped off during your makeup application or sweated off playing sports during gym class).
Opt for a powerful moisturizer that is made just for nighttime skincare routines, like Clark's Botanicals Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream. Retinol and colloidal oatmeal deliver a brighter, more even skin tone, and jasmine helps calm and exfoliate skin. Got large pores a la Regina George in Mean Girls? Well, this moisturizer has something for that, too. Red clover flower helps reduce the appearance of large pores.
Research from Harvard University has also shown that showering at night can help you sleep, which makes total sense. A nice hot shower before bedtime is SO relaxing. But be sure to shower at least 90 minutes before bedtime if you typically have trouble sleeping. “The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm,” Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York, told The New York Times. “Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.”
While cooling your body down, an evening shower might also help your mind chill out, too. “A shower might also have the benefit of giving you some time to think and wind down before bed, rather than distract yourself in front of the TV,” Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, tells Time.
That being said, if you're a hardcore morning person, then it might be worth sticking to your routine. For those who have a hard time waking up, a morning shower can make a serious difference, said Dr. Kennedy. An AM shower can boost alertness, which is handy if you're known for hitting snooze a bunch of times.
Morning showers also keep AM bed head at bay, and you can thank *science* for that.
Dr. George Cotsarelis, a professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, says that going to bed with wet hair is not so good for your follicles. He tells Time that resting your damp head on a pillow for hours as it dries can trap moisture in your hair. “You have different layers to each follicle, and the inner cortex can swell with water if not dried properly,” he explains. This could ultimately rupture the follicle, making your hair look less than healthy.
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