Why Do Hot Showers Cause Acne?

The question of whether or not hot showers cause acne has been a source of contention for many years. The heat from the water causes pores to open, which can result in clogged hair follicles and the growth of bacteria on the skin. 

Others believe that cold water causes acne because when you step out of the shower, the temperature of your skin changes rapidly.

This can cause blackheads or pimples that are already present on your skin to become more inflamed. Let us continue reading to uncover the truth about why this occurs!

Why Hot Showers Can Cause Acne

The Water Is Too hot or Too Cold

Water that is too hot can cause the skin to dry out, which can irritate acne. If you are standing under the showerhead, your pores are open and therefore more likely to absorb anything that comes into contact with them. 

If this is something other than water (soap or shampoo), it might irritate the skin on your face, leading to breakouts. This includes hot water as well! 

Hot showers may cause pores to become clogged by oils from soaps and shampoos, leaving a film over time, resulting in acne sufferers experiencing an increase in their breakout frequency due to pore blockages caused by these products. 

You Shower Too Frequently

Over-showering is a common cause of acne on the face, especially in women. If you are showering several times a day, your skin may become stressed and unable to cope. 

Make an effort to reduce the number of showers you take each week and see if this has an impact on your acne symptoms. Also, make certain that you are taking a sufficient amount of time in the shower. 

Acne outbreaks can occur if you spend an excessive amount of time in hot water, causing your pores to become clogged with oil and dirt and resulting in breakouts, but not washing well enough can also cause acne.

Your Shampoo & Conditioner are to Blame

Those that use the wrong type of shampoo for their body are more prone to acne. When it comes to both shampoo and conditioner, the one thing that you should do is avoid those that cause build-up on your skin, as this will lead to breakouts more than anything else. 

By building up, we mean a thick residue that does not wash away easily with water alone. Those products typically contain sulfate or silicone ingredients responsible for the accumulation of dirt and oil on skin surfaces leading to clogged pores resulting in pimples and blackheads.

If you believe your shampoo could be triggering acne breakouts I highly recommend taking a look at our team’s top shampoos for acne. This list has shampoo selections based on all hair and skin types including picks for people who color their hair, are balding, and much more!

Water Quality

On top of the other shower factors that could be contributing to skincare issues, water quality is one that should be looked into as well. Areas with hard water might have higher concentrations of minerals and calcium that can affect our skin and make the products we use less effective.

To combat this, it is recommended to have a water filter for the shower to help prevent some of these effects of hard water.


Hot showers can cause acne because they dry out the skin. If you have acne, try taking warm to cold showers and ensuring your body is moisturized well after each shower. 

Never use hot water when washing your face, and avoid using harsh soaps or body washes on areas with acne -Use an oil-free moisturizer to lock in the skin’s natural moisture after showering.

Frequently Asked Questions

How warm should my shower temperature be?

Shower water should be warm, not hot. The ideal water temperature for acne treatment is between 95°F and 105°F (35-40°C).

Can chlorine cause acne?

Chlorine can produce chloramines that trigger acne breakouts. Chlorine itself cannot contribute to breaking out of pimples directly, but when mixed with oils, it creates chemicals that may lead to more severe outbreaks.

Can steam cause acne?

You should not let yourself remain in the steamy environment for more than five minutes because that could worsen breakouts. It is best if you keep long showers under ten minutes or so – just enough time to get clean!

Originally Published: November 16, 2021

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I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

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