Cold Water immersion is an alternative therapy with a Nordic heritage.
Otherwise known as ice-baths, plunge pools or simply cold water therapy, it involves bathing in chilly temperatures every single day — and even in winter.
Why? Well, this supposedly has several different health benefits. In addition to helping the body recover from vigorous exercise, it can also minimise the signs of skin ageing.
Because of this, cold water immersion has fastly become one of the cutting-edge trends of the anti-ageing movement.
Want more details? Keep reading.
How Does Cold Water Immersion Work?
Firstly, if you want to reap the anti-ageing rewards of cold water immersion, all you have to do is take a chilly shower once a day.
You can start by beginning your shower as warm as you like. Then gradually decrease the temperature every 30 seconds until you reach approximately 20 degrees Celsius (or 68 degrees Fahrenheit).
That said, if you’re feeling brave, nothing is stopping you from plunging all the way into a chilly temperature from the very start.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling apprehensive, you could always introduce cold water into your face-washing routine slowly and then build this up when you have the confidence.
What Are the Anti-Ageing Benefits of Cold Water Immersion?
Coldwater immersion increases your body’s oxygen intake and boosts your circulation, thus having a profound impact on your skin.
In fact, it actively reduces anti-ageing effects in the following ways.
1. It Makes You Feel More Alert
Your body’s natural response to the shock of a cold shower and the increase of oxygen makes you breathe deeper, which provides you with a natural energy boost.
This means that it’s a good idea to do this first in the morning to essentially wake your body up.
Bathing in cold water also decreases your level of carbon dioxide, which helps you to feel alert and productive for the rest of the day.
2. It Releases Stress
It’s a well-known fact that stress can age the body. People who are constantly worrying are more prone to developing wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles around the eyes.
Therefore, if you’re feeling stressed, cold water immersion might be the answer.
After all, a low temperature can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your fight or flight response. As a result, this releases endorphins in your brain, which naturally boosts your mood and helps you to let go of any stress.
And when stress has gone from your body, you automatically look younger. Fact.
3. It Flushes Toxins
Coldwater therapy will also brighten your complexion.
How come, you ask? Well, exposing your skin to chilly water helps to flush out toxins. This is largely due to increased blood circulation in the body.
Consequently, your pores stay more or less closed during a cold shower, which causes your skin to look clean and taut.
4. It Reduces Inflammation
In addition to combating stress and fatigue, a cold shower can significantly reduce inflammation in your body.
And do you know what this means? You can say goodbye to skin that swells and reddens, and hello to a firmer, more even tone.
5. It Improves Your Facial Texture
It’s no secret that poor skin blood flow often creates dry, dull and ageing skin.
However, the fact that a cold shower can constrict the blood vessels in your face can remedy this. As well as reducing inflammation, it can increase the elasticity and vibrancy of your skin, thus giving you a radiant glow.
6. It Nourishes Your Skin
If you wash in hot water every day, this can strip away the natural oils from your skin and create long-lasting damage and irritation.
On the other hand, bathing in cold water increases your blood flow, which also means that essential nutrients are being carried to your cells. These then nourish your skin and accelerate cell repair, resulting in a healthier, more youthful-looking complexion.
7. It Promotes Weight Loss
Taking a cold shower each day can also stimulate the generation of brown fat in your body (otherwise known as good fat).
This is a type of fat tissue that creates energy by burning calories, thus increasing your metabolic rate and helping you lose weight (which can then make you look younger!).
8. It Boosts Your Immune System
In addition to aiding your mental health, recent studies have found that taking a chilly shower can improve your physical health.
Why? Well, cold water can increase the number of white blood cells in your body, which then protect your body against diseases.
9. It Builds Mental Resilience
Speaking of mental health, it takes a strong mind to be able to endure the cold for a prolonged period of time.
After all, chilly showers aren’t exactly comfortable.
Having said that, the idea is to force yourself to be comfortable with bathing in chilly water, thus strengthening your willpower. It builds mental and emotional resilience, which will help you feel more disciplined and in control of your life.
And this positive mindset can dramatically reduce stress, causing your body to feel younger and your skin to look younger.
10. It Helps You Sleep Better
Lastly, chilly showers can improve the quality of your sleep if you take them at nighttime.
Sure, this seems to contradict the first point of cold water being a wonderful way to wake your body up. But it actually allows your core temperature to drop, which often results in a deep and peaceful sleep.
And if you’re getting high-quality sleep, you’re reducing your risk of dark circles, wrinkles and fine lines.
How Long Should I Have a Cold Shower For?
The truth is: you won’t be able to withstand a cold shower for long.
In fact, approximately 10 minutes is the maximum time recommended for strengthening the immune system. (And this is so much more eco-friendly compared to a long, hot shower!)
However, note that staying in cold water for too long can cause your skin to lose too much moisture.
Just in case this happens, make sure you moisturise straight after your shower as a way of preventing dry skin and keeping the texture supple.
Seen as though cold water immersion has been around for centuries, it may not necessarily be a new way of enhancing our health and well-being.
However, cold bathing is continuing to grow in popularity thanks to its many anti-ageing benefits.
That’s why you should start including low temperatures into your regular shower routine sooner rather than later. And it won’t be long before you achieve beautiful, more youthful-looking skin.
Look out for the next blog post in the “Cutting-Edge Anti-Ageing Trends” series, “Part 4: Supplementation,” coming very soon!