Who doesn’t love a bubble bath? That pleasant half-hour of quiet time, soaking away from it all in a relaxing tub. Heaven! But, is that bath as good for your health as you think it is? Or would you be better off taking a shower?
Below, we put the bath vs shower debate to bed once and for all. Find out which is better for your health and why.
Benefits of taking a shower
Time-saving, stimulating, stress-relieving. These are some of the reasons that people love to shower instead of bathing. But what are the benefits of taking a shower? Let’s find out.
- Reduces tension and improves circulation. Cold showers are great for releasing tension, improving circulation, calming itchy skin and gaining a new lease of life.
- Gets rid of headaches, helps sore muscles. Warm showers help relieve muscle tension, reduce headaches and aid anxiety relief.
- Massages the skin as water falls. Water pressure can be used to gently massage the body, allowing you to destress and relax.
- Great for cleaning the body. Showers are ideal as they lightly rinse the skin, removing dirt and bacteria, but don’t remove the essential skin oils.
- Quicker than a bath. If you need to wash yourself in a hurry or have a limited supply of hot water, a shower can be ideal.
Cons of taking a shower
Aside from the risks of slipping, what disadvantages are there to having a shower instead of a bath.
- It’s likely you’ll have to stand. Unless you are the proud owner of shower chair, taking a shower usually involves standing. If you have a health condition that makes you not too steady on your feet this could be dangerous. Meanwhile, if you want to use that shower for stress-relief, standing makes it difficult to fully relax.
- Relies on water pressure. How good your shower is depends on the amount of water pressure in your house or apartment building. Too low and you might find your shower less than desirable and more like a trickle of water, not very helpful for cleaning either. An alternative is to install and electric shower, which may resolve the problem.
- Steam-room status. Ever seen that foggy mist across your mirror post shower? So have we. One minus to a shower is that you often create a stream-room situation in your bathroom. This can be a plus for skin health, but if you have certain medical condition, it can be an issue for your health. So take care.
Benefits of taking a bath
A little me-time, a way to relax after work, or simply getting clean, there are lots of good reasons you should fill that tub right now. Here are some of them.
- Helps treat skin condition. A bath is a great way to coat your skin. Oat baths are particularly popular for those with eczema, but this is not the only skin treatment available.
- As you feel the water float around you, especially if it’s at the right temperature, it might seem your worries are floating away too. Relaxation and stress-relief are some of the great benefits of bathing.
- Can improve sleep. Trouble winding down? Taking a bath in the evening before bed not only helps you relax but helps your body regulate its temperature so when you’re ready to sleep so is your body. Not, this may not apply to everyone, some people find themselves more awake after a bath.
- Good for muscle and joint protection and relief. You’ve probably heard of the benefits of an ice bath for sore muscles. But did you know, a warm bath has some magic too?
- Helps regulate blood pressure. Warm water improves circulation in the body by opening up the blood vessels, allowing it to flow more freely. In turn this can lead to lower blood pressure. However, conclusive medical evidence of this is yet to be fully proven.
- May improve breathing. Filling a bathtub up to neck level can help increase lung capacity as you submerge yourself in the water. Pay attention to temperature as hot and cold baths have unique effects on the body. Aim for lukewarm to begin.
- Reduces hemorrhoid pain. If you’ve ever had hemorrhoids, you know how painful they can be. A warm bath can help reduce the pressure of the hemorrhoids and reduce inflammation. You can also add Epsom salts for extra relief.
Cons of taking a bath
Soaking in the tub might seem like an ideal evening, but is that bath as good for your health as you think it is? Let’s take a look.
- Might not be clean. In the shower, the partials of dirt that were on your body rinse off and go directly down the drain. In a bath, you could be soaking in them, which is why you should never drink bath water. One solution might be to take a quick rinse in the shower before your bath to keep things as clean as possible.
- Can affect the body's pH levels. For women especially, the body’s pH levels matter. If you use bath salts, bath bombs, soaps or other in your tub, you might find yourself more prone to yeast infections (bacterial vaginosis) or other vaginal irritation. This can also occur if you bath too often (both bath and shower) so take care and consult a doctor for any itching or discomfort.
- Strips the body of natural oils. While a bath is excellent at coating your body at whatever is in the water, it also has one converse effect – removing natural oils. As you soak, these can come away from the body and this isn’t good for your skin and its protection.
Bath vs. Shower – Who Wins?
When it comes to bathing, the most important thing is hygiene. In reality, both that bath and shower have pros and cons. Often it comes down to a matter of preference and time. As long as you keep things clean, whichever you choose, you are only doing good for your body.
So, in the argument of the bath vs the shower, what matters is this – what mood are you in?