Eucalyptus hanging in the shower

A (Reluctant) Guide to Taking Cold Showers


Apparently, cold showers are good for you.

Or something like that. IDK, but if you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, then you know that we’ve been without hot water since my studio flooded on July 2 🙃


Which means I've been trying to gaslight myself into enjoying the frigid cold showers. I did a little internet digging to see what the benefits of taking a cold shower are and if you're an insane person + want to give it a try… here's what you'll be gaining as your soul leaves your body via shivers!

Benefits of a cold shower:

Shinier hair + more hydrated skin
Unfortunately, I know this one is true because my hair has been surprisingly shinier, despite the summer humidity that usually makes it fried + crackly-feeling!

Warm showers open up your pores, which is great for deep cleansing, but not so great for getting your skin to hold onto all that nourishing goodness you put on IN the shower!

A boost in your mood + immune system
Showering in cold water helps your body produce endorphins (I guess? There were some extra science-y words I wasn't about to google more deeply before dousing myself in ice-cold water!)

Apparently, cold water wakes up + sends electrical impulses from our nerve endings up to our brains, tricking our brains into thinking that the chemical reaction is an antidepressant. The cold water also nudges your immune system awake, helping to keep you from getting sick often. Pretty neat!

But, I'll tell ya what works for me. Screaming into the void as I try to rinse out the giant glob of conditioner I slapped into my hair in an attempt to go as fast as possible.

Better circulation.

Maybe it's your body in absolute fight or flight mode, but taking a cold shower does actually help with your circulation! 

Your heart rate increases when you're intentionally putting yourself through the misery of a cold shower, which means that your heart is actually working more efficiently. (Did someone's heart write this?! Sounds suspicious 🤨)

But, to be fair, better circulation has a ton of benefits – one of which is that your skin recovers from those annoying “why am I still getting acne at this age?!" blemishes much quicker with good circulation.

My favorite way to increase my skin's circulation is by dry-brushing, though. So, if you're looking for a NON-shiver-inducing method of getting that circulation going, try that!

But here's how I trick myself into enjoying cold showers...

1 • Hang eucalyptus in your shower

Hanging dried eucalyptus in your shower not only feels super ooh-la-la fancy, but it can help with congestion, stress relief + anxiety.

The oil released from eucalyptus (called eucalyptol, also found in tea tree + cannabis sativa) works as an anti-inflammatory to clean out + unclog the upper respiratory system.

Eucalyptus is great for relieving stress, too! When eucalyptol is released, it reduces feelings of strained nerves + anxiety. When your anxiety levels drop, your blood pressure dips a bit, so it's great for if you suffer from daily anxiety. 

To be fair, I'm pretty sure it works best when the shower water is warm, but we're making lemonade out of lemons, so just imagine these benefits working a tiny bit less with the cold water!

Eucalyptus hanging in a cold shower

2 • Make the most of your time BEFORE the cold shower

Happy + healthy skin starts way before you even step foot in the shower. Drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep, taking vitamins, cutting Negative Nancy's out of your life… all of that is important, but so is EXFOLIATING!

Dry-brushing is hands down my favorite way to exfoliate, and it happens before you even turn the water on! It takes about 5 minutes tops + I pinky promise you that you'll notice the difference after the very first time you do it. 

Who doesn't like instant gratification?!

3 • Use a soap you love

But seriously. A good soap that smells good, lathers up nicely + leaves your skin feeling clean but not SQUEAKY clean is a major game-changer!

Lately, I've been all over Tuberose + Honey because it's sweet + floral, but not overpowering. Also, turmeric is great for brightening + getting that summer glow ☻ 

Layer a traditional bar soap with a body wash for an extra little treat for your skin – I love the Shea + White Woods scent of the new Sudsy Body Wash

4 • Accept that the "Daily Everything Shower" is on pause

Listen… the Daily Everything Showers are great + all, but if you're trying to conserve water + energy, it's cool to not do the whole shebang every single day! I mean, obviously it's at your own discretion, but I bet you're not as stinky as you think! (Unless you've been rolling around in the mud with your pets/kids ☻)

I bet you can get away with a quick lather + rinse on the daily, which is great because it means less time in the cold water! Here's what I do to stretch that Everything Shower out as long as I can:

• Dry brush before showering so you can slough off the dry skin and prep your skin for lathering up.

• Shave with a skin oil, not shaving cream or harsh soap.
Shaving cream + harsh soaps strip your skin of the natural oils it produces, meaning the follicles go into overdrive to reproduce quickly! Shaving with an oil helps the follicles essentially calm down, meaning you can eventually shave less often! But please do it carefully – don't lather a bucket of oil onto your skin + then hold onto razors. You're smarter than that!

• Blowdry your hair
My biggest giveaway to the “I didn't take a full shower” day is my hair. It likes to betray me + show off when I haven't washed it in a few days, so blowdrying it helps keep me out of the freezing shower for a few days longer. I have dry, frizzy hair but the cold shower + my holy-grail hair products (1, 2, 3 if I'm not blowdrying!) + a good blow dry mean I don't have to wash my hair in the frigid water every time I hop in to rinse! Then it's just a game of me not touching my hair, which is a struggle because it's super soft from the cold water + the product!

• Brush your teeth while your lotion sinks into your skin so you're not doing that in the shower! (IDK, are you a shower toothbrusher or not? Is that a debatable topic?)

• Keep your hands away from your face + hair!
The oils from your hands will transfer + you'll wind up feeling like you have that on your skin + hair. Brushing your hair will help distribute oils if they start to build up quickly, and putting your hair up with a comfort band or hair pin will protect it, so either option is helpful!

5 • Make getting out of the cold shower a treat

Warm up a bit after your chilly shower by massaging a moisturizer into your skin. The friction of your hands moving over your skin will help with the chills! If you were brave enough to spend your cold shower time shaving, moisturizing afterward will help keep the prickles away for a bit longer, too!

I switch between body bars, body nectars and the Super Milk Lotion depending on my mood. They all work wonders to keep your skin super soft + hydrated, so it's basically up to personal preference!

Wrap up in a cozy, soft towel. Do a face mask or facial mist after you get out as a reward. Have a nice warm cup of tea or coffee! Do a little dance to get the blood flowing again! Scream as loud as you can to get the cold out of your system! Punch a pillow! Chug hot sauce! You're done, you did it! You're out!!!

But, honestly? You get sort of used to them + your water bill will be lower because you'll be rushing to get out of the shower ASAP ☻

What do you think? Did I convince you to try it or are you already a cold shower kinda person? It's definitely not the most enjoyable experience, but things could be worse, right?! Making the best out of a situation is something I try to be conscious of, so the constant hyping myself up to hop in the shower every day is like a little game I've been playing!

Cold showers definitely have their benefits + perks, but… you won't see me making a lifelong habit of it! I'm grateful that we at least have water + that this happened in July and not January, but I'm also over here keeping my fingers crossed that our plumber can finally fix the water heater once the replacement part gets delivered 😂


Hi! It's me, just your neighborhood candle and perfume maker :)



I’ve been showering cold for a couple of years now, but didn’t know about how it keeps your skin more moisturized! Definitely going to keep going now!

Christy Elledge
Christy Elledge

Definitely some stuff to think about. Thanks for writing this adventure down!

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