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You Shouldn't Shower at This Time of Day, Say Experts

These are the best and worst times for you to be scrubbing your body.
FACT CHECKED BY Alex Daniel

It's a cleanliness topic that's likely been debated since the first shower was invented in 1767: When's the ideal time of day to hop in the shower to give yourself a scrub? And what's the least ideal time you can be cleaning your body? Given that bathing habits vary greatly between people—some love rolling into the shower first thing in the morning, others love a bath in the evenings, and some do it twice-per-day while others are twice-per-week—and a lot of that has to do with our work and exercise schedules, our natural body rhythms, our basic personal preferences, and our feelings about the environment.

That being said, it turns out that there are pros and cons to consider when bathing at any time of the day, and there's a case to be made for showering whenever you prefer to. But if you're looking for the best time to shower for optimal skin health—and to know the times that are less than ideal to be showering—read on, because we explain it all below. And whenever you you choose to bathe, do yourself a favor and make sure you're getting The 8 Body Parts You're Never Washing Enough, Say Dermatologists.

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The Best Time of Day to Shower

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Fact: Taking an evening shower is healthier for your body—and the skin, more specifically—than a morning rinse. Whenever we shower before bed, we can rest assured knowing we're not bringing any stowaway germs with us from the day's activities.

"It's believed that showering in the evening is better for your skin health for a number of reasons," cosmetic doctor Rekha Tailor, MD recently explained Express. "In doing this, it removes the dirt from the air which includes germs, pollution and dust which can gather during the day, as well as sweat which accumulates. By showering at night, you are cleansing your skin of these before you go to sleep, thus enabling it to properly regenerate overnight."

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But morning showers offer benefits, too

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While evening shower is evidently better for your skin, a morning scrub has some benefits, as well—especially as it pertains to mental health. A morning cleaning routine can help jumpstart blood circulation, clear the cobwebs away, and get your day started right.

"Morning showers can be invigorating," leading healer Antonia Harman told Glamour. "You can shower and set intentions for the day ahead, plan your meetings and have a little 'me' time before the business of the day ensues."

If you make it a cold shower, you're really doing your body some favors. Taking an ice-cold rinse in the morning is linked to less stress, a better immune system, glowing skin, and even less of a desire to procrastinate.

"Humans are wired to avoid pain, be it cold water, or doing your taxes," licensed psychotherapist Michael Ceely, LMFT, explained to me. "Avoidance of pain can manifest in procrastination, one of the biggest barriers to getting stuff done. Cold showers can be an antidote to procrastination. Cold showers train your brain that an ostensibly painful task is not so bad, and, in fact, feels good afterward. Daily cold showers work by reducing the hesitancy response we experience when faced with difficult tasks."

And for more life hacks you should know, see here for The Secret Reason Why You Never Get Anything Done, According to Psychologists.

3

This Is the Time of Day When Showers Are Least Effective

Young woman reacting in shock to hot or cold shower water as she stands under the shower head washing her hair eyes closed with her hands raised and mouth open

Showers can be a soothing morning or nighttime ritual, and usually serve to either ease us into or out of the day. Short of a vigorous workout, however, there are few reasons to find yourself in the shower midday. You won't benefit from the morning surge of energy, and your body will still be dirty by bedtime.

"There are few benefits to showering in the middle of the day," Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, explained to Bustle. "It might be just what you need to reinvigorate yourself for the rest of the day's activities, but in terms of hygiene, it's practically irrelevant. You have the rest of the day to expose your skin and hair to the pollutants around you before climbing into bed and spreading the germs." And for more healthy living advice, see why Watching This Movie Will Inspire You to Be a Better Person, Says New Study.

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Also: Try Not to Shower After a Big Meal

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Whether you're showering in the morning, afternoon, or evening, there's one thing to bear in mind: If you're looking after your digestive system, you'd be wise to wait 30 to 45 minutes after eating a big meal before you hit the showers.

When you shower, you kickstart the process of "hyperthermic action," which is when your body's internal temperature ticks upward by a couple of degrees. As a result, your immune system gets a boost and your sweat glands get to work helping to flush out various toxins on your body. But if you've got a full meal in your belly and your body begins hyperthermic action, health experts say that it can interfere with your digestion and lead to cramps, stomach ache, and heart burn. And for more healthy living advice, don't miss the Surprising Habits That Cause Lasting Damage to Your Body, Says Science.

John Anderer
John Anderer is a writer who specializes in science, health, and lifestyle topics. Read more