Showers vs. baths: which is better?

Whether your preference is hopping in the shower first thing in the morning or indulging in cosy, warm baths after work, both have perks free picture. But are baths or showers better?

Let’s explore the different benefits of baths and showers.

If you want to save water

A long soak after a hard day sounds great, but the average tub uses approximately 136 litres of water to fill! On the other hand, a 10-minute shower uses just 76 litres. With the Cape Town water crisis, it makes sense for us all to be more water-wise. For example, take two-minute showers. The best way to ensure that you’re saving water while showering is to use a water-saving showerhead, which uses no more than eight litres of water per minute.
Verdict: Take a shower

If you want healthy skin

Don’t wrinkle up like a prune in that tub! According to Lauren Ploch, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, while both showering and bathing keep you clean, a long bath may lead to dry skin. It’s especially important to avoid taking baths in public spaces like spas. Many public baths are rife with bacteria which may harm your skin further. To protect your skin, and particularly if you have a skin condition like eczema, try to get in and out of a hot shower within five to 10 minutes. Then, moisturise your body to lock in moisture.
Verdict: Take a shower

If you want to relax

There’s a reason why many people enjoy bathing. That reason is stress relief. Taking a bath allows you to relax, stop multitasking and gives you time to yourself. A warm bath increases your body temperature, calming your nervous system and releasing feel-good hormones. Get rid of the stress that piles up every week with a long bath. Light a few candles and add droplets of essential oils like lavender and chamomile to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Verdict: Have a bath

If you want to lose weight

Besides helping you wake up in the morning, a blast of cold water in the shower could help shed extra kilos. According to studies, being cold can help you lose weight because it promotes the loss of fat. When your body needs to heat up, it needs to burn more calories to warm you up. Shivering, a symptom of being cold, also promotes fat loss as you use your muscles when you shiver.
Verdict: Take a shower

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If you want to catch some Zs

When you’re rushing in the morning to get to class or work, a shower is the fastest way to get clean. At the end of the day though, taking a bath may help you feel sleepy. Your body’s temperature drops at night and this tells your body to release melatonin, the sleep hormone. A warm bath before bed is a neat trick to start heating yourself up before your internal body clock kicks in. When you’re done bathing, cool off quickly, then get into bed. Don’t use water that’s too hot though, as you may struggle to sleep if your body temperature is too high.
Verdict: Have a bath

If you’re sick

A cold or flu can be tough to deal with, but a steamy hot shower may help with your symptoms. The steam can help dissolve the phlegm and mucous that causes your cough or sore throat. Steam can also relieve aches and pains related to your infection. Dab a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto your skin before showering to make the steam more effective.
Verdict: Take a shower