December 18, 2023/Skin Care & Beauty

Evening vs. Morning Shower: Which Is Better?

It’s a wash — when you bathe is a personal preference

person showering

You’ve probably debated whether it’s better to be a morning person or a night owl among your friends and family.

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And you might have had a similar argument about when’s the best time to shower: Morning or night.

You may have an inclination for one over the other — and that’s OK.

“There’s no definitive answer for the global population on whether to take an evening vs. morning shower,” says dermatologist Alok Vij, MD. “But for each individual, there tends to be a right answer. And it’s all based on preference.”

Dr. Vij explains if it’s better to shower at night or in the morning and the benefits of both.

Pros to showering in the morning

Should you shower at night or in the morning? If you need help waking up before you start your day, showering in the morning may be for you. Here are some of the pros of showering in the a.m.:

  • It cleanses your body. Your bed linens have residual skin cells, sweat and bacteria. “By showering in the morning, you’re cleaning yourself up before you put on a fresh pair of clothes and go out into the day,” says Dr. Vij.
  • It helps you feel awake. A steady stream of water helps to wake you up and makes you feel more alert. “I shower in the morning to really wake up, to feel alive,” relates Dr. Vij. “I just don’t feel like myself if I’m starting my day without having a clean, freshly scrubbed face.”
  • It preps your skin for skin care. Washing your face in the shower can help with your skin care routine. “It helps to make sure that you have all of your makeup off from yesterday, before you start putting on your toners or your sunscreen for the new day,” says Dr. Vij.
  • It combats bedhead. Your scalp produces oil throughout the day. And the oil coats your hair, keeping strands shiny and lustrous. “But when combined with pressure and your head resting in your pillow, those oils can change your hair or mat your hair down so it’s harder to style,” explains Dr. Vij. “Washing your hair in the morning will help you get a fresh ’do’ for your day.”

Pros to showering in the evening

A fan of showering at night? It may be something you’ve done your entire life.

“One of the recommendations from the Society of Pediatric Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics is for parents to bathe their kids at night from infancy to help establish a normal sleep cycle,” explains Dr. Vij.

Here are some of the pros of showering in the p.m.:

  • It removes grime and dirt. “A shower helps to wash off all the grit and grime, environmental toxins and pollutants that might negatively impact your skin,” shares Dr. Vij.
  • It eases you to sleep. As mentioned, showering at night can be part of your nighttime routine and helps you get a good night’s sleep. “That emotional conditioning is a big pro for some people,” notes Dr. Vij.
  • It removes residual skin care products. In addition to removing any grime and dirt from your body, showering at night helps to remove skin care products such as sunscreen that you’ve applied throughout the day. “It helps you get in bed with a clean slate,” says Dr. Vij.

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If you have eczema, you may have heard that showering at night is better. But Dr. Vij says it’s really a personal preference.

“For people with eczema or sensitive skin, it’s recommended that you apply your daily moisturizers and any topical prescription or over-the-counter products twice a day,” clarifies Dr. Vij. “And it’s not necessarily better to shower at night or morning, as long as you’re using gentle cleansers, moisturizers and prescription products as recommended.”

Shower thoughts

Regardless of if you shower in the morning or at night, you may do your best thinking while lathering up.

“Your mind tends to get creative when it’s idle,” explains Dr. Vij.

But you don’t want to linger too long under the stream of hot or cold water. Dr. Vij says your shower should last between five and 10 minutes.

“You want to use warm water instead of hot water and apply gentle skin cleansers instead of harsh soaps,” he advises. “Also, you want to avoid products with fragrances, dyes and lots of natural preservatives and then, make sure to moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower before your skin is completely dry.”

And when it comes to those bed sheets, does showering in the morning or at night help keep them cleaner longer?

“It’s a wash,” says Dr. Vij. “Regardless of when you shower, you should wash your sheets on a regular basis. You’re still going to deposit a lot of dead skin cells, accumulate overnight sweat, bacteria and oils. Fungus is going to live there. There’s all sorts of contaminants and pollutants in your bed whether you take a shower beforehand or not.”

So, is it better to shower at night or in the morning? Overall, Dr. Vij says figuring out the best time to shower is up to you — and may be worth a little experimentation.

“Everyone gets stuck in their routine about what they like. Experiment to find your favorite version of yourself — if you’ve always showered in the morning, maybe try the opposite for a week and see how it makes you feel. And if it makes you feel awesome, then stick with it. And if not go back,” recommends Dr. Vij.

“There’s no right time to shower. It’s whatever makes you feel your best. It’s such a personal choice that you should do what suits you and do what makes you happy.”

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