This One Thing Could Save Your Skincare Routine

by Miki Hayes

You've found the perfect serum to treat your concerns. You remember to moisturize every time after washing your face. You even do a weekly face mask to keep your skin in tip-top shape. You basically have a skincare regimen to beat all skincare regimens. But there may be a very simple yet surprising ingredient missing from your beauty routine. And it's something you already own: water. Now hear me out. I know you're probably thinking that yes, you use water on a daily basis to facilitate your cleansing, and you might even try to drink more of it throughout the day because you've heard that staying hydrated is good for your skin. But something else that is supposed to be good for your skin is applying cold water during your regimen.

Of course, showering or splashing your face with cold water probably sounds far from enjoyable. So I corresponded with a couple of experts to see if the benefits of doing so outweigh the discomfort. Skin care expert and Immunocologie Founder, Karen Ballou, and beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist, Jenny Patinkin, let me in on what exactly cold water can do for your skin, and why you may want to add this simple ingredient to your beauty routine.

What was once a cruel yet quick way to help yourself wake up in the morning turns out to be something you may actually reap other benefits from doing. Splashing your face with cold water doesn't just help wake you up, it also helps you look more awake. Patinkin explains, "Cold water basically gives your skin a shock that temporarily puts it into recovery mode. That boosted circulation is what makes [your skin] look fresher and more vibrant." A quick and easy facial that doesn't leave you all red and splotchy afterward? I'll take it. But a more radiant complexion isn't all that cold water can do for you.

Ballou goes on to explain some other ways a little chilled H2O can work magic. If you're worried about aging or just suffer from uncomfortable puffiness from time to time, Ballou says, "A rinse with cold water can help decrease inflammation and swelling in the skin, which both exacerbate the skin aging process." So while rinsing with cold water may not necessarily work as an anti-aging treatment per se, it can help prevent your skin's natural aging from being as severe as it might be otherwise.

But what about some other skin concerns? As if helping with a more vibrant complexion and reducing swelling weren't enough, cold water has another trick up its sleeve. "Cold water, especially on the neck, helps to regulate body temperature and can reduce the anxiety and stress that can cause breakouts, rosacea, or even eczema in some cases," explains Ballou. Who knew that cold water applied in one specific place could help the rest of your skin? The next time I'm feeling particularly stressed, I'm definitely giving this trick a try.

So if you can overcome the shock, a little cold water to the face or back of the neck really is the cherry on top of a perfect skincare routine.

Images: Bianca Consunji/Bustle; rocketclips, nikodash/Fotolia