Most of us are used to taking long, hot showers. After all, who would opt for a shocking blast of cold when you can enjoy some soothing steam? Turns out, the cold might be something you want to go for after all. Although a hot shower might feel nice at the moment, taking a cold shower can work some wonders for your health.

“Colder, shorter showers are actually great for the skin — in addition to being great for body mind and hair health,” says dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban.

It might feel like an adjustment, but if you’re looking to boost your energy or are dealing with some skin issues, a cold shower could help. Here are five benefits of cold showers that may make you reconsider your hot ones.

Improves mood
Taking a cold shower in the morning can help start your day on the right note: It can help reduce cortisol levels, boost serotonin, and induce relaxation. Exposure to cold activates the sympathetic nervous system, as well as boosts endorphins and adrenaline, which can all lead to an overall positive response in the mood.

Helps with your skin
A cold shower might be your next favorite beauty secret. If you have dry skin, this can be particularly helpful, as cold water helps the hair and skin maintain moisture. A cold or more tepid shower can also help to calm skin conditions or alleviate itchy skin, according to Dr. Shamban.

Improves blood flow and boosts energy
Who needs a morning coffee when you can take a cold shower (although let’s be honest, we could use a little bit of both). “Cooler [showers] oxygenates the skin, body, and cells and ultimately activates the lungs quickly and efficiently to spring into action, helping to circulate blood and oxygen through the system,” says Dr. Shamban. This can help you feel more alert. “It helps wake up a sluggish body and mind,” she says.

Strengthens your immune system
Cold showers give your cellular metabolism a boost — although not really the kind for weight loss. “This is a more engaging active function,” Dr. Shamban says. “That being said it also engages the immune system, giving that a boost as well.”

Better muscle recovery
Because cold water improves blood flow, cold showers can help soothe the muscles and joints and help reduce inflammation. “As cold water hits the body, it causes the blood to flow at a faster rate within the blood vessels,” says Dr. Michele Green, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. “This, in turn, speeds up the circulation of blood flow to the cardiovascular and circulatory systems, therefore, improving blood pressure and cardiovascular health by carrying oxygen faster to the heart and regenerating the muscles and joints faster.”

It might not be your first instinct to turn out a cold blast of water, but try it out — you’ll thank yourself later!

xx, The FabFitFun Team