Everywhere we look, the media we consume is filled with images of relaxation. Instagram snaps capture peaceful moments on deserted beaches, honed bodies perform ashtanga yoga to advertise the opening of the latest gym, and of course, women are often depicted luxuriating in a bubble bath while eating crumbling chocolate bars. But in relation to the last photo, it may surprise you to know that in Gibraltar at least, a bubble bath and choc is not the norm. In the age-old battle of bath vs shower, seven in ten women in the country opt for showers every time.
Why is that the case?
Bath vs Shower – The Time Factor
Like most people in Gibraltar, our women are rushing through life from one adventure to the next. A Gibraltar government report into employment in 2019 stated that “there was significant growth in the total number of full-time jobs, which rose by 2.5%” over the space of a year with annual earnings increasing by 2.3% for female employees (Gibraltar Survey). Throw in socializing, childcare, and any other daily tasks a woman needs to do, and you’ll see that time management is a vital factor in her life.
Drawing a bath is a time-poor exercise. You put in the plug, turn on the tap, and then have no choice but to wait until the bath is sufficiently full before you can wash. You then lay in the bath to soak for an indeterminate amount of time to become clean. However, the high-pressure showers that we have come to know and love in our country dispatch hot water immediately to your body, without waiting time. For those who are looking to snatch a few extra moments, it is clear that showers are faster.
Are they better for us, though?
The Health Impacts of a Bathroom Shower
There have been many reports on the health impacts of showering and bathing. Harvard University, for example, explained the importance of maintaining the natural oils on the surface of the skin – something that long soaks in the bath and high-pressure showers can strip away.
The oils on the surface of our skin act as a moisture barrier, ensuring that it doesn’t dry out. With prolonged soaking, particularly in hot water, the oils are broken down. This can result in cracked skin that allows bacteria to breach the protective barrier. Instead, they recommend short, 3-4 minute showers that focus on areas where dirt is likely to accumulate for the best health.
Of course, having the occasional bath when time allows isn’t going to do you any harm. But for those in a rush, or those worried about their skin health, showers are the way to go.
The Science Bit – Cold Showers
Another benefit of showering is the ability to turn the temperature down quickly. Scientific evidence on hydrotherapy has given us some insights into the effects of a high-pressure shower on the body, particularly when cold water is applied.
A medical article we studied states that “superficial cold application may cause physiologic reactions such as (decrease in) local edema, muscle spasm, and increase in local anaesthetic effects.” In other words, by applying cold water to areas where water retention or muscle spasms occur, you’re likely to see an improvement and reduced pain.
That’s very helpful then for those with muscle pain, bad backs – it’s also not bad at just easing away the strains of the day.
The Science Bit - Hot Showers
While cold showers are all well-and-good, we’re more likely to use a hot shower when we step into our bathroom. As well as being more efficient at cleaning our bodies, hot water also has many other benefits. In Gibraltar, most households have two water units, one for toilets and urinals and one for potable water that comes from the sea.
This water is desalinated using a reverse osmosis process and is pumped at high pressure to be stored at the top of the rock. Desalination is an expensive process, using 3.5-5 kWh of energy for every 1000 litres of water used. This cost is passed on to us, the consumers, who then heat water using immersion heaters. These immersion heaters only store so much water at once and will need to refill after every use.
We already know that showers typically use less water than baths, allowing the heater to fill up quicker and also saving us money on our water and electricity bills.
There are also health benefits of hot showers. Insider found that hot showers relax our muscles, particularly after a workout. Cold sufferers can also revel in the steam provided, as this loosens mucus in the nose and throat.
The Luxury Modern Bathroom
We specialize in all kinds of bathroom fittings, taking your bathroom and shower ideas and turning them into a full-scale complete bathroom renovation. That includes helping you pick suitable materials, from tiles to shower heads, shower screens, and baths to make your luxury bathroom design dreams come true.
Gibraltar bathrooms tend to be smaller than those found in other countries, but that’s OK. Our team of designers is on-hand to squeeze the most out of your space, from walk-in showers for small bathrooms to luxury bathroom suites that are created specifically for small spaces, we’ll find the right solutions for you.
We work with several bathroom suppliers throughout Gibraltar and beyond, allowing us to source high-end, luxury materials at excellent prices.