Four Shower Mistakes You're Probably Making Daily
Are your shower habits actually harming your skin?
Showering may seem like a fool-proof task, but there are some hidden (and harmful) mistakes you’re probably missing each time you hop in for a rinse.
We won’t deny that showers feel amazing, but it’s important to note some of these mistakes you're making while you lather up can be harmful on the skin, and they can even lead to dryness, psoriasis, and eczema.
To still enjoy some quality relaxation time while practicing better showering habits, here’s four big mistakes to nip and tweak, right before your winter rolls along. Trust us, your skin will thank you for it.
Taking Hot Long Showers
Long and warm showers definitely work to ease any aching tension, but too much time spent in the shower can be very drying to your skin.
Hot water temperatures easily strips the skin from it’s natural oils, explains dermatological surgeon and RealSelf contributor Joel Schlessinger. To keep your body free of cracks or dry patches associated with warm and drying temps, it’s important to turn down the water temperature, and keep showers around ten minutes or less.
“The heat from the shower softens the skin’s natural oil barrier and soap washes it away,” says Schlessinger. “Without this barrier, skin easily loses moisture, leading to dryness, itchiness and can also worsen sensitive skin symptoms like eczema and psoriasis.”
To avoid the itchy and dehydrated skin post showering, Schlessinger finds that adjusting your shower time can make a noticeable difference. And even if you prefer soothing baths after a long day, it’s best to grab a timer to avoid soaking in hot water for too long.
Not Moisturizing After Showering
While you’d probably easily apply a hydrating onto your face, the same rule also applies to your skin, as applying a good moisturizer onto damp skin helps lock in moisture.
“If you fail to moisturize your skin right after showering, the top layers of the skin can quickly become dry and dehydrated,” Schlessinger states. “When you get out, gently pat your skin dry with a towel and apply a gentle moisturizer like EltaMD Lotion, as it’s fragrance-free formula will not irritate sensitive skin.”
Making Towel Blunders
Towels are an essential part of any shower routine, but they can easily leave the skin irritated and itchy, if not used properly. Rubbing a towel across your face or body, for example, is extremely rough on your skin, no matter what your towel is made of, explains Schlessinger.
“Instead of rubbing, always pat your skin dry with a towel,” he says. “Patting your skin with a towel reduces the amount of friction between the fabric and your skin, minimizing the risk of irritation.”
Sharing towels can also cause big trouble for your skin, being that wet towels help spread bacteria. To avoid bad habits like this, Schlessinger always stresses changing your towel after showering.
Similarly, allergic reactions to detergents and fabric softeners are also something to look out for, especially since some formulas can cause a red, itchy rash on your skin. If such rashes persist, Schlessinger suggests seeking the help of a dermatologist, and or start using hypoallergenic laundry products.
“It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dermatologist to determine the cause,” he said. “If you do have an allergy to laundry detergent or fabric softener, your dermatologist will suggest using dye-free and fragrance-free alternatives.”
Showering definitely makes the task shaving a whole lot easier, but it can also be damaging to your skin if you’re not aren’t careful. For instance, while it can be tempting to shave as soon as you get in the shower, it’s actually better to wait two or three minutes before grabbing your razor, says Schlessinger. This allows the water to soften the hair, making your shaving routine much easier.
In addition to waiting a bit to shave, not replacing your razor blade often and shaving in the opposite direction are other common mistakes people often make.
“Dull blades are more likely to cause razor bumps and irritation, leading to infection,” Schlessinger adds. “Additionally, while shaving in the opposite direction might help you achieve a closer shave, it can also lead to ingrown hairs, razor burn and irritation. It’s better to only shave in the same direction that your hair grows, especially if you have sensitive skin.”
Want more beauty tips? Here's How To Fix Your Biggest Cold Weather Beauty Mistakes!