What’s better than taking a shower to start or end the long, busy day? Even if not every day, you’re probably doing it several times a week. Well, we don’t blame you for focusing on the result of your relaxing shower, but it’s good to know how to take a shower the right way without causing any damage to your skin and hair.
The thing is, there are possible mistakes you might be doing in the process of showering once in a while. All that soaping, rinsing, lathering, and luxuriating might actually damage your skin leading to a dry and itchy skin, or even eczema.
So, learn how to take a shower without damaging your skin and hair in the process.
How to Take a Shower the Right Way by Avoiding The Following 14 Mistakes
1. Too Hot Water
Are you one of the many who enjoys a hot shower in winter? Well, we bring some bad news. Too hot water is bad for both, your hair and skin. What hot water does is drying them out, making your hair frizzy and your skin flaky. Still, if you can’t imagine taking a shower without some hot water, the least thing you can do is limit the time you use it.
So, feel the hot water on your skin for a bit, and then use warm water, especially when washing and conditioning your hair.
2. No Exfoliation
Your soft sponge is not enough to remove the dead skin cells from your body when showering. Therefore, you can make a homemade scrub using ground coffee or brown sugar, or simply use a not too rough loofah.
It’s up to you to decide how you will exfoliate your skin, but the important thing is to do it regularly, although not too often.
3. Too Much Exfoliation
Moderation is the key to everything, including exfoliation. If you exfoliate your skin every time you take a shower, you’ll cause a boomerang effect. Too much scrubbing increases the production of the oily substance called sebum.
Sebum keeps the skin moisturized as well as dirt and bacteria trapped on the surface. Therefore, too much scrubbing can make your skin oiler.
4. Using the Same Loofah for Too Long
Never use the same body puff or loofah for longer than a month! Over time, they grow mold and bacteria which can cause infection in the hair follicles, called Pseudomonas folliculitis. Dr. Farris explains this skin conditions can be very itchy and pesky, although not dangerous.
Another tip regarding your loofah or puff is to let them dry outside the shower after using them. Or you can use a washcloth for a gentle exfoliation.
5. Rinse with Plain Water
Before you shampoo your hair, rinse it with plain water for a minute. Rinsing it with plain water will remove any dirt and hair product residues. Also, don’t forget to rinse your hair thoroughly at the end to prevent shampoo or conditioner leave residue on your scalp.
6. Give Your Hair a Break
If you wash your hair every day, it’ll only become drier, and oilier more quickly. But, if you really need to wash it regularly due to sweating, exercise, or living in a polluted environment, we recommend washing it with just plain water without any shampoo or conditioner, every other day.
This will refresh your hair without drying or greasing it more quickly.
7. Too Long Showers
Taking a shower is so relaxing that you can easily lose track of time and spend a bit more time under the spray. However, showering for too long can dry your skin. Try to limit your time in the shower enough just to wash, shampoo, condition, rinse, and/or shave.
8. Too Much Shower Gels
If you use too much body wash or shower gel, you’ll cause the same drying effect on your skin as when showering for too long or with too hot water. These products deprive your skin from the natural oils required for its optimal function and health. Dry skin can cause itchiness and various skin irritations, or even worsen existing skin conditions like eczema.
9. Don’t Switch Shampoos
We understand your urge to try all those different brands of shampoos, but you have to know that switching your shampoo too often can damage your hair. Moreover, make sure you use hair conditioner to prevent hair breakage when brushing it after each shower.
Besides protecting your hair from damage, it’ll also make it softer and smoother. Therefore, never skip applying hair conditioner even when you’re in a rush, but never apply it to the roots.
10. Don’t Rub, but Tap
Instead of wiping your body and hair harshly with a towel, tap them dry. Harsh wiping can irritate your skin and damage your hair. Also, don’t wrap your hair up in a towel after washing it. Instead, wrap it while hanging down, and pat it dry.
11. Don’t Use Deodorant Soap
The Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, and dermatologist in Milford, CT, Rhonda Klein, M.D., explains that the harsh chemicals and fragrances in deodorant or antibacterial soaps can make your skin dry, itchy, and flaky. Instead, use soap-free cleansers, especially if you’re an older person.
The next time you buy soap, stay away from those containing parabens, triclosan, fragrances, formaldehyde, synthetic colors, and sodium Laureth sulfate/ sodium lauryl sulfate. All of these chemicals can worsen an existing skin condition and cause abnormal dryness and contact dermatitis.
12. No Need to Soap Your Whole Body
Dr. Bailey recommends soaping to only the odor-causing and oily areas of your skin such as the face, feet, groin, buttocks, and armpits. There’s no need to soap your arms and legs every time you take a shower, as these body parts don’t have a lot of oil to give up.
13. Waiting Too Long to Moisturize
Dr. Farris and Dr. Bailey recommend applying moisturizer within three minutes of patting dry your skin after leaving the shower. Otherwise, your skin will lose precious moisture by evaporating in the air.
Knowing the right moisturizing protocol will prevent your skin from becoming dry and covered with cracks which can let in various allergens and bacteria.
14. Spending Money on “Natural” Products
Not all “natural” products are always good or worth the money. Even they can destroy the protective lipid barrier on the skin, thus making it dry and prone to different skin irritations and conditions.
Just make sure you choose products without harsh ingredients like artificial colors and fragrances.
Do you make some of these common showering mistakes? If you know any other, feel free to tell us in the comments below.