You may take a shower as the first thing in the morning, or last thing before you go to bed. You probably don’t think twice about it.
“We shower to shed dead skin cells, remove oil, dirt and bacteria, and also help with our skin’s overall health,” says Suzanne Friedler MD, a dermatologist board-certified by Advanced Dermatology PC, and a clinical instructor in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical, New York City. “These things can cause skin irritation if they are left on the skin.”
Oil feeds bacteria so if you wash them both off you are also reducing the risk of skin infections. Dr. Friedler warns that excessive showering or being too enthusiastic can lead to dry, itchy skin and eczema.
Showering properly is more than turning on the water and hopping in to lather up, then drying off. We all have questions about the frequency and amount of cleansing, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic raging. Here are some things you might be doing wrong with your shower, including the water temperature and what products you use.
7 Signs Your Showering Is Wrong
1. Showering With the Wrong Temperature
Extremely cold showers might not be the most skin-friendly. While they will likely get you up, they won’t be able to help you relax. A hot, steaming shower is also not the solution. Friedler says that hot water can cause your skin to lose its natural oils, making it dull and dry. To prevent dry skin conditions like eczema from developing, the National Eczema Association suggests that bathing be done at a warm temperature.
You need to choose a temperature that is comfortable and not too hot.
2. Too much showering
While it may be relaxing to sit under warm water, too much can cause skin problems. Friedler says that, just like hot water, prolonged showers can cause skin to lose more oil, and thus, moisture. According to the National Eczema Association, if you feel your skin is dry, you can cut down on how long you shower.
3. Washing with a Pouf or a Waxcloth
The best way to reduce the amount of body wash you use is with bath poufs. They can be a source of bacteria and can irritate dry or sensitive skin. Washcloths can also act as a reservoir for bacteria, especially if they aren’t washed well. Friedler suggests soaping up with your hands.
4. Use a harsh cleanser
It might feel like we are overthinking how to clean and disinfect everything, especially in this COVID-19 epidemic. Friedler says that all soaps and shampoos will kill COVID-19 virus, including non-antibacterial soaps and antibacterial soaps. There is no reason to use anything more harsh.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, mild, lipid-rich cleansers were more effective for skin health at different shower temperatures and rinse-off times than regular body washes. (The research was sponsored in part by Unilever, which makes personal care products)
5. Do Not Shampoo Before You Soap Up
Dr. Day suggests the following routine to prevent skin irritations and acne: Wash your face, scrub off any conditioner, then wash your body. Rinse off conditioner and body wash.
This order will help you wash your skin and remove any shampoo or conditioner leftovers. You can save the shaving for last if your hair is softened by heat, water, and steam. It will also make it easier to remove.
6. Showering in the morning (Only)
There is no best time to shower. It all depends on you and your personal preference. A shower in the morning can make you feel more awake.
However, don’t overlook the benefits of bathing before bed. According to a meta-analysis published in Sleep Medicine Reviews, April 2019, a warm 10-minute shower before bed helped people fall asleep quicker. Your body will naturally drift off as the heat of the shower cools it down. According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, a nighttime shower can be a great option for allergy sufferers. A bath before bed will wash the pollen from your hair and skin, as well as the drain.
Friedler suggests that you use your shower to prevent the spread of COVID-19, due to the fact that soap and water can kill coronavirus, which is the cause of the disease. She says that if you work in an area where there are many people, it is a good idea for you to get a shower right away and before you greet your family.
7. Showering too often
Even in winter, when your skin is drier and sweating less, not everyone has to shower every day. According to Harvard Medical School, you may only need to shower a few times per week. Day recommends that you shower once a day if you exercise regularly or do a job that requires you to get dirty. She says, “We don’t get as dirty as adults.” You can focus on your “dirty” parts, like your armpits or groin, and you’ll be fine.