6 Showering Mistakes You Are Probably Making
You've likely been showering on your own for a while now, so you've got the process down to a science - turn on the water, hop in, and scrub. Right? The reality is that a lot goes on behind that curtain, and you may be making a few mistakes that could cause your skin more harm than good.
By adopting a few healthy shower habits, you can help bring your skin to optimal health and keep you glowing as you age. Here are a few simple mistakes you should stop making ASAP:
Taking Scalding Hot Showers
Hot showers after a long day feel so good, but water that is too hot can open your pores, strip away good, natural oils, and repel much-needed moisture from the skin. "As soon as your shower starts scalding, you risk harming your skin’s health. There’s no absolute rule for how hot a shower should be, but most doctors advise keeping the water below 110 degrees. If it feels at all uncomfortable or if your skin is turning red, it’s probably too hot" (source). For reference, this is around the same temperature as a heated pool.
Showering Too Often
Stick to one shower a day. Showering multiple times a day on a regular basis can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated, especially if your water is unfiltered. Some sources believe that even one shower a day is too much. Unless you’re someone who gets quite sweaty through work or exercising every single day, you really only need to shower a few times a week at most (source).
Many cleansers are made with fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates that can increase the chances of skin irritation.
Using Products with Gross Ingredients
You may feel like that pineapple-coconut oasis body wash is taking you away to the beach for a few moments each day, but in reality, you are doing much more harm than good. "Many cleansers are made with fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates that can increase the chances of irritation. This is especially true if your skin is cracked, dry, and sensitive" (source). Let's not forget that those harsh chemicals are also entering your bloodstream through your skin. Opt for an oil-based cleanser that will gently cleanse without stripping your face and body of crucial face tissue.
Reusing Your Wash Cloth
Damp washcloths are a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and mold. I know it may be tempting to reuse your washcloth from the day before, but it's just not a good idea. No matter the type of fabric, toss it in the laundry and use a clean, dry cloth each shower. We're all for that reduce, reuse, recycle life, but let's avoid that when it comes to used washcloths.
Damp washcloths are a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and mold.
And while we're on the subject, the same goes for a loofah. If you insist on using one, remove it from the shower to dry out completely each use. Leaving it in an already warm, moist area until the next use never really gives your loofah a chance to dry, thus resulting in more bacteria and mold on your skin.
Exfoliating Too Often
Exfoliating your skin is so beneficial for removing dead skin cells and leaving you feeling soft and silky, but more than two to three times per week can be overkill. "Over-exfoliation will expose below-layers of your skin, weaken skin-barrier function and, in some cases, trigger inflammation. If the barrier function is damaged, skin becomes vulnerable to infection from microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus, and leads to sensitivity and irritation” (source). Stick to a regimen of gentle exfoliation of your face and body two to three times per week.