Common skin troubles, such as dry patches, skin redness, breakouts, and razor burn, plague many of us—despite diligent skin care. But what you may not realize is that simply altering your showering habits can often reduce these problems. So consider these showering “don’ts” the next time you lather up in an effort to promote healthy skin.
- Don’t use water that is too hot. As temperatures outside begin to drop, you might be tempted to turn up the heat in the shower to ward off a chill. But, water that is too hot removes the protective layer of natural oils that moisturize your skin. This can lead to itching, redness, tightness, and drying. Opt for a gentler tepid temperature instead to maintain healthy skin.
- Don’t shave first. In fact, shave as the last step in your showering regimen to encourage healthy skin. Razor bumps or burn refers to an uncomfortable rash that appears after shaving, usually in areas of the body that are sensitive. Allowing the steam and water to soften your skin first helps to reduce friction caused by the razor. Exfoliating or washing your legs before shaving also removes dry and dead skin that can accumulate in the razor and prevent a smooth shave. Using a new razor and moisturizing shave creams, or even hair conditioners, can further help reduce skin irritation.
- Don’t wash hair last. In fact, wash and condition your hair first. If you’ve been rinsing your hair as a final step in the showering process, the oils from the conditioners can run down your back and over you body, clogging pores and leading to breakouts. Use a gentle shampoo and focus mainly on the scalp where oils are produced. After rinsing, apply a conditioner, focusing mainly on the ends of hair, where dryness can occur. It does not take long for the conditioner to condition hair, so after a few minutes, rinse hair and move on to cleansing the pore-clogging oils from your skin.
- Don’t scrub skin too aggressively. Your skin is delicate, and scrubbing too hard can break down the collagen that promotes firmness and elasticity. As a regular skin care strategy, use a washcloth or loofah with gentle motions to stimulate blood flow and rid the skin’s surface of dead, dry cells.
- Don’t dry your skin completely before moisturizing. While it is important to towel off after showering, if you dry your skin all the way, you might be missing an important skin care opportunity. Applying moisturizer while skin is still damp helps to seal in hydration, leading to a dewy glow.