6 Shower Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Skin
This may come as a shock to some, but taking a shower, as mundane and effortless as it seems, can actually be causing damage to your skin—that is, if you’re doing it wrong. You might be wondering, how on earth can you mess up showering? All it requires is running water, a little scrubbing here and there, rinse off and get out, right? Well, not really. There’s a lot of room for error between the moment the water hits your skin and when you begin to dry off. Worst of all, you might not be privy to these pitfalls. Below, six common mistakes to avoid the next time you hop in the shower. We’re willing to bet that you’ll think twice about your showering routine now.
THE WATER IS TOO HOT
Whoever told you that scalding hot showers are good for your skin must’ve been in a joking mood that day. Not only can water that’s too hot irritate your skin while you’re showering, it can cause dryness and itchiness to flare up after the plunge, too. Not to mention, potentially strip your skin of natural oils it so desperately needs. We’re not asking you to take a cold shower (you can if you want), but rather one that’s lukewarm.
YOU’RE USING HARSH SOAP
One of the points of showering is to cleanse your skin of impurities from head-to-toe. However, if you use soap that’s too harsh for your skin, you risk bidding farewell to all of the natural oils that keep your skin moist and hydrated. Steer clear of antibacterial soaps in the shower. Opt for delicate body cleanser that boasts a hydrating agent to help skin retain its moisture, such as Kiehl’s Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser.
YOU’RE NOT GENTLE WITH YOUR SCRUBBING
If you use a loofah or washcloth to distribute product to your skin, you want to avoid scrubbing excessively, as this can remove the skin’s barrier and cause irritation. Instead, gently glide body wash or cleanser over your skin using your hands (it’s much more delicate!) or a soft washcloth with minimal—we repeat, minimal—rubbing. If you must use a device like a loofah, keep in mind that they can easily harbor bacteria when kept in the shower—which brings me to my next point.
YOUR RAZOR/SPONGE ISN’T CLEAN
Think of your shower when you’re not in it. It’s typically dark and damp, a breeding ground for germs and bacteria to fester. If you store your razor or loofah in the shower, give it a good rinse-off with hot water before you rub it against your skin. A better solution would be to store your shower tools in a well-ventilated area that’s not prone to mildew formation, though.
YOU’RE NOT MOISTURIZING YOUR SKIN IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS
One of the best times to moisturize your skin is when it’s slightly damp post-shower. Many people neglect this step and simple towel dry and get dressed. You have to add any lost moisture back into the skin! Reach for a non-comedogenic lotion or cream that your skin will just drink up. Coconut oil works really well, too.
YOU’RE FORGETTING ABOUT SCALP EXFOLIATION
Your scalp is skin, after all, so it can suffer from clogged pores just like the rest of your body. To rid your scalp of buildup before shampooing, try an exfoliating scalp treatment—like Kiehl’s Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment—at least once a week. It can help restore a healthy balance to your scalp. Abandoning this step can result in hair follicles that are plugged with grime. Gross.