The #1 Way Your Shower is Destroying Your Skin
Of all the shower mistakes you can make—and yes, there are quite a few—there's one that can truly affect your skin negatively if you're not careful! To find out what this number one shower mistake is (and what you can do about it!) we asked an expert!
The Number One Shower Mistake
There’s little out there quite as relaxing as a nice, hot, steamy shower. The warm water cascading across your skin, the steam filling up your lungs, you can physically feel the tension slipping away. Your skin however, experiences a very different story. Turns out taking a steamy hot shower is actually the number one shower mistake you can make when it comes to your skin! According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), long showers in hot water can increase the loss of natural oils from our skin—the same oils necessary for keeping our skin hydrated. This oil loss can lead to or worsen dry, tight-feeling skin. The quick fix? Stop taking long, hot showers. Not an option? Not a problem. To find a solution for those of us who like it hot we turned to Dr. Michael Kaminer, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon.
The Steamy Silver Lining
The good news is that it may not be that amazing stream of steam that’s causing the issue after all. Kaminer says that the problem isn’t really the temperature of the water, it’s what we do—or rather, don’t do—when we step out of the shower. “Your skin has the most moisture when it’s wet,” he says. This moisture depletes as our body naturally cools off and dries, and he says, the hotter the water, the faster our skin cools down and dries out. Most people simply towel off, get dressed, and go about their day or night, skipping one of the most important skin care steps: waiting too long—or completely forgetting—to moisturize.
Don't Wait to Hydrate
The one step we should all practice regardless of how long or hot we like our showers tis to moisturize the moment we’re done. The reason for this is simple. “Most moisturizers work best when skin is already hydrated.” Read: Don’t wait to hydrate. The moment you step out of the shower gently towel off—pat, don’t rub—then moisturize the skin while it’s already wet. This will help seal in the moisture and help your skin avoid drying out if you spent a little too much time enjoying the heat. Looking for some great body moisturizers? We share three hydrating drugstore lotions here.
Additional Tips For Your Next Shower
Want more shower tips to avoid making dry skin worse? Here are a few approved by the AAD:
- Close the bathroom door when you're taking a shower to trap the humidity in the room.
- Try your best to limit your time in the shower or bath to no more than 10 minutes.
- Swap your favorite scented cleansers for gentle, fragrance-free body washes or soaps.
- Apply enough cleanser to wash away dirt, oil, and other impurities, but not so much that you see a thick lather
- When moisturizing your skin immediately after patting dry, opt for a cream instead of a lotion. They recommend looking for a cream formulated with one of the following ingredients: olive oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, or glycerin.