When it comes to showering, most of us don't think twice about our habits. We might think we are doing the best for our bodies by showering and soaping off daily, but most of us have bad shower habits that can hurt our skin. Whether you have dry skin or frequent breakouts, it may be your bathing habits to blame.
Most of us were probably taught our hygiene habits by our parents when we were younger, but some of the most common shower practices can actually dry out your skin, exacerbate eczema, and rid your body of the natural oils and bacteria it needs to protect you. Changing up these habits may seem dirty or uncomfortable at first, but you'll feel relieved when you start seeing improvements in your skin's appearance and health.
Your bathing habits should differ depending on climate, daily activity, and how much you exercise, but there are good and bad habits to follow overall. I talked to a couple dermatologists to get an inside scoop on habits we should break in the shower and why they're so bad for us. If you want to improve your skin consider changing the way you shower by ditching these six harmful habits.
1. Not Moisturizing Right After
Showering off is half the battle, but if you're not moisturizing right away, you're missing an important step. "Moisturizing right after a shower helps to trap in the moisture," says Jhin.
"Scrubs and strong soaps can you make you feel clean, but breakdown your protective skin barrier and put you as risk of dry skin and eczema," says Simzar. If you find your skin is irritated, stick to exfoliating only once a week.
3. Using An Old Loofah
If you've been using the same loofah for awhile now, you might want to consider tossing it. Dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D. told Huffington Post that it's best to throw away your loofah after four weeks, as it can harbor bacteria and mold.
4. Showering Too Much
"Taking more than one shower a day and for more than 10 minutes makes your skin more dry, as natural oils are removed and also water is evaporated from skin rather than trapped," says dermatologist Marie Jhin, MD over email. "This leaves you more dry."
5. Hot Showers
"Long, hot showers can dry out your skin and predispose you to inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema," says dermatologist Dr. Soheil Simzar of AvaMD. "Try to keep showers to less than five minutes and avoid very hot temperatures."
6. Not Showering After Exercise
"Leaving all the sweat and oils on the skin, often occluded with tight-fitting sportswear, is a recipe for a breakout (folliculitis or acne)," says Dr. Julia Tzu, Founder and Medical Director of Wall Street Dermatology, over email. Not showering when you're sweaty can also lead to fungus and bacteria.
At the end of the day, take care of your skin in the way that suits you best, but try not to over-wash yourself, as that can cause the most problems with your skin.
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