As far as I was concerned for most of my adult life, a shower was a shower. You hopped in, did your business, and hopped out. What could possible go wrong? It turns out, a lot. Some of the skincare mistakes you’re making in the shower are things you wouldn’t even think twice about.
I spoke to Dr. Debra Jaliman, New York based dermatologist and creator of Sea Radiance products, about the mistakes people make in the shower and how they could correct them. The first thing she warned me against: time management. “There are downsides to doing your whole skin care regimen in the shower because it extends the time that you're in the shower and that will dry out your skin,” she said.
That was a particularly hurtful blow to me because I love long, hot showers. A few multitasking in the shower steps are fine, she said, but overdoing it is not good for your skin. She also mentioned that it would probably be best for me to ditch my favorite scented body gels. “These body washes can be drying and can also cause allergic reactions,” she said. I won’t lie, that tip hurt too, but I know it’s for the greater good of my skin. Read on for more of her shower tips for better skin!
1. You’re Still Using Non-Moisturizing Shaving Gel — Or Worse, Soap & Water
Dr. Jaliman advises to never use soap to shave — "always use shaving foam or gel," she said.
Use A Conditioning Shaving Cream Instead
This rich, non-foaming cream has shea butter, kelp extract, safflower seed oil, hemp oil, and grape seed oil to get rid of the irritation that comes with using non-moisturizing shaving gels or soaps. Another tip: "It's best to shave at the end of the shower when the hairs are well hydrated," she said.
2. You’re Taking Long, Hot Showers That Dry Out Your Skin
If I could, I'd spend a whole hour singing loudly under a steamy shower, but Dr. Jaliman said that would be horrible for my skin. "Try to take the shortest shower possible," she said. "Use lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water takes all the oil out of the skin."
3. You’re Not Moisturizing Immediately After Your Shower
Not using a moisturizer is just asking for dry skin, but Dr. Jaliman said what's more important is when you moisturize. "Use a moisturizer right after you get out of the shower when the skin is still moist," she said. "That will bind water to the skin and make it more moist. Use a moisturizer with shea butter to really moisturize your skin." This body butter is whipped to perfection with shea butter and aloe vera!
4. You’re Causing Redness & Irritation With Steamy Showers
Dr. Jaliman said that "very hot steam can dry your skin out, break blood vessels, and cause redness. This is especially bad for people with Eczema or Rosacea." So, if you can't surrender your hot showers that irritate your skin, use a spray like this cult-fave right after the shower. The herbs and rosewater will calm sensitive skin.
5. You're Not Using Shower Steam To Your Pores’ Advantage
While a piping hot showers has its downside, there is one bright spot — the steam opens your pores. Dr. Jaliman recommends multitasking while in the shower, "so you're getting two things done at once," she said. Take a sec to clean out those open pores with a deep cleaning clay mask like this while you're shaving your legs or conditioning your hair.
6. You’re Using Body Gels That Aren’t Gentle & Nourishing
"One of the bad habits I've seen is that people use soaps that are too drying for their skin," Dr. Jaliman said. "For example, they use deodorant soaps all over their body and these are particularly drying. Another problem I see is people who use fancy, fragrant soaps and body washes." Instead, use an extra-gentle soap like this one with a 100 percent vegetable oil base and nourishing shea butter.
7. You’re Not Exfoliating To Remove Dead Skin That Clogs Pores
Another in-shower hack that Dr. Jaliman swears by? Exfoliating. "You can also use a soft loofah or slightly abrasive sponge to help exfoliate and take the dead skin off so that the hair doesn't stay trapped under the dead skin," she said. These natural vegan sponges are deep-cleansing and pH balanced that can be used for your face and body.
8. You’re Not Hydrating Your Skin While You’re In The Shower
If you like the idea of moisturizing right after the shower like Dr. Jaliman recommends, go one step further and moisturize while you're in the shower, too. Doing both "will all help to prevent your skin from drying out too much," she said. This in-shower bath oil is a lightweight sunflower and sesame seed oil, and reviewers are saying that it doesn't leave a heavy, sticky film.
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