7 Weird Products To Use In The Shower, According To Dermatologists
When I was a camp counselor in Maine for a summer, everyone’s shower routine went something like this: Turn on water, rotate body 360 degrees, turn off water. In an actual society, however, that won’t quite cut it. There are weird things you’re not doing in the shower, but probably should be. Yep. Turns out you very well might have been showering wrong your entire life, because loads of us have been missing essential steps in our shower routines that keep skin looking healthy and beautiful.
As a result, I got in touch with two dermatologists to ask them their take on the matter — because no one knows great expert-approved skin care habits quite like the professionals. Dr. Sonoa Au, MD (a cosmetic and medical dermatologist in New Jersey and Brooklyn) as well as Dr. Derek V. Chan, MD, PhD (a cosmetic and medical dermatologist in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester) were more than willing to answer my questions and shed some light on the issue of proper skin care in the shower. If you’re afraid you’re missing a few weird things you should be doing in the shower, and are looking to revamp your hygiene routine, check out these dermatologists’ best advice.
1. Ditch The Delicious-Smelling Soaps, If You Want Healthy-Feeling Skin
Dr. Au said, “If you have sensitive skin or eczema, use fragrance-free soaps and shampoos. I recommend Vanicream Cleansing Bar" because it skips all the usual irritants like fragrances and abrasive chemicals. It’s especially great for dry skin and rashes, and because it’s so moisturizing, skin is left feeling soft and smooth. “Also, if you have sensitive skin,” Chan says, “just use soap to clean the face, groin, armpits, hands, and feet, and allow the shampoo and soap to gently flow over other body parts.”
2. Utilizing That Right-Hand Shower Knob
While the best part of your day may very well be a steamy, bordering-on-painful shower, when it comes to skin health, an ideal water temperature is actually a little bit cold. “Avoid hot showers,” says Dr. Chan. “They can dry out the skin and strip the skin of natural oils and protective factors,” so if you can stomach a cool shower first thing in the morning, it might help the overall look and feel of your skin.
3. Sloughing Off Your Dead Skin Cells — But Very Gently
Dr. Chan said, “It’s important not to be overly aggressive with exfoliation. For most people, exfoliating once a week is sufficient. However, [gentle physical] exfoliation can sometimes help.” Dr. Chan suggests the Clarisonic Mia Facial Sonic Cleansing System, which cleanses thoroughly but gently with a sensitive brush head and a gel cleanser. It’s also rechargeable and entirely waterproof, so it’s a great option for inside the shower.
4. Leaving Your Shampoo On For A While, Especially For Dandruff
According to Dr. Au, “If you have dandruff on your scalp or on your face, leave your dandruff shampoo on for at least 3-5 minutes before washing it off.” This Organic Prestige Luxury Scalp moisturizing shampoo is great for dandruff or flaky skin because it uses organic ingredients that are paraben-, sulfate-, and fragrance-free. It’s amazing at moisturizing your scalp (especially if left on a few minutes), and it leaves hair soft and manageable without flakes.
5. Reading Your Labels For Breakout-Inducing Ingredients
“Breakouts can also be caused by products people leave in their hair or use to perm or dye their hair,” says Dr. Chan. “If you suspect a hair product from causing your skin to break out, you can try stopping the use of the hair care product and switch to a fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner.” This Desert Essence fragrance-free shampoo conditioner bundle is a great option for those who break out from hair care products, because they skip all the nasty chemicals and leave you with soft, manageable hair (and skin).
6. Moisturizing As Soon As You Turn The Water Off
“I recommend using a moisturizer within five minutes after getting out of the shower,” Au says, but “it’s important to choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. People with oily skin who use thick moisturizers can exacerbate their acne. They should stick to non-comedogenic moisturizers, such as Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer.” It allows for great hydration without irritation, and it offers sun protection that won’t clog your pores.
7. Cleansing Your Face With A Wipe
“For the face, use products such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths,” says Dr. Chan. They’re able to remove dirt, makeup, and excess oil, but they’re soap-free, so they won’t strip your skin of its protective oils or emollients. That means more moisture, better hygiene, and fewer breakouts.
8. Switching Out Your Loofah For Something Cleaner And More Gentle
According to Dr. Chan, “Mild exfoliation with a loofah can be helpful in removing dead skin. However, being too rough can be detrimental, and there are other options besides using a loofah, [which] can definitely breed bacteria.” I’m personally all about these konjac sponges, like this all-natural French pink clay konjac sponge. They soften to a very gentle consistency that exfoliates without being abrasive, and they’re also hypoallergenic and naturally anti-bacterial.
9. Paying Attention To The Way You Dry Off
“People with sensitive skin shouldn’t be scrubbing their face and bodies aggressively with towels or washcloths," Dr. Au says. "When using towels, they should be patting instead of rubbing their skin. Stick to white cotton towels washed in fragrance free detergent." This way, sensitive skin isn’t irritated by dyes, chemicals, and abrasive rubbing.
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