I was the type of kid whose toys were 95 percent waterproof because I spent pretty much all my time in the bath anyway. I've always loved feeling clean. That being said, when I learned about
the worst shower mistakes women make, it kind of threw a wrench into things — especially because I was guilty of most, if not all of them.
I started my writing career in the nutrition and holistic health business, which sparked an interest in the human body and the way we take care of it. My main realization: it turns out that America has been moving in the wrong direction when it comes to hygiene practices. We're intent on ridding ourselves of
bacteria, sweat, oil, hair, and impurities, only to find that all of them are actually essential to our well-being. That's why our bodies create or house them in the first place.
Antibacterial soaps can strip the essential bacteria that protect our skin. Antiperspirants that stop sweat might also stop other necessary detoxification functions. Shaving can open your pores to infection and cause the follicle to grow all wonky. Granted, there are healthier alternatives. It took a bit, but I've finally revamped my hygiene routine so that I can feel clean while simultaneously allowing my body to do its thing. Here are a few of the worst mistakes women make in their hygiene practices, as well as easy ways to fix them.
Mistake # 1: Stripping Your Skin Of Essential Bacteria Solution: A Soap That Respects The Microbiome Mother Dirt Biome-Friendly Face & Body Cleanser, $14, Amazon
Mother Dirt is a company that pledges to create products that clean skin without disrupting your skin's natural balance. Their
Biome-Friendly face and body cleanser can be used anywhere, is made with all plant-derived ingredients, and is especially awesome for sensitive skin. It can even be used as a shaving cream or makeup remover, and reviewers say it drastically improves everything from acne to body odor. Mistake #2: Using A Loofah
A study published in the Journal Of Clinical Microbiology found that
loofahs are a breeding ground for fungi, mold, and bacteria. They trap dirt and dead skin in the mesh netting, and when combined with the warm, wet conditions of your bathroom, unhealthy things start to grow. On top of all that, the synthetic plastic material is a bit too abrasive, and it could be tearing your skin. Solution: A Sponge That's Natural, Gentler, And More Hygienic Mistake #3: Using A Harsh Shampoo
If you wash your hair every day, you probably do it because you don't like the feeling of an oily scalp. However, it turns out that harsh shampoos actually exacerbate that problem, leaving you with oiler hair than you would have had if you washed it less. Additional ingredients like sulfates can
dry out the scalp, causing it to produce more oils to compensate. Solution: A Co-Wash Or Cleansing Conditioner Mistake #4: Shaving With A Dull Or Dirty Razor
Using a dull, dirty razor is the quickest way to get ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and even a potential infection. A less-than-sharp razor also contributes to that
burning sensation you sometimes feel after shaving, as it can't adequately glide across your skin if it's clogged with oil and dead cells. Solution: A Sharpener That Keeps Blades Sharp Blade Buddy, $19, Amazon
You could invest in new razors every week — or you could choose the smarter option and invest in the
Blade Buddy. It's a sharpening tool that saves you tons of money because it bends the blades back into place and cleans them simultaneously. The result is a closer, safer shave, and it works with any kind of razor, disposable or long-term. Mistake #5: Stripping Your Scalp's Essential Oils
Most people can't stand the feeling of oily hair. However, your
scalp produces natural oils that are meant to moisturize, strengthen, and lubricate your strands. If your hair is too dry, it causes unnecessary breakage and frizz. This is especially true for curly hair types, which need more moisture than straight hair because it's harder for oils to travel down the shaft. Solution: Replenish Moisture With A Hair Mask Calily Natural Argan Oil Hair Mask, $15, Amazon
Argan oil is a great all-natural moisturizer for hair because it absorbs quickly into strands, nourishing and hydrating without an oily residue.
Calily natural argan oil hair mask uses high-quality plant-derived ingredients to promote healthy, shiny, soft hair without leaving it feeling dirty or greasy. It's especially great for dryness or damage, and reviewers say, "It was a miracle potion! I was able to comb my hair easily after rinsing it out! It left my hair feeling so soft!" Mistake #6: Ignoring Ingrown Hairs And Bumps
Razor bumps happen when the skin becomes irritated and inflamed after shaving. Ingrown hairs are a result of a follicle curling backwards against the skin as it tries to grow out. Most of the time, these issues are harmless, but occasionally, they can lead to breakouts or infected hair follicles.
Solution: Treat The Area Post-Shave To Soothe And Protect Kerah Lane Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Formula, $19, Amazon
With awesome ingredients like aloe, witch hazel, and lavender,
Kerah Lane razor bump and ingrown hair formula soothes irritated areas, helps with inflammation, and removes excess bacteria from the skin. It works on the most sensitive areas after any kind of hair removal, doesn't sting during application, and reviewers say, "Don't think I've had one ingrown hair or razor burn since I've used this stuff." Mistake #7: Ignoring The Label On Your Moisturizer
Experts tell you to
moisturize straight out of the shower because your pores are especially open and absorbent after coming into contact with hot water. However, if you don't know the chemicals you're putting on your skin (and plenty of moisturizers have chemicals), than you don't know exactly what your skin is absorbing. Solution: A Moisturizer With Natural Ingredients Mistake #8: Drying Hair With A Coarse Towel
Most women wrap their hair or blot it with a towel before styling, but even soft cotton can be too course for your hair. In addition to being too heavy, a regular old bath towel causes excess
breakage, frizz, and damage. Solution: A Gentle, Lightweight Towel Specifically For Your Hair DuraComfort Hair Towel, $14, Amazon
DuraComfort Hair Towel uses an extremely soft and absorbent microfiber material. Not only is it lightweight, compact, durable, and actually stays on your head, but it soaks up water faster and prevents frizz and breakage. "Finally tried this and it was AMAZING," says one reviewer. "My hair dried instantly and the curls were so defined and frizz-free. It was like magic!" Mistake #9: Using An Antiperspirant
Who doesn't love to feel dry and fresh? That being said, using an antiperspirant may come at a price. Most use aluminum to physically clog up the sweat gland, which some doctors claim that it causes a variety of
serious health problems — and while that hasn't necessarily been proven, it might make you really rethink what you're putting under your arms. Solution: An Aluminum-Free Alternative Zaffré Botanically Infused Natural Deodorant, $14, Amazon
It skips the aluminum, parabens, and toxins, but people swear that it still works.
Zaffré natural deodorant has safe vegetable ingredients, powders, and essential oils that go on smooth without flaking, sticking, or crumbling. In addition to all that, they come in a ton of great scents and reviewers say, "I've been using natural deodorants for years and Zaffre is the first one that I've been completely satisfied with." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.