Whether you're starting out your morning early, looking to feel fresh, or winding down, everyone knows that taking a shower can be an amazing part of the day. But what should you be doing to make sure you're keeping your skin healthy before and after your shower?
1. Avoid using extremely hot water
Consistent, overly hot water has negative effects on your skin such as skin drying out, itching, and potentially even resulting in peeling. That is because hot water strips our exterior skin or keratin cells.. The hot water impacts the keratin's ability to hold that moisture, and also can affect certain skin conditions like eczema. In order to avoid any of these risks, it may be best to begin a shower with a lukewarm temperature to cool yourself down, then progressively get warmer to minimize the amount of time spent in steaming hot water.
2. Keep your conditioner and shampoo separate from your body wash
Each cleaner, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all work to do the same thing. Make you smell good and clean you off. However, they each have different ingredients and each works to its own strengths. As a result, it is clear that that which should be used on hair should not be used on skin, and that which is used on skin should not be used on hair, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Shampoos and conditioners are curated specifically for the cleansing of the scalp and hair, working to strip it of any buildup of dead skin, oils, or hair products that may accumulate over the course of the day. Some major shampoo brands use ingredients like sulfates, parabens and glycols that serve to improve certain capabilities of their products, but keep a look out for these, as they have been shown to have various effects on the skin and body like potential redness, and other skin irritation. There are some concerns about the potential hormonal effects of parabens but they are still under investigation. Body washes and skin cleaners are specifically made for cleaning the skin, and without all those extra ingredients needed to clean the hair as well, it serves as a much healthier and less risky method of washing your skin.
3. Make sure it's relaxing, but keep it brief!
Most people take hot showers, and it makes sense! It is a great way to relax and loosen your muscles at the end of the day. But one thing to keep in mind is the length of your showers. The longer you are in the shower with hot water on you are not only getting rid of both dirt and grime, but you are also removing healthy, essential oils. The main point of a shower is to clean the skin, but being aware of the length of time you are in the shower can help prevent dryness of skin and skin irritation. Keeping your shower time down is better for the environment. By regulating your shower lengths, you are not only prioritizing the health of your skin, but also actively attempting to decrease your overall water usage.
4. Keep scrubbing to a minimum
Obviously the purpose of a shower is to thoroughly clean your body. However, you do not need to vigorously scrub every inch of your body to feel clean. Think of it this way. The more you scrub, the more skin that is taken off. We acquire a layer of oil and dirt over the course of a day or two (given you shower every day/every other day), but that can be removed easily enough by any typical body wash or soap, and by hand! Many people who choose to use a cloth or a loofah are more prone to giving themselves dry skin, as its rough and scraping nature can irritate it and take off more than needs to be removed. If you do use a cloth, be cautious to not rub for too long. Loofahs can also become sources of mold and other bacteria. If you take a shower daily, try and avoid over-washing certain places, as it may lead to unnecessarily irritated skin.
5. Don't dry off completely if applying moisturizer or another skincare product
As mentioned above, after a hot shower, the skin tends to be more dry. However, there are ways to combat this. After you take a shower and before applying a moisturizer, you should try and keep those areas of your body slightly damp. By doing so, you are mixing that water with the moisture of the product, serving to retain as much moisture as possible near the skin and promoting its maximum health.
6. Running short on time? Dry shampoo may be your savior
We all live busy lives. It's particularly time consuming having to fully wash your hair, especially when it is thick or long. Fortunately, there is a partial answer for that. Though it cannot fully wash and cleanse your hair, dry shampoo is very helpful in that it prevents hair from looking too oily and greasy. Using starch and alcohol based ingredients and powders, dry shampoos can be sprayed and applied onto the hair and work to sap the oils out. However, be cautious with these, and make sure not to overuse it or repeatedly substitute it for a proper shower. Overreliance on dry shampoos cause accumulations that can lead to itchy and dry scalps, coarse and oddly textured hair, and cause irritation or breakouts.