A recent report came out in support of the fact that fewer showers are better for the environment and for our skin but, if you read the comments, you know that many people think this declaration, well, stinks. As with all things, there is a happy medium. While the truth is that most of us don’t really need to shower every day, some people work in professions that make this next to impossible. The other harsh reality is that showers do affect our skin, and not all of it is positive. It’s time we looked at the whole picture and decide what’s best for ourselves. Read on for more on how your showers can affect your skin and then you can decide what works for your lifestyle.
Hot Ones Can Be a Hot Mess
There’s no denying that hot showers can feel extremely good and even therapeutic, particularly if you’ve been out in the cold weather all day. And while recovering this way on occasion is fine, blasting hot water on a regular basis can have disastrous consequences. As Northern California dermatologist and founder of DrBaileySkinCare.com, Cynthia Bailey, notes via the Huffington Post, hot water “removes too much of your natural oils (much like it works better than cold water for cleaning greasy pots and pans). Second, hot water brings blood circulation to your skin which is why skin turns red like a lobster.” This kind of circulation can cause itching and/or a rash. It’s particularly damaging if your skin is already prone to dryness.
You also want to avoid taking hot showers because you think it will kill the bacteria that cause acne. As skincare expert, Cecilia Wong notes via Stylecaster.com, “taking a too-hot shower can actually make acne worse and cause it to spread.
Long Ones Leave You in Bad Shape
This isn’t just something parents tell their teenagers, who take notoriously long showers. Experts say that anything longer than 10 minutes is too much. These lengthy showers strip your skin of the hydration it needs. Plus, long showers are anything but eco-friendly.
Shower Heads Matter
You might think to yourself, “A shower head is a shower head is a shower head,” but, well, you’d be wrong. Not only are some more comforting than others when it comes to water pressure and their abilities to massage, but some can also seriously save your skin from further damage. Particularly if you live in an area where the water is harsh, you want to get a shower head that has a filter that leaves all that harmful elements out. The result is soft and smooth skin and hair. If you’re unsure of what the best shower heads are, consult a website like bestlyproducts.com.
Using All the Wrong Stuff Can Wreak Havoc
This doesn’t mean you must splurge on fancy, overpriced products you see in department stores, but there is a certain amount of preparation and care that needs to be taken when buying and maintaining shower products. First and foremost, throw out old products, particularly things that can glom onto bacteria (yes, we’re talking to you, old loofahs!). You don’t want to be hoodwinked by seeing that products are “all natural” while still staying away from legitimately damaging ingredients (like sulfate and alcohol). This is why sulfate-free shampoos have become so popular when it comes to hair products. Make sure to stock up on products that are safe and leave you feeling stylish, even when you travel.
Your Post-Shower Habits Could be Damaging Your Skin and Hair
Many of us are in such a hurry to get dry after a shower, we go crazy with the towel—rubbing our skin at a rapid pace. All of this is stripping our skin of essential oils, which can lead to dryness, irritation, and skin sagging. You need to particularly careful to avoid rubbing the area under our eyes, as this area is ultra-delicate. The same goes for overzealousness with the towel on our wet hair. Rubbing your wet hair with a towel can damage the hair shaft, weakening and damaging it. This leads to dry, coarse hair. If you can air-dry, go with that method for best hair health. The next best thing is to use a microfiber towel. If a traditional towel is all you have, blot hair as gently as possible.
There’s nothing better than a nice, hot shower to make us fresh and renewed. However, if you don’t keep the things we’ve mentioned in mind, you could be doing more harm than good to your skin.