There’s nothing like a hot shower to feel clean and refreshed, right? Well, believe it or not, some of the most common shower habits could actually be doing your skin more harm than good. There are generally two types of showers: the speedy shower (a less-than-four-minute wash of only the essentials) and the relaxing shower (a leisurely break from reality where hot water rushes down on you until your mind is clear and your fingers are prune-y). However you shower, always make sure it does good for your skin and here are some things you need to consider to make your shower routine healthy!
Make a point to start your routine by brushing your hair and your body. Brushing your hair distributes the scalp’s natural oils to condition and balance your hair, and it removes tangles while hair is still dry- important because wet strands are more susceptible to breakage. Then use a dry brush to exfoliate your body and get blood flowing to the skin before you hop in.
ALWAYS OPT FOR SHORT LUKEWARM SHOWERS
The longer you stay in the shower and the hotter the temperature of the water, the more you strip away the protective oils and moisture from your skin. In fact, it’s often best to skip a daily shower altogether and save it for every other day instead.
USE SOAP WISELY
Unless you’ve been covered in dirt or residue from whatever you’ve been doing all day, there isn’t always a need to cover the majority of the surface area of your skin with soap suds as frequently as you might think. You can leave your back, chest, stomach, arms and legs mostly soap-free while focusing on cleansing those areas of the body that produce the most sweat–like the armpits, groin, between the buttocks, feet, toes and underneath breasts.
SHAVE IN THE END
In order to get the closest shave and reduce your chances of getting an ingrown hair- you’ll want to wait until at least five minutes into your shower before you break out your razor. This will give your pores a chance to open and ensure the hair’s softened for easy removal. Again, though, you’ll want to make sure the water is warm, not hot, since scalding water will cause your follicles to swell (and when this happens, your hair is more likely to break before it can be removed).
ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE LAST
Hair, body, face. Don’t mess with that order. From the moment you step into a warm shower, your pores begin to open and the sebum inside begins to liquefy making this prime time for cleansing. But if you wash your face before you shampoo and condition, product runoff (from products not designed for the delicate skin on your face) can clog pores.
PAT YOUR SKIN DRY
Most people are taught to pat their skin dry after showering if they have a sunburn or any other type of sensitive skin condition, but making this a permanent habit is an even better idea. Rushing to dry off by rubbing a towel back and forth across every area of your body can worsen skin dryness. Do your skin a favour by using a gentle upward and downward patting motion.
Moisturizing after showering is always a good idea, but you don’t need any fancy moisturizers to get the job done. In fact, using regular carrier oil is healthier (and cheaper) than most stuff you can find in the skincare aisle at your favourite cosmetic shops and drugstores. Some good options include coconut oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil.