Stepping into the tub/stall to take a shower seems like a piece of cake, right? You adjust the temperature on the water, wash your body, rinse off the soap and then towel-dry. These are the mechanical steps that most of us take on a daily. Not realizing that this straight forward approach is harmful to our skin. Most suffer from bouts of dry-itchy-scaly skin throughout the year. Here are the most common reason why our showers can be bad for our skin.
1. You’re taking long, hot showers.
Sure, a steamy shower is one way to warm up on cold mornings or unwind after a stressful workday, but it just isn’t good for your skin. Period. The hotter the shower and the longer you’re in it strips the skin of its natural oils, causing in some cases common skin problems like eczema or worse. it can also increase centralized or generalized itching amongst people who do not have eczema. Keeping the temperature warm or tepid (NOT HOT) and taking sorter showers can improve the health of your skin. In addition if you think turning the shower dial to full-on cold is better, think again. The only benefit to a cold rinse is for the person who flushes [skin turns red] from warm water. The cold will help to close the vessels that become dilated with heat. Otherwise, there is no benefit to the skin barrier with a cool or cold rinse.
2. You’re using shower gels and body washes with excessive lather.
The more bubbles or lather a cleanser has, the more it strips your skin of its natural oils. The ingredient in soap that does this is called a surfactant. Surfactants are chemicals that attract both oil and water, when combined with water, surfactants are able to bind oil and remove these natural oils from our skin. So consistently showering with cleansers that contain strong surfactants can result in dry, rough skin.
Dove and Olay make body wash products that strip fewer lipids and proteins from the skin and leave the skin better hydrated than most others. However Dove — which is a syndet, basically better put DOVE nor OLAY is not a SOAP— is better than standard commercial based washes. Another, skin stripper and danger to the skin is antibacterial soaps. Unless you have a specific dermatologic need, there is no reason to use an antibacterial wash in bar or liquid form for your skin on a daily basis.
3. You’re not rinsing soap completely off of your boy.
Stepping out of the shower and seeing a patch of soap bubbles along the nape of our necks happens just about all the time. And if you’re like us, you probably wipe it away as you dry off. However, dermatologists warn that not properly rinsing soap off can cause skin irritation and dryness. But it really depends on what type of soap you’re using.
Harsh cleansers, if left on the skin, can be irritating because of the chemicals and fragrance contained in these soaps. There are many gentle cleansers that are actually designed to not be rinsed completely because they contain additional moisturizers to help restore the skin barrier after cleansing.
4. You’re applying deep pore facial masks after showering.
Many people choose to fully cleanse their faces in the shower and then apply a face mask afterwards. But it’s time we set the record straight on timing. I personally apply my face masks prior to washing my face. Washing before and after a mask may be too drying for many skin types. Anything you apply after a shower will be more rapidly absorbed, so you may get more irritation. The most important after-shower product is something hydrating and occlusive to add back and seal in moisture.
5. You’re rough towel-drying instead of doing a gentle pat-dry.
We’re usually intensely shivering after taking a shower, especially during the cold weather months. I live in a wooded area and its freezing And even though we all want to wipe down fast and get dressed ASAP, how you dry off is just as important as how you bathe. To prevent dry skin from getting worse, pat down your skin with a towel.
Since water evaporates off the skin quickly after a shower or bath, leaving the skin dry causes stress to the skin. It is highly important to moisturize your skin after bathing. Immediately applying a lotion, body butter or cream moisturizer to arms, legs and any other body parts that tend toward dryness.